When Yolanda McClary started to appear in the unscripted TV series, Cold Justice in September 2013, she was making a move that would influence her career and popularity in no small way. As a Forensic Scientist and former Crime Scene Investigator with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department for nearly thirty years, McClary has a plethora of cases under her belt ranging from suicides, accidental deaths, to human trafficking and home invasions, her expertise cuts across a startling variety of cases. Little wonder when she hit the scenes on Cold Justice, she left millions of viewers awe-struck. About a decade down the line, there is so much to reveal about the McClary who starred in Cold Justice and the one we know today. Let’s stick with the facts.
Where It All Began For Yolanda McClary
Yolanda McClary was born Yolanda Anna Gonzales on August 20, 1963, in Germany. Although McClary have been quite reticent about sharing details around her immediate family, siblings, parents or what they did for a living, what’s no secret is, she spent her early years in Nevada, USA, after her family moved there. In 1959, when she was only six, her parents migrated to the United States from Germany. They later settled in Nevada where she grew up and attended school.
Although his name is not known, McClary’s father was a psychologist who served in the German military. And as she would later reveal, he was a major inspiration behind her choice of pursuing a career as a crime investigator.
After high school, McClary proceeded to acquire an Associate of Arts degree from the College of Southern Nevada and then a Diploma in Forensic Science from American Institute of Applied Science.
Her Work As A Forensic Investigator With The LVMPD
Around 1987, she joined the Las Vegas Metro Police Department as a forensic investigator, where she displayed profound skill, diligence and aptitude for her work. She would serve in that capacity for ten years before her promotion to the office of Forensic Specialist. Her skill in matching evidence to criminals was legendary, former colleagues say. McClary spent the next sixteen years investigating crimes scenes and handling cases ranging from suicides, homicides, domestic violence, accidental deaths, arson, vehicle fatalities, robberies, assaults, drug and human trafficking, home invasions, to overdoses. In the course of her career with the LVMPD, she investigated over 7000 crime scenes and cases; with many turning out successful. Such incredible mileage made her the most suitable pick for the big opportunity that came later in her career.
Yolanda McClary’s Stint In The World of Entertainment
It was 2013, and TV producer Dick Wolf had his eyes on a new reality series. Earlier that year, he had chosen a title, Cold Justice. However, to make up the cast, he had to go hunting for the best minds and portfolios to fill the ranks. Then came suggestions for Yolanda McClary. A Forensic Specialist with the LVMPD at the time, she became the preferred choice among other police officers. She was offered a contract to feature as a consultant on TNT’s unscripted true-crime series Cold Justice which premiered on September 3, 2013 and ran on TNT until September 18, 2015.
In Cold Justice, McClary featured as a crime investigator solving over 40 unresolved criminal cases using her wealth of experience and skills. In no time, she became a household name. By the time TNT announced that it would not be renewing the show, it was purchased by Oxygen and McClary got retained. In 2017, after appearing for five seasons, she decided to call it quits to give more time to her family.
Though it launched her into fame, Cold Justice will not be her first shot at prominence. Years earlier, McClary’s life and work formed the inspiration for Catherine Willows’ character on the series, CSI. The role was portrayed by actress Marg Helgenberger.
Asides Cold Justice, other productions also sought McClary’s name and expertise. In early 2018, it was announced that MY Entertainment struck an exclusive development and production deal with her. Per the agreement, MY Entertainment will release financial support for the development and marketing of all McClary’s TV projects.
Topping the list of projects from this agreement would be the true-crime series He’s Still Out There. The series will focus on the unsolved killing of Las Vegas resident Theresa Insan. Years earlier, authorities found Insan’s body in a drainage area after she was strangled to death in her home. He’s Still Out There would deploy bleeding-edge and DNA phenotyping technology to create a near-perfect photo of the murderer’s physical appearance to bring him to justice.
During her period in Cold Justice, it wasn’t only her popularity that flourished. She also saw a huge spike in her net worth.
Unveiling Her Financial Earnings and Net Worth So Far
As of 2020, Yolanda McClary’s net worth is estimated at $1 million. Much of that have come from her 26-year career as a forensic specialist at the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. Though she earned an annual salary of $56,000, sources believe that she earned much more from her contract with TNT on the Cold Justice series. The specifics remain hazy to this day but her earnings within that period saw a dramatic rise. As she puts it, her family comes first and all that money would be of no use if she has no one to share it with. Let’s see who they are.
Yolanda McClary is a Wife and Mother of Two
There’s no doubt that the beautiful redhead has a man in her life. The question, however, is, who is he? After a prolonged rummage through the stacks, sources finally have a name; Michael Kelly McClary. Her tight-lipped demeanor about her personal life leaves us with too scanty details about her family. And so it is not known how they both met and how long they dated each other before tying the knot on September 27, 1990. Their union is blessed with 2 children; a daughter and a son whose names and identities are not known at the moment. In September 2020, the McClarys will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. We wish them well!
Social Media Following
Yolanda McClary maintains a lively social media presence. As of this writing, she has a following of 11.8k, 3.7k and 26k followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook respectively.