Case 180

Bill Payne & Billie-Jean Hayworth

*** Content Warning: gun violence ***

“This is going to be the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. This is going to be the craziest thing you’ve ever heard. There is nothing in your lives or background that has prepared you to understand the Potter family. You have never seen anybody like them.”

When the bodies of Bill Payne and Billie-Jean Hayworth were discovered in their Mountain City, Tennessee home on January 30 2012, many questions were raised. The young couple had recently been the victims of nasty comments online, and while many residents came to Bill and Billie-Jean’s defence, others had embraced the online vitriol being directed at them. 

What followed was an unbelievable case involving a CIA agent, a secret relationship, and an impressionable local man named Jamie Curd. At the centre of the chaos was the Potter family: ‘Buddy’, Barbara, and their daughter, Jenelle.



Casefile Presents



Research & writing – Eileen Ormsby

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Music – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



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State v Marvin Potter

State v Barbara Potter

State v Jenelle Potter



Too Pretty To Live: The Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee – Dennis Brooks



Police Build Case Around 2 Suspects in Murder of Young Couple – ABC News

20/20 episode “Unfriended” – ABC TV, 2015



Ongoing reporting in The Tomahawk, including daily updates of the trials

Archives of the Topix forums for Mountain City (retrieved via the Wayback Machine)

Jenelle Potter’s Myspace page

Crime scene photos


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