(To close out the year, we’re counting off five of our most-read stories from 2018. Here’s number five. Click here to read number four.)

In July, we were captivated by “The Long Dance,” a then newly-released podcast detailing the investigative efforts surrounding the murders of Patricia Mann and Jesse McBane, a young couple attending college in the Triangle. Much of Sanford was as well.

It’s a fascinating, eight episode look at an unspeakably brutal crime that remains unsolved to this day, and you can listen to it here. It’ll appeal instantly to true crime junkies and those interested in North Carolina alike, but for those in Sanford and Pittsboro, there’s a deeper connection.

Mann hailed from Sanford, and McBane from Pittsboro, and many of their friends and family – multiple of whom are featured at length in the podcast – remain here to this day, still looking for answers. We won’t spoil the podcast for you if you haven’t listened yet, but when you do, you’ll get a look at the couple’s history, the barriers law enforcement faced in solving the crime back in the 1970s, and, most fascinatingly, several possible suspects.

Not long after publishing our review of the podcast, we were humbled to receive a comment from someone very close to the case. David Spivey, who is the owner of Jones Printing in downtown Sanford, the best friend of McBane and the husband of Mann’s first cousin, wrote:

“We are still hopeful that this case will be solved and bring closure to the family and friends. I am learning things about the case that I have never heard before, and I thought that we had heard it all. Pat and Jesse introduced Carolyn and I on a “blind date” in 1969 and were our closest friends. We were devastated when this happened. Since the release of the podcast, some new evidence has been provided by listeners, so the more that this is broadcast, there is a possibility that that final piece of evidence will be found. One of the two main suspects in these murders is still living.”

Because the podcast investigates a decades-old murder, it’ll remain as relevant in 2019 as it was this year. We can’t recommend it enough.

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