How Two Podcasters Hope to Shed Light on a 21-Year-Old Pittsburgh Cold Case
‘The Woman With the Same Name’ podcast will tell Jamie Stickle’s story in hopes of bringing in new leads.
Jaime Parker Stickle has never been to Pittsburgh, but some unknown force has drawn her to telling the story of a local woman who shares the same name.
The body of Jamie Stickle, 33, a prominent figure in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ community, was found burned inside of her Jeep outside of her North Side apartment near the 16th Street Bridge in the early hours of Feb. 8, 2002.
Though many signs, such as a massive amount of blood, strewn items from her purse — including mace — and a suspicious fire, point to a homicide, her death was classified as undetermined by the Allegheny County medical examiner due to the condition of her badly burned body at the scene. The case remains unsolved.
Jaime, an actor and writer in Los Angeles, says she’s been intrigued by the 21-year-old cold case for years because of their similar names.
“I have been using a family name so people would stop confusing us. I was told so many times for interviews that they Googled me and it said I had been killed. So, this person kept popping up in my life that I have no relation to,” she adds.
Jaime and her husband, Jason Beeber, are hoping to tell Stickle’s story in a respectful manner through their “The Girl With the Same Name” podcast and possibly get some fresh eyes on the case. They hope to begin airing episodes this fall.
“I am not a detective, nor a seasoned investigator,” Jaime says in the couple’s Kickstarter campaign for the podcast. “My background lies in a different realm entirely. I am an actor, a writer, and an observer of the human condition. But when I stumbled upon this case, something ignited within me — a deep, inexplicable connection that demanded my attention.”
Stickle’s friends and family in Pittsburgh remember her as a jovial woman with a bright smile, joking nature and generous spirit who was always raising funds for various causes, including cures for HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, details that have become lost amid the horrific details of her death.
Jaime and Jason have worked in the entertainment field for 20 years and currently produce the Make That Paper podcast that interviews other members of the entertainment industry about their side hustles that help pay the bills so they can live their dream. Jaime is also an adjunct professor and Jason works in information technology.
Though this is their first true crime podcast, Jaime writes fiction crime novels and the couple has written a television adaptation of Deanne Stillman’s book, “Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines and the Mojave.”
Jaime and Jason are paying for the podcast out of their own pockets. The $10,000 Kickstarter campaign was started to raise funds for post-production. Donations reached $8,450 by Wednesday afternoon and the deadline to raise the goal amount is Sunday, July 30.
“I want her family to know that we are doing this for Jamie,” adds Jaime. “I want to tell her story in a way to motivate and activate people to get involved. I think Jamie’s story deserves that. The LGBTQ+ community deserves that. Women deserve that.”
Jamie Lynn Stickle was born April 1, 1968, and grew up in Uniontown, Fayette County. She was the daughter of Margie and Richard Walls, and James and Judy Stickle.
She was known as a tough tomboy growing up and was the only girl on her high school basketball team. She loved her family and friends, Valentine’s Day and butterflies.
She had moved to Pittsburgh several years before her death to live with her long-term girlfriend and began bartending at gay and lesbian clubs Downtown, including the now-closed Sidekicks where she had been working the night before she was killed.
According to an article in QBurgh, Pittsburgh’s source for LGBTQ+ community news and resources, Stickle was “a very connected, active and respected figure in the LGBTQ+ community of Pittsburgh.”
The community has theories surrounding her death, such as a target on her or a hate crime.
Stickle was going through a turbulent breakup at the time and some believe someone outside of the community was hired to target Stickle. Former Pittsburgh Police Detective Joe Meyers who investigated the case has also said he thinks that theory could be true.
Many also feel the police have not done enough to solve her case, including her mother, Margie Walls. She told local media she was not permitted to put the word “murdered” on a police-assisted billboard seeking clues to her daughter’s case.
In a 2005 Pittsburgh City Paper article, Walls said, “You get to the point that you just give up, like it’s hopeless.”
She also told the Post-Gazette in 2012 that she became frustrated with the lack of new information and eventually stopped calling for updates.
Pittsburgh Police did not return a phone call to Pittsburgh Magazine seeking comments on the current status of Stickle’s case.
Stickle’s friend Melanie hopes the podcast finds some answers.
“When she died the scariest thing about it was not just that someone we knew and saw every day was killed, but the person who murdered her could be someone we saw every day,” she says.
She adds whoever killed Stickle knew where she lived because her apartment, though close to Downtown, was in a remote location.
One of Jamie’s friends says he is excited about the podcast and hopes it will encourage police to do something, adding he feels police could have cared less about Stickle’s death.
“I don’t want her folder sitting on a shelf collecting dust as another cold case. She deserves more than that,” he says.
Jim Sheppard, editor of QBurgh, says it is very important to bring Stickle’s case back into the spotlight during a time when more violence is reported against members of the LGBTQ+ community across the nation.
“When she was killed, I was in the process of coming out and finding my community and it was scary to me,” he recalls. “In the last few years I think a lot of attention has rightfully been paid to individuals in the public safety sphere who do not prioritize marginalized communities. When it’s pretty clear to most observers that this is most likely a homicide, but it’s not recognized by the experts, it really raises suspicion and distrust.”
Sheppard and the staff of QBurgh are assisting Jaime and Jason with their efforts to produce the podcast, including sharing archived coverage of Stickle’s death with the couple. Sheppard and his fiancé also donated to the Kickstarter campaign.
“I really hope that through the podcast, more of Jamie’s story can be told,” he says. “She was a human being and a person who was far more than what happened to her.”
Anyone with information regarding Stickle’s case is encouraged to leave a tip on the podcast’s tip line at: 412-822-6123. You may also reach Jaime and Jason via Facebook or email. A website for the podcast will be created soon.