‘Whodunnit?’ SC native hopes to find out, get rich

The (Hilton Head) Island PacketJune 23, 2013 

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Sasha Horne

CRAIG SJODIN — ABC

Sasha Horne had long dreamed of being on a reality TV show.

But not the ones focused on promiscuity, scandal and social status. Instead Horne’s competitive nature drew her to shows like “Amazing Race” and “Road Rules Challenge.”

Last year, she saw an online ad asking:

“Are you a budding Sherlock Holmes looking to put your amateur crime-solving skills to the test?”

“Do you always figure out the ending before everybody else?”

“Have you always seen yourself as the main character in novels?”

Answering yes to all, Horne had found her show.

Horne, a Beaufort native and 2001 Beaufort High School graduate, is a contestant on the ABC murder-mystery summer series “Whodunnit?” which premiered Sunday night. The 13 contestants are competing for a $250,000 cash prize.

Horne, 28, lives in Washington and has worked as a journalist for the past seven years. She graduated from high school at 16, from the College of Charleston at 20, and went on to earn a master’s in journalism from Georgetown University.

“This show is all about being smart,” Horne said. “I felt like it was the perfect fit for me because it was a chance to use my intelligence to solve crimes.”

After seeing the ad, Horne sent in an email describing herself.

“I really tried to play up the fact that I’m a really competitive person,” she said.

She had a phone interview followed by a video interview. For the final round of the selection process, she was flown out to Los Angeles where she met with show’s creators who let the potential contestants know if they were on the show.

“It was really dramatic, finding out I was selected,” Horne said. “They called you in one-by-one. You didn’t know what was going to be said.”

And when the good news came, “I was beyond excited,” she said.

Growing up, Horne loved reading mystery books, her favorites from “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” mystery series. Her family regularly held game nights, and Horne was an avid “Clue” board game player. Scarlet was her favorite character.

As a journalist, Horne’s reporting has primary focused on politics and government. But as a reporter for WNCT, a TV station in Greenville, N.C., she covered a lot of crime in the area, including the case of Derrick Best who was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” for the murder of a 5-year-old girl.

“I (felt) like being a journalist did give me a competitive edge because I have been on crime scenes before — right alongside the police officers, right aloneside the detectives, the SWAT team,” Horne said. “A couple instances, I was the first on the scene for breaking news.”

“I know what questions to ask, and I know how to read people.”

Horne is also a longtime “CSI” fan, whose creator is behind “Whodunnit?”

“I’ve always really been into forensics,” Horne said. “I just thought this was the perfect mix.”

The show has already been filmed, and Horne said that going in, her strategy was to find an ally and keep an open mind. And through her experience, Horne has learned to never let an opportunity pass you up.

“Take risks. Never write things off,” Horne said. “So many people think, ‘Oh, that looks cool but I could never do that.’ But you could.

“Who would have thought a little ad online would have turned into this major opportunity?”

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