Gabby Petito’s story sparks a major shift in the future of true crime after web investigators had tremendous involvement in the case, says PI

A NEW film documenting Gabby Petito’s relationship with Brian Laundrie is setting a new precedent for true crime, a private investigator claims.

Lifetime’s The Gabby Petito Story will be published tomorrow – October 1st – the first day of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie


Gabby Petito and Brian LaundriePhoto credit: Instagram
Skyler Samuels and Evan Hall play the couple


Skyler Samuels and Evan Hall play the coupleCredit: Lifetime
The actors were slammed online


The actors were slammed onlineCredit: Lifetime

The film, which explores the relationship and complications between Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie on their ill-fated 2021 road trip, has been the subject of heavy criticism.

Angry social media users have accused filmmakers of using the vlogger’s murder for “fame and money”.

Private investigator Jason Jensen, who investigated the connection between Laundrie and another murdered couple, believes the film will set a “new precedent” for true-crime productions.

He told The US Sun: “Shows like Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and The Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story talk about the villain.

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“We spend far too much time paying so much attention to the villains and the killers.

“I hope that this is the moment when this is the start of a new trend where we can recognize and appreciate the victims.”

He hopes that at the end of the film there will be a public service announcement (PSA) where victims of domestic violence can call a toll-free number for help.

Jensen said that content creators and web detectives were “instrumental” in helping police officers solve the case.

Petito’s family did not give the producers permission to produce the film.

Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, confirmed to The US Sun that the family had no involvement.

Jensen warned, “If they (the producers) didn’t get permission, some will think it’s shameful or that they’re trying to capitalize on this bad story.

“But they will have a large audience that will see it.”

A trailer that previewed the film earlier this month was dubbed “horrible” and “disgusting” by viewers.

In the clip, actress Skyler Samuels, who plays Gabby, tells her friends how Brian becomes “like a complete stranger.”

Laundrie – played by Evan Hall – is then seen arguing with Gabby in a restaurant, throwing objects from the dining table.

It sparked an angry backlash online:

One Twitter user commented, “It hasn’t even been a year since Gabby Petito passed away and life is already making a movie about her.”

Another added: “As someone who is very interested in true crime, I am concerned about The Gabby Petito Story. Did your family approve of the film?


“Also, the story they portray is pure speculation. Not to mention how recently this happened?

“Just looks like they’re using Gabby’s murder as a money robbery.”

And one said: “The fact that they’re turning Gabby Petito’s story into a movie so quickly is really disgusting.”

“The fact that Gabby Petito’s story has already been made into a lifetime movie is horrific,” added another.

One viewer simply wrote, “Gosh, way too soon.”

And another said: “Lifetime made a film about Gabby Petito and I hate that real life tragedy is reduced to it.

“These are random people, not random characters.”

Jensen believes the interest in the Petito case stems from when she and Laundrie were stopped in a traffic stop in Moab, Utah on August 12 last year.

He had worked the case involving the deaths of Utah couple Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte that same year in the same city.

Sleuths had tried to link the case to Gabby as the couple were in town over the same weekend, but authorities found no link.

He said: “Victims of domestic violence will have looked at the video and seen the signs of a victim protecting their abuser and police completely missed it.

“Domestic violence survivors were shocked. From there it escalated. The interest increased to the point of fever.”

Sleuths claimed that Petito gestured for help with the domestic violence hand symbol during the stop.

The gesture involves putting your thumb down and then thumbing it up, which a visibly distraught Gabby appeared to do as she spoke to cops.

Penelope House executive director Toni Ann Torrans told KSAZ in October that she believes Gabby is desperately trying to signal for help.

Jensen investigated the possible connection between Laundrie and the murders of Schulte and Turner.

Schulte and Turner were last seen alive on August 13 – the day after the traffic stop.

Petito and Laundrie reportedly had a heated argument at a Moonflower Co-op where Schulte worked.

The women had told their friends about a man who had allegedly “snuck out” on them.

Jensen now told NewsNation: “Given the fact that they don’t say his name when they describe this guy as a creepy guy, so it’s someone they’re completely unfamiliar with.

“Obviously someone like Brian Laundrie, coming from out of town.”

Petito was last seen in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 24 and her body was found in Grand Teton National Park on September 19.

Coroners revealed that she died of strangulation.

Laundrie’s partial skeletal remains were found at a Florida wildlife sanctuary in October, before coroners confirmed he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

One of his journals, which the FBI examined as part of its investigation, contained a chilling note that read, “I ended her life.”

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“I thought it was gracious that she wanted it, but now I see all the mistakes I made.”

The US Sun has reached out to A&E Networks for comment.

A scene from The Gabby Petito Story


A scene from The Gabby Petito StoryCredit: Lifetime
The Gabby Petito Story details Gabby and Brian's last few weeks before he murdered the vlogger


The Gabby Petito Story details Gabby and Brian’s last few weeks before he murdered the vloggerCredit: Lifetime

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues addressed in this story, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or chat at Gabby Petito’s story sparks a major shift in the future of true crime after web investigators had tremendous involvement in the case, says PI


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