Was It a Crime? The Terrifying Story of ‘Operation Fireball’ in Denver
True crime podcasts don't shy away from Colorado. You're likely familiar with recountings of infamous Centennial State criminals like Chris Watts or Patrick Frazee — but have you heard the terrifying story of Denver's "Operation Fireball?"
The case debuted on an episode of Something Was Wrong and gained national attention on the Crime Junkie podcast. Here's what happened.
When a date in Denver goes wrong
According to Crime Junkie, the incident occured in 2013 when a new Denver resident named Jez met a man named Jordan on the dating website Plenty of Fish.
The two had planned to arrive separately at the Old Chicago in downtown Denver, but Jordan texted Jez to let her know he was running late, telling her to sit at the bar and order two Fireball shots.
When Jez was waiting for Jordan, another man at the bar started chatting with her. She talked with him for a while before deciding she needed to check back in with her date.
But when Jez called him, she discovered something strange — Jordan's phone number didn't exist.
A kind encounter turns creepy
Crime Junkie reports that after Jez realized she had been stood up, she agreed to have a drink with the other man at the bar.
After a while, Jez excused herself to go to the bathroom — and that's when the evening took a turn.
The Old Chicago waitress followed Jez into the bathroom and informed her that the man at the bar regularly came to the restaurant, seduced stood-up women with two Fireball shots, and went home with them.
The server asserted that the man had a routine, telling Jez he had brought her there on purpose and that her original date with Jordan had been a ruse.
When Jez returned from the bathroom and started ignoring the man's advances, he grew pushy and angry with her. Thankfully, he eventually accepted her rejection and left her in the safety of restaurant staff.
But what did it all mean?
The mystery of Denver's "Operation Fireball"
Although Jez never saw the man again, Crime Junkie host Ashley Flowers speculated that the incident may have been part of a possible Denver-area sex trafficking scheme; however, others think it was a bizarre attempt at flirtation or a non-story.
Since no crime technically occurred, law enforcement couldn't get involved with the case, which remains a mystery to this day.
True Urban Mysteries notes that the man only visited Denver's Old Chicago once more after he met with Jez. We may never know the truth behind "Operation Fireball."