10 episodes

In August of 1996, longtime friends on the verge of adulthood - Zachary Snarr and Yvette Rodier - headed into the mountains a few miles from their Salt Lake City homes, where they planned to spend the evening taking pictures of the rising full moon. But a 19-year-old stranger carrying a gun happened across them, changing dozens of lives with one fateful decision.

The crime sent shockwaves through the community that continued to reverberate long after the media turned its attention to other tragedies. But no one expected what came next - The Letter.

From KSL Podcasts (Cold), Lemonada Media (Believe Her) and Workhouse Media.

The Letter Lemonada

    • True Crime
    • 4.4 • 687 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

In August of 1996, longtime friends on the verge of adulthood - Zachary Snarr and Yvette Rodier - headed into the mountains a few miles from their Salt Lake City homes, where they planned to spend the evening taking pictures of the rising full moon. But a 19-year-old stranger carrying a gun happened across them, changing dozens of lives with one fateful decision.

The crime sent shockwaves through the community that continued to reverberate long after the media turned its attention to other tragedies. But no one expected what came next - The Letter.

From KSL Podcasts (Cold), Lemonada Media (Believe Her) and Workhouse Media.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Every Parent's Nightmare

    Every Parent's Nightmare

    On Zach Snarr’s last day alive, he got up early to help his father at work, he cleaned the kitchen for his mother and he made his sister laugh. But on August 28, 1996, the 18-year-old never came home from his date with Yvette Rodier at a reservoir outside of Salt Lake City. Instead, two police officers and a chaplain came to ring the bell. It was every parent’s nightmare, a devastating loss that rocked a community and shattered lives. But Zach’s mother, Sy Snarr, finds hope from a most unlikely place and it comes in the form of a weekly phone call.

    Get more information and photos on our website, theletterpodcast.com.

    Researched and reported by Amy Donaldson Written by Amy Donaldson and Andrea Smardon Production and sound design by Andrea Smardon Mixing by Trent Sell Special thanks to Nina Earnest, Becky Bruce, KellieAnn Halvorsen, Ryan Meeks, Ben Kuebrich, Josh Tilton and Dave Cawley Main musical score composed by Allison Leyton Brown With KSL Podcasts Executive Producer Sheryl Worsley For Lemonada Media, Executive Producers Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs And Executive Producers Paul Anderson and Nick Panella with WorkHouse Media. The Letter is produced by KSL Podcasts and Lemonada Media in association with WorkHouse Media. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min
    The Survivor

    The Survivor

    Yvette Rodier was shot several times by a stranger as she and her good friend Zach set up a camera to take pictures of the moon. She describes how she survived, including dragging herself several hundred feet over rough terrain to get to a road and flag down help. That night was devastating. But even after such a terrifying experience, Yvette holds out hope for how she can reclaim her life.

    Get more information and photos on our website, theletterpodcast.com.

    Researched and reported by Amy Donaldson Written by Amy Donaldson and Andrea Smardon Production and sound design by Andrea Smardon Mixing by Trent Sell Special thanks to Nina Earnest, Becky Bruce, KellieAnn Halvorsen, Ryan Meeks, Ben Kuebrich, Josh Tilton, Dave Cawley and Ed Brass. Main musical score composed by Allison Leyton Brown With KSL Podcasts Executive Producer Sheryl Worsley For Lemonada Media, Executive Producers Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs And Executive Producers Paul Anderson and Nick Panella with WorkHouse Media. The Letter is produced by KSL Podcasts and Lemonada Media in association with WorkHouse Media.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    A Gun and a Death Wish

    A Gun and a Death Wish

    Police begin to put the pieces together and capture the 19 year old man who shot Zach and Yvette. Detectives make discoveries about what happened in the life of Jorge Benvenuto in the weeks before he bought a gun. Friends and family tell of a depressed, angry young man who’d been a victim of crime himself. Police track him down, in part because he calls and confesses what happened to a friend. Get more information and photos on our website, theletterpodcast.com.

    Researched and reported by Amy DonaldsonWritten by Amy Donaldson and Andrea SmardonProduction and sound design by Andrea SmardonMixing by Trent Sell Special thanks to Nina Earnest, Becky Bruce, KellieAnn Halvorsen, Ryan Meeks, Ben Kuebrich, Josh Tilton and Dave Cawley. Main musical score composed by Allison Leyton BrownWith KSL Podcasts Executive Producer Sheryl WorsleyFor Lemonada Media, Executive Producers Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels WachsAnd Executive Producers Paul Anderson and Nick Panella with WorkHouse Media. The Letter is produced by KSL Podcasts and Lemonada Media in association with WorkHouse Media. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    A Death Sentence Waiting to Happen

    A Death Sentence Waiting to Happen

    At age 19 and just a few months older than the teens he shot, Jorge Benvenuto faces the possibility of a death sentence. As his court-appointed attorneys fight to save his life, the families of the victims struggle with what justice might look like. Get more information and photos on our website, theletterpodcast.com.

    Researched and reported by Amy DonaldsonWritten by Amy Donaldson and Andrea SmardonProduction and sound design by Andrea SmardonMixing by Trent Sell Special thanks to Nina Earnest, Becky Bruce, KellieAnn Halvorsen, Ryan Meeks, Ben Kuebrich, Josh Tilton and Dave Cawley. Main musical score composed by Allison Leyton BrownWith KSL Podcasts Executive Producer Sheryl WorsleyFor Lemonada Media, Executive Producers Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels WachsAnd Executive Producers Paul Anderson and Nick Panella with WorkHouse Media. The Letter is produced by KSL Podcasts and Lemonada Media in association with WorkHouse Media. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    Season 1 Bonus: Why Revisit a 26-Year-Old Crime?

    Season 1 Bonus: Why Revisit a 26-Year-Old Crime?

    Due to popular demand, Episode 3 was dropped early for your binging pleasure. Before we return to our regular weekly episode releases next Tuesday, this week, host Amy Donaldson explains why she pursued this case in the first place, and what can be learned by looking at the last day of an 18-year-old murder victim’s life.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 20 min
    PREMIUM EPISODE 1: Why revisit a 26 year-old crime?

    PREMIUM EPISODE 1: Why revisit a 26 year-old crime?

    Amy Donaldson has been asked a few times why she decided to tell the story of The Letter - What good comes from reliving the pain caused by a random act of violence 26 years ago? Amy answers that question and a few others during a speaking engagement she was invited to give at a church. She explains what can be learned by looking at the last day of an 18 year-old murder victim and tells us why she pursued this story for nearly four years.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
687 Ratings

687 Ratings

Itter's ,

Unbelievable!

I’m in shock and awe at this story! I was in high school in Utah when this happened and I don’t remember the story. Thank you Amy for bringing this to life for us all.

Alwellborn ,

Some production/editing issues

WHAT is with all the super long pauses?! I can’t tell you how many times while listening I thought my phone died or the download had failed. It got distracting to the point that I gave up.

MissGinger13 ,

Religious

Masquerading as a podcast that doesn’t have a religious agenda.

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