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Detectives Dan and Dave, and Yeardley and Zibby sit down to answer questions posed by you, our incomparable Small Town Fam!

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Yeardley:  I’m Yeardley.

Zibby:  And I’m Zibby.

Yeardley:  And these are the minisodes.

Zibby:  They’re bite-sized-

Yeardley:  -stories about-

Zibby:  -true crime.

Yeardley and Zibby:  That’s it.


Yeardley:  Hi, Small Town Fam.

Zibby:  Hey, Small Town Fam. We love you on our social media pages. You’re so good. Thank you for all of your comments, your likes, your words of support, your high regards.

Yeardley:  It’s everything.

Zibby:  And recently, as you may know, we opened the floor to answer any of your specific questions for Dan, Dave, Yeardley, or myself, or all four of us.

Yeardley:  And so today, we sat down and took a run at ’em.

Zibby:  Yeah, we made a little attempt and here it is.

Yeardley:  Here it is. Ask me anything.


Zibby:  Should we just jump right in, then?

Yeardley:  Let’s do it. Detective Dave, why don’t you pick a question from the list first?

Dave:  All right. This question’s from Isaac Kinge. I think I probably butchered that, Kingai, Khinji. It’s one of the three. “How did Yeardley and Zibby meet detectives Dan and Dave, and how’d they get into true crime?”

Yeardley:  I met Dan when I went to visit small town USA, and then, of course, got to meet Dave. Zibby and I were already best friends. You take it, Kitty.

Zibby:  I mean, the truth is, anytime the four of us would get together, inevitably it turned into Yeardley and myself grilling you guys, Dan and Dave.

Yeardley:  Tell us stories about your work.

Zibby:  That’s all we want to hear. I’ve always had a fascination with true crime anyway.

Yeardley:  Me too.

Zibby:  And then we thought, we’re getting it straight from the source might as well share it with the rest of the world.

Yeardley:  Yes, that was the most interesting part, that were getting it from the source.

Zibby:  In fact, this might be interesting for listeners to know because some people have asked us about the name of our show. Dicks is a play on the old school term for detectives, but that name was born out of our original conception for the show, which had much more levity to it. In fact, Dan came up with that name and is quite clever at the time. But our podcast ended up being much heavier than that. And when we really began to dive into these stories, it was hard to find any real humor, and rightfully so. But what you may not know is that Dan and Dave are two of the funniest guys we know. Honestly, you two have such an easy sense of humor. You’ve got wit for days. And so, we thought, “Hey, what a great combination, your great stories plus your wit.”

 Our original format was we’d have the twins sit down at a bar together, pour a couple of scotches and exchange stories from their work week, twin to twin.

Yeardley:  So, we started that way, and we’re pouring drinks, and [laughs] in about half an hour, it had devolved into a slurry, incoherent talk session.

Dan:  That’s a wrap. We’re going to try this again tomorrow. And maybe a little format change.

Zibby:  With sparkling water.

Yeardley:  Exactly.


Zibby:  Okay, so this question is from Lauren Miller. She wants to know, “How small is your small town? She always finds herself wondering how many people this town has. It sounds bigger than what she considers small.” Well, it should be noted that not all of our crimes stem from the exact same town.

Yeardley:  But for the purposes of our show, we qualify a small town as, what? I’d say 200,000 or less.

Dave:  Yeah.

Yeardley:  Yeah.

Dave:  Our town is way below that. Our town is under 70,000.

Zibby:  So, a small-town police agency has how many officers as compared to, say, Los Angeles?

Dan:  Oh, well, our agency, we had 60 sworn.

Dave:  Right around there.

Zibby:  Wow.

Dan:  Los Angeles County, there’s what, 9000 police officers in Los Angeles County? Something like that. I don’t know the exact numbers, but that’s a lot. That’s a lot of boots on the ground, for sure.


Yeardley:  This is from Melinda Cortes or Cords. “Thank you for such insight into your work, detectives and ladies. You always ask the best questions. That’s so nice. Have either of you detectives worked on a serial killer case?”

Dave:  I have not.

Dan:  I have not. But we do have one case that I kind of wonder. It’s an unsolved murder case from a couple years back. There’s a big question mark on this one.

Dave:  These are the kinds of cases where you could find out in a month, you could find out in 10 years. But it’s unsolved and a lot of us are scratching our heads.

Zibby:  I want to do this case.

Yeardley:  We should do that.

Dan:  I mean, I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that case being solved by doing an episode on it.

Dave:  You don’t want to put out too much information about that, because that’s one of the things that would help identify whoever’s responsible as protecting that information. And only the guilty party would know that.

Zibby:  Okay.

Yeardley:  Okay.

Zibby:  Carmen Henderson wants to know how we decide which cases are talked about.

Dan:  Dave and I put our heads together and throw ideas out to you guys because we’ve either investigated them ourselves, or we work with the other detectives who’ve investigated these cases, or we know about them through a law enforcement grapevine. We’ve heard about ‘em.

Zibby:  And we only do cases that are adjudicated.

Dave:  Yeah, right. They’ve gone through the process. They’ve either been convicted through a plea deal or found guilty by a jury or a judge. I know that initially there was a lot of me asking questions of the older guys around our department. “Hey, you got any cool cases from the past that are fascinating and complex?” And that’s how we got to a few of the cases that we’ve highlighted in our two seasons, and that process continues except now we’re starting to get a little more feedback from outside law enforcement personnel who contact us saying, “Hey, I’ve got an idea for a show.” So, that’s been actually pretty helpful.

Yeardley:  Also, when we speak to law enforcement who either want to come on the show or who we approach, we always say to them, we don’t necessarily want your most well-known case. We want the case that you’re most proud of, and preferably one that hasn’t already hit the national news, because that’s something that our fans really seem to appreciate, is that it’s not the same true crime episodes over and over.

 Okay, this is from Penelope Foster, “Detectives Dan and Dave. How do you keep sane when you know so much about the dark side of humanity?”

Dave:  You might get an argument from some of my friends that I’ve not maintained my sanity [Yeardley laughs] as a detective. I didn’t handle the caseload in the most healthy way. I don’t exercise like I used to. I probably drink more scotch than I used to. But a lot of my decompression had to do with talking to Dan, talking to my close friends that could stomach some of the things that I would tell them. But a big portion of it was talking to people I care about, especially Dan, because he can relate. But even talking to you two, Yeardley and Zibby, you guys helped me wade through some of this stuff. And where I’m at with handling cases and how I’m dealing with people, you guys keep me honest, and I appreciate that. It’s kind of like a board of directors. And if you frown at a decision I make, I go, “I might have screwed up.”


 But if you guys are tracking, that helps me, validates how I’m feeling about something.

Zibby:  What an honor.

Yeardley:  That is an honor.

Dan:  There were times where I didn’t handle it very well at all, a complete failure. And it’s just breaking those habits of how you’re going to process this stuff that you come across. And Dave has been my biggest asset. When I have to deal with something, I bounce it off at Dave first. A lot of my friends don’t want to know the stuff that we deal with. They want to know the headline. They don’t want the whole article.

Dave:  I’d be missing something if I didn’t mention gallows humor is an enormous part of my life and cops, prosecutors, nurses, ER doctors, everybody who you might consider a first responder. We tend to rely on some gallows humor to get through those situations. The stuff that makes other people uncomfortable. I get through it with humor and making fairly inappropriate jokes in a trusted group.

Zibby:  Yeah.

Dan:  But also reminding myself that this is not a job, it’s a calling, and people who treat it like a job need to get out.

Dave:  I agree.

Zibby:  This is from Angela Schmitz. She says, “I love your show. You guys have great chemistry and always find a way to entertain through heavy topics. Keep up the awesome work. Thank you. One thing I’ve always wanted to know is what happens when someone is arrested and remains in custody for a substantial amount of time? Is there a government group that takes care of estate issues? What happens to property, money, bills, etc.? Is that the responsibility of next of kin or lawyers to sort out.”

Dave:  That is 100% on that person that’s arrested. They figure out through their family and friends how they’re going to handle life outside of the jail. We are not a part of that process at all.

Dan:  I remember listening to jail phone calls in the past where inmates are talking to family members, and they have to get power of attorney paperwork signed and things like that so other people can handle these things while they’re incarcerated.

Zibby:  Wow. I didn’t know.

Dan:  Lynn Cummings asks Zibby Allen and Yeardley Smith, “What were your most difficult episodes to cover? Unspeakable was my most difficult listen by far. It’s such an important episode, however, because you all spoke for that precious child who could no longer speak for herself.”

Yeardley:  I do think the cases that involve children, the sex abuse cases that Dave has spoken about, and certainly Unspeakable, are the hardest to listen to.

Zibby:  They’re all difficult in a way. And in the beginning of this project, I had difficulty metabolizing the weight of these cases, especially because we were covering them in such graphic detail. Unspeakable was one of those, and that case sat on my chest for a really long time. It still does. But I will say that one of the advantages to producing these episodes is that Yeardley and I edit these raw interviews on paper before we hand them off to our amazing audio editors, Logan and Soren. And that actually helps me take the stories, put them in front of me, and relook at them through a narrative lens. So now I’m structuring these stories as a cohesive podcast episode for our listeners, and that really helps me put it somewhere else.

Yeardley:  I think we’ve both learned to somewhat remove it from the emotional first listening to the story and the events. And the only way to do that for me is to put it on the other side of my brain, the more technical side of my brain, and address it that way and try to craft it into a coherent narrative, like you were saying, kitty?

Dave:  See, what you guys just described is how we process a crime scene.

Dan:  The gravity is not lost on you, but you have a job to do.

Zibby:  All right, this one’s from Breanne Quinn Van Horne. “Curious if you guys ever feel empathy toward the accused, even if you have a gut instinct they are guilty. Example, the Matricide episode, he obviously admitted it, but he definitely had some mental issues.”

Dave:  For me, this is fairly simple. People who victimize others, especially in person crimes or crimes of violence, I don’t feel bad for. There’s certainly been people I put handcuffs on that I was like, “You know, I’m sure he’s a nice guy 90% of the time,” but for this, if you victimize people, and usually the stuff that I’m dealing with are horrible betrayals of trust and someone’s body, the suspects put himself in that situation. I don’t feel bad for him.

Dan:  I would echo what Dave’s saying. It’s hard for me to feel empathy for somebody who didn’t show any empathy toward their victim. I do feel empathy for people who are battling addiction because I know it’s such a horrible disease. So, I feel empathy for folks who commit crimes because of their addiction, but it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held accountable for it. And I don’t think it’s an excuse, but I understand. I get it.

Dave:  And I can speak to the Matricide episode. Those types of situations where somebody might be considered mentally ill, I still don’t feel bad for him, because the grand scheme of things, that guy cannot be free in our society under any circumstances. That’s him on a bad day. What if he has another bad day? What happens?


Dave:  Number two of Brianne Quinn Van Horne, “Yeardley. Do you think having your own crazy stalker situation draws your interest in true crime, or were you already interested before that?”

Yeardley:  Oh, no. Interested way before that. And I don’t even think I considered my stalker story to be a crime until I sat down and told it on this podcast and realized now that I’ve sat with so many of these stories, I recognize a lot of red flags that I certainly didn’t as a layperson. So, no.

Zibby:  This question is from Lindsey Evans. She says, “I love this podcast. I’ve listened to some of them multiple times, and each time it’s still shocking. I wanted to know what the biggest case was that Detective Dan and Dave have worked. School shooting or a serial killer, perhaps.”

Dan:  The biggest case that I’ve worked on is the hardest case that I’ve ever been involved in. And it involves an officer get shot. [sobs] An officer got shot and I was there shortly after and that’s really hard for me. I have a physical reaction to memories from that day, so it’s been difficult for me. There are certain times, where thinking about that case will get me, and there are times when it doesn’t. But there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that case. There’s a fleeting moment, at the very least every day, where I think about this officer and that day and being next to my brother at the end of that day.

Dave:  Mm-hmm. That’s a big case for me as well. And then some of the other cases I’ve worked on. I’ve got a triple murder that’s still pending, hasn’t gone through the courts yet. Season 1, Episode 1, that’s a big case for me. Season 1, Episode 5, that’s a big case for me. We’ve hit some highlights during these episodes, but anytime I’m able to stand up for a child or a woman that’s gotten totally victimized and betrayed, and I can put that person in prison, those are big cases for me, regardless of the prison sentence, getting people held accountable, that’s our job.


Dave:  This question’s from Alexa Morden. She asks, “Zibby and Yeardley, how did you meet?”

Yeardley  Zibby and I met doing a little independent film that a mutual friend of ours had written. I was originally executive producing in it, and Zibby was in it, and she had already been in the play version of this movie. And then we fired the lead actress and I took over her part. It was very All About Eve.

Zibby:  Yeah. And that was what?

Yeardley:  That was 12-

Zibby:  Years ago.

Yeardley:  -years ago, I believe.

Dave:  What’s the name of the movie.

Zibby:  Waiting for Ophelia.

Yeardley:  Mm-hmm. It just was really one of those things where you meet someone and you feel like I’ve known you all my life and in other lifetimes. It was such a vivid and sparkling bond right from the word go that I was hooked.

Zibby:  I was, too. And here we are today.

Yeardley:  And here we are. [Zibby laughs] We’ve been through a lot together.

Zibby:  We have from the get our lives took crazy turns in that first year that we met, and I think it just solidified the depth of our friendship.

Yeardley:  I agree. Here’s a second question from Alexa Morden. “Detectives, what’s the most amazing example of bravery you’ve ever seen from a victim?” That’s a great question.

Dan:  I had a domestic violence case where a child had witnessed his mom being assaulted. And this case went to trial. And I watched a seven-year-old little boy confront his father, basically about why his mom had been beaten in front of him. And that was pretty powerful to be in the courtroom and see this young child stand up to his dad.

Zibby and Yeardley:  Wow.

Dan:  And knowing that his dad was going to go to prison because of it.

Yeardley:  Wow.

Zibby:  Ah.

Dave:  Yeah. Children stand out in these situations. Our grand jury process doesn’t include the defendant or his defense attorney. But certainly, every time a child victim stands up and takes the oath and goes into grand jury and tells complete strangers about the worst thing that’s ever happened to them, to me, I find that to be incomparably brave. I’m thinking about one little girl in particular. She was six. This guy wasn’t her stepdad, but he filled that role for a time and sexually abused her one night. And we played her forensic interview. And then the defense attorney gets to ask questions of this six-year-old on the stand.

Yeardley:  Because it’s his legal right to.

Dave:  Right. You have the right to confront your accusers. So, this defense attorney was appropriate and kind, respectful. I was surprised in this particular instance because he’s not that way every time. He’s a vigorous defense attorney, he gets after it. In this case, he’s talking to the six-year-old. And she was really shy and really uncomfortable. You can imagine. She is on the stand in front of a bunch of strangers in a juror box. The defendant’s about 15ft away, right in front of her. And there’s a gallery of people in this courtroom, judge above her looking down at her. It’s intimidating. And this girl tried to answer the questions as best she could, but she kept pointing to. “Why are you asking me? We just watched the video where I told you what happened.” She keeps going back to that.

 And this isn’t a he said, she said. This is a case where the girl disclosed to her mom the next day because the mom had already had a talk with her daughter about safety and touches. And if you ever feel uncomfortable about something, come talk to me. But this guy takes it to trial and kind of rolls a dice. And this girl, when she got off the stand, she was crying. She had to walk around the table and behind the defendant to hit the gate to be on her way. And she wrapped her arms around the defendant’s neck and hugged him and said, “I still love you.”

Zibby:  Oh, my God.

Yeardley:  Oh my God.

Dave:  And there was this silence that hung over the courtroom for three or four seconds that everyone’s like, “What the hell just happened?” And I remember sitting there going like, gulp. [laughs] Keep it together. The jury was out for, I don’t know, less than a half an hour on that one. But that was a moment where I was like, “I bet you I never see that again.”

Yeardley:  Right.

Dave:  Holy shit.

Zibby:  Wow.

Yeardley:  That level of forgiveness.

Dave:  Yeah.

Yeardley:  That’s incredible.

Zibby:  And innocent.

Yeardley:  Yes.

Dave:  Right? She knows she loves him, but she didn’t like what he did that night.


Yeardley:  This question is from RJ Myers, “Dan and Dave, do you prefer working in detectives or on the road? What’s more fun or what’s more rewarding?”

Dave:  For me, both. Patrol, you get the in progress hot calls. You’re able to do a little hunting yourself and make projects out of problem houses. Certainly, the hunter-gatherer portion of police work is on patrol with detectives. I love figuring things out and putting people in prison that belong there. So, rewarding wise, detectives by far, as far as self-initiated activity and not being called a call, there’s no other place to be. Patrol is exciting when you have the time to go out and be proactive about law enforcement.

Dan:  For me, I was K9 officer, and that is just the best time ever as a cop. I had so much fun when my dog was finding bad guys. You can’t describe the feeling. It’s amazing.


Dan:  Holly Grimes asks, “And this is a question for the brains Zibby and Yeardley, lol, just kidding. A little sarcastic cop humor.” Thank you, Holly.


Dan:  “How many of the questions you ask are off the top of your head and how many are rehearsed in practice because you have, REALLY GOOD QUESTIONS AND CURIOSITY.”

Zibby:  Thanks, Holly.

Yeardley:  Thanks, Holly.

Zibby:  I’d say 98% of the questions asked are questions that come to us in the moment. Sometimes, when we’re talking to someone and they seem to be in the flow, we’ll take note of questions and then we’ll come back in and ask them after the fact. And then in editing, we might move that question we asked at the end back toward the middle of the story where we may have first thought to ask it.

Yeardley:  Even if we take note of that question to ask later, it’s a question that came up in the moment, we just don’t want to interrupt the flow.

Zibby:  That’s right.

Dave:  I get asked all the time. So, “Are you giving those ladies a script of questions, or are they coming up with those on their own?” And I go, “Honestly, they are incredibly inquisitive.” And they come up with these questions where I’m like, I never even thought about that. But I understand why you’d want to know. [Yeardley laughs] So, 98% being in the moment or during the actual recording session, I think that’s a low number, honestly. You guys do so much editing that I don’t have to get my hands in that I’m really grateful, but I’ve never had any surprises when I heard the final episode where I’m like, “Where’d that come from?”

Yeardley:  We also don’t hear the cases before you guys or any of our guests tell them. And we do that on purpose so that there’s a spontaneity to it.

Dave:  Yeah, I remember the first few cases. We were giving you guys some of the redacted police reports after doing these FOIA requests. But now it’s kind of fresh. I think it’s more genuine.

Zibby:  Mm-hmm.

Zibby:  Totally.


Dan:  Heather Rice asks question on editing. “How often do you all slip up and say the real name or names of the people or towns involved? Thank you for a great show. I just found out about you two weeks ago and have listened to all of it.”


Yeardley:  I would say we slip up much less than we used to. And look, the great thing about a podcast, it’s not live radio or television and we just stop. And our guests always feel really bad about it, but it’s, like, no big deal, dude. Just go back, and we’ll do it again.

Dave:  Right? The people who’ve been on multiple times, they get into the flow. But when we get a new voice, you can see them, and they’ll do it, and we all laugh because we’ve all been there.

Yeardley:  But we also write down the names. We change all the names of our suspects and our victims, and we simply don’t refer to names of places. But for all of us, we write down, if we change John to Marcus, we write Marcus down. Marcus is the suspect you know.

Zibby:  It’s on a sheet in front of all. So, we just keep looking down so our brains know to go to it.


Yeardley:  100%. Nicole Satterwhite wants to know, “How do you minimize vicarious trauma, and what do you guys do for selfcare, Dan and Dave?”

Dave:  For me, the gallows humor is a huge one, venting. We already talked about it with you guys, and the nature of the cases we deal with and how you guys get through it is that you have a process that you’re going through trying to tailor and craft a story that’s organized. For me, it’s what do I do on this case? What do I need to do next? Strategizing an interview or an investigation. I need to check the boxes on these elements of this crime. And what’s my follow up? All the things that have to do with an investigation and how I make my case stronger. That’s what I want to do.

Yeardley:  But what do you do on your days off in terms of selfcare?

Zibby:  Yeah. Do you get reflexology, [Yeardley laughs] craniosacral therapy?

Dan:  I lose golf balls in the woods, not purposely [Yeardley laughs]

Dave:  Dan and I have a boat that we share that is really good because it also happens to be at a lake with really bad cell phone service. One day out of each weekend that I have, I have a day where I just turn my brain off. I don’t do anything. I sleep, catch up, and just take care of myself, not worrying about all the other responsibilities that I have. I try not to work or write reports on that day. I try to put it all away. That works sometimes.

Yeardley:  Awesome.

Zibby:  Mani-pedi.


Dave:  I have a masseuse also. Her name’s Lori.

Yeardley:  Oh.

Dave:  it’s not one of those massages where you’re like, “Oh, my God, this is so relaxing.”

Zibby:  It’s like she beats your muscles up. [Yeardley laughs]

Dave:  Yeah, it’s painful, but when you’re done, you’re like, “Oh, thank you.”

Zibby:  Love those. Those are the best. Cool questions. Thanks, Small Town Fam.

Yeardley:  Thanks, Small Town Fam.


Dave:  Thank you.

Dan:  That was awesome.

Yeardley:  Well, Small Town Fam, you asked and we answered. And you know what? It was really fun.

Zibby:  Yeah, it was fun. And if you guys had fun listening to this episode, let us know on the social medias, and we’ll do another round of these next season. As always, thanks for listening, guys.

Yeardley:  Nobody’s better than you.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Zibby:  Bye.

Yeardley:  Bye.

 Small Town Dicks is produced by Zibby Allen and Yeardley Smith for Paperclip Limited.

Zibby:  This minisode was edited by Soren Begin, Logan Heftel, Yeardley Smith, and Zibby Allen.

Yeardley:  Music for the show was composed by John Forest. Our associate producer is Erin Gaynor, and our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

Zibby:  If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, consider visiting us at

Yeardley:  And feel free to subscribe to us on YouTube to see trailers for past and forthcoming episodes.


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