The Purpose

Part Time P.I. is a blog dedicated to short dives into unsolved mysteries. The conceptualization for this blog was born out of necessity as an assignment for George Washington University’s #SMPASocial class, and is written by a student in that class. During a time in which much of culture and media is focused on politics and controversy, this blog is meant to encourage readers to always seek truth, even if not seeped in political leanings.

At the foundation of any investigation, criminal or otherwise, is a commitment to the pursuit of truth. In an era when some find merit in “alternative” facts and fabricated news stories are rampant, this commitment is more important than ever. 

The Method

New case investigations will be posted weekly. There is no certain criteria that determines which case is investigated – it is up to the discretion of the author or suggestions from readers.

For each post, the author will give herself exactly one hour to conduct research into the case online. After one hour, the author will write up a post about the case, present the key three to four pieces of evidence, and offer a theory as to what she thinks happens.

Additionally, some other posts – such as class assignments, memes, or “blog challenges” may appear. These are done for class credit, so bear with any silliness that may ensue.

Comments, suggestions, and conspiracy theories are welcome.

About the Author


Lauren Shiplett is a graduating senior at George Washington University studying communication and international affairs. Originally from Mebane, North Carolina, Lauren has always been a crime buff from the moment she learned how to read.

Outside of her fascination with crime, Lauren is passionate about the intersection of news media, communications, and audience engagement. She has previously worked with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the U.S. Department of State, and NPR. She is currently interning at the Washington D.C. bureau of CNN. You can learn more about her professional history and skills on her website.

If you would like to contact Lauren, you can do so through the website contact form. Follow Lauren on Twitter at @LaurenShiplett.