Nancy Hixt’s ‘Crime Beat’ podcast brings true crime stories to Curiouscast
Taking a deep dive from traditional television and online stories, Global Calgary’s crime reporter Nancy Hixt is bringing her more than 20 years of experience and expertise to the airwaves with a new podcast: Crime Beat.
The unique true crime podcast shares never-before-heard details about crimes dating back two decades. Many people in Alberta and beyond may remember hearing about these high-profile cases, but not with this level of detail.
“I’ve always wanted to tell stories in a longer, more in-depth way,” Hixt says.
“In a two-minute television news story, there’s no way that we can cram all of those details in. So every story that I cover, there’s so much behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on that we can never really get across to viewers on the news.”
Hixt said part of the passion behind the project was to give the families of the victims of the crimes she reports a platform to share how the trauma and loss has impacted their lives.
“People always talk about closure — there is no closure. Ever,” Hixt said. “That is probably the most misused word out there.”
Hixt said in Episode 1, listeners will hear how the family of six-year-old Meika Jordan, who was killed in November 2011, has carried on since her death, including her little brother who was present when she was killed.
“The family shared some very special details with me including a song,” Hixt said. “You’ll hear the song that Meika’s little brother sings for her and your heart is going to melt. I get kind of choked up even listening to it.”View link »
The man at the centre of Episode 2 — who Hixt said has “literally dodged a bullet twice” — is someone who, 20 years after being the victim of a crime, still carries the trauma of what happened to him throughout his life.
“When I take you back 20 years, I can tell you when I did the interview with this man, talking about what he experienced 20 years ago. It was like this switch went off and he, in his mind, went back 20 years,” Hixt said. “He broke down. The emotion, it doesn’t go away. Those feelings don’t go away.”View link »
Throughout the podcast, Hixt said listeners will also get a glimpse of how the difficult and often horrific stories she covers as a reporter have had an impact on her own life.
“Some of the stuff that I see, it’s awful,” Hixt said. “And I am pretty open, especially in Episode 1, about how that impacted me.
“I’ve had nightmares about that case. I’ve seen photos I wish I’d never seen. It sticks with you. So imagine how much more that sticks with the family who experienced it.”
She said keeping some of those relationships with victims’ families has made her a more compassionate reporter.
Variety of crime stories
Hixt revisits a number of crimes dating back to the start of her career at a small television station in central Alberta — some cases have been solved and concluded, others remain cold cases.
“In the next little while, two of the episodes are dedicated to a case that I’ve worked on for a really, really, really long time and it remains unsolved.”
Listeners will get an inside look at how the court process works, from obtaining exhibits and court documents to how Hixt found and established relationships with victims’ families.
“In each episode, there’s exclusive, new information that hasn’t been released previously,” Hixt said.
“It’s very much pushing these forward and, how are these people doing now? Or, is there new information that we can release? In every case, you’re going to learn something that you didn’t hear previously watching the news.”
She said diving so deep into the stories required months of research and fact-checking, especially when it came to older stories where historical records, court documents and old television stories aren’t readily available.
“[I want to] take you completely on the journey that I go on when I’m out covering a specific case,” Hixt said.
Each of Crime Beat’s one-hour episodes will look at a different case, from murders to sexual assaults to home invasions — all of which have had a lasting impact on the victims themselves or the ones left behind to pick up the pieces.
Watch below: the Meika Jordan case
“This is a way of just going so much more in-depth. It’s like you’ll get to almost feel what people were feeling at that time. You’re going to hear what I heard,” Hixt said.
Episodes 1 and 2 of Crime Beat will be released on Tuesday, with a new episode coming out every two weeks. You can download and subscribe to Crime Beat for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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