ESPN To Air New Investigative Documentary About Lauren McCluskey

Mar 22, 2023, 8:42 AM

Utah Utes - Lauren McCluskey...

Utah's Lauren McCluskey, runs Aug. 30, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah. McCluskey, 21, was the University of Utah student who was killed Monday night, Oct. 22, 2018. (Courtesy of Steve C. Wilson)

(Courtesy of Steve C. Wilson)

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s been nearly four and a half years since Utah track and field star Lauren McCluskey was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend on the University of Utah campus.

It was a story that sent shockwaves not only through the state of Utah, but an entire country and for good reason. The more the story was investigated, the more institutional shortcomings were brought to light, not only at Utah, but across the country when it comes to dealing with stalking and domestic/dating violence among students.

ESPN is set to air an all-new look into the McCluskey case with new revelations and information as to what went wrong when Lauren begged campus police for help. “Listen” will debut on ESPN+ and ESPN+ on Hulu on Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

20/20 will also air a supplemental two-hour report on the documentary on Friday, March 31 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Let Her Light Shine: Remembering Lauren McCluskey

Lauren was a track and field athlete for the Utes and in her senior season when her life was cruelly ended. Lauren’s mother, Jill McCluskey, remembers her daughter as kind and able to befriend anyone from the “popular” kids, down to special needs kids and everyone in between. Lauren was an advocate for animals, a good student, and loved to sing.

“She was sort of an ideal daughter,” Jill recalled of her daughter. “She was a student-athlete and earned a scholarship to compete on the track team at the U. She was a scholar athlete- her GPA was a 3.77 and she was about to graduate. She cared about her friends and enjoyed hanging out with them. She loved animals and volunteered at the Humane Society to help socialize cats, so they were more adoptable.”

Jill says as she was growing up and coming of age, she was lucky enough to have not had an abusive situation like her daughter. The learning curve of just how common what her daughter went through has been immense for her and her drive to get campuses to adopt “Lauren’s Promise”.

“I didn’t understand the seriousness and how common it actually is before we lost Lauren,” Jill said. “I’ve definitely become aware of that, and I’ve had a number of young women come up to me and say they were in that situation and hearing Lauren’s story gave them the courage to get out- away from the abusive partner. I’ve also heard from a lot of moms who have told me- have asked for advice on how to get their daughter out of that situation. You understand how common it is.”

In order to raise more awareness for dating violence and stalking, Jill has gone to what Lauren loved best- running (or walking). Jill has also been pushing “Lauren’s Promise” as a way for people to be more mindful when someone comes to them for help.

“We’ve had over 100 memorial awareness walks and they are usually in October around the date of Lauren’s murder,” Jill said. “We also have done some races for campus safety. We’ve done one every year at Washington State University, we’re doing our first one in Salt Lake on Saturday. Our most successful initiative has been expanding the adoption of ‘Lauren’s Promise’. Lauren’s Promise is- I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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ESPN To Air New Investigative Documentary About Lauren McCluskey