Martinko investigator subject of new 'Inside Cedar Rapids' podcast

Consultant has six-month contract to produce, edit podcast

Cedar Rapids Police Investigator Matt Denlinger will be the next guest on the #x201c;Inside Cedar Rapids#x201d; podcast.
Cedar Rapids Police Investigator Matt Denlinger will be the next guest on the “Inside Cedar Rapids” podcast. Above, he shares a picture of the man suspected of murdering Michelle Martinko at a news conference on May 16 announcing new technology that would be used in the investigation of a decades-old murder. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — One of the key investigators involved in a recently closed 39-year-old cold case will be featured in a new Cedar Rapids podcast expected to be released early next week.

Matt Denlinger, a Cedar Rapids Police Department investigator, played a role in the arrest in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko, whose body was found in 1979 in her parents’ 1972 Buick Electra in the Westdale Mall parking lot.

Absent a weapon and fingerprints, detectives leaned on modern science and technology, including DNA genetic genealogical research, to zero in on Jerry Lynn Burns, 64, who was charged with first degree murder late last year.

“The podcast will talk to him a little more about what it’s like to work on cold cases, what motivates him, how technology has changed how he does his job, and how the public can help,” said Maria Johnson, the city’s communications division manager who’s been involved in the effort.

The case has not yet gone to trial, so the interview does not delve into the details of the case.

The podcast is the second installment in a new monthly audio series called “Inside Cedar Rapids.” The podcast series will feature interviews with city staff, who will provide an “insider’s perspective” on a variety of topics within their area of expertise that goes beyond what is offered through city newsletters and other channels of communication.

The new initiative is an attempt to “foster conversation and bring the workings of the city closer to your neighborhood by highlighting the people, projects and programs of the local city government.”

The hope is to provide valuable insight on what the city does to help the general public, Johnson said.


“With the growing popularity of podcasts, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share information with residents, and help them get to know some of the people who work for them each day,” Johnson said.

Public Works Director Jen Winter was interviewed in the first episode, which was released last month and covered spring flooding, flood control and how her team responds to flood scares.

Bill Klaproth served as “pod-host.” He works for a third-party agency called Doctor Podcasting by RadioMD.

The city hired Amperage, a Cedar Rapids marketing firm, to serve as consultant for the project. The contract run from March 1 to Aug. 31 and is valued at $6,900, or $1,150 per episode.

The “Inside Cedar Rapids” podcast is available at and on iTunes and other podcast services.

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