Crime reporter Nancy Hixt returns to the airwaves with the second instalment of her true crime Curiouscast podcast, Crime Beat.
Following the huge success of the series’ first season — episodes were downloaded more than 1.3 million times — the Global Calgary reporter promises an even deeper dive inside the darkest corners of some of Canada’s most notorious crimes.
The second season kicks off with two new episodes about one of Canada’s most haunting triple murder cases, followed by episodes released biweekly.
“In Part 2, we share an exclusive interview to explain that the impact often goes way beyond what the victims’ families even feel (and) the far-reaching effects of these kinds of crimes,” Hixt told Global News in a phone interview.
We chatted with Hixt about what got her interested in crime reporting, what listeners can expect in season two and what sets Crime Beat apart from the rest.
Global News: What makes Crime Beat different from other podcasts?
Nancy Hixt: There’s a lot of true crime podcasts out there. I’m a journalist and I’ve been a crime reporter for more than 20 years so there is something to be said for the person who’s actually covered these stories. I’m not just telling the story based off something I’ve read on the internet. I’ve been the one who’s dug up the information along the way, I’ve met the people, the police officers, the detectives and I’ve covered the court cases. I’m telling the stories from my own personal experience. When you’re listening, I’m actually trying to make you feel like you’re riding along with me behind the scenes.
GN: What makes a podcast a unique way to cover what would typically be a television news story?
NH: A lot of times, we really have to condense the information down to be able to give it to you in that two-minute format. People don’t (always) realize I’m knocking on criminals’ doors trying to get answers from them. There’s audio recordings, confession videos and wiretaps.
There’s so much information that we can’t always fit in when we’re telling the story on the news so this gives you a behind-the-scenes look.
GN: What do you hope people take away from each episode of Crime Beat?
NH: I wanted to create a platform to give victims a voice. At the end of listening to an episode, you should feel like you got to know the victims and their families in each case.
I take you back to actually get to know these people. What did they like? Maybe it’s music they listened to … You’ll just get to know a whole range of things. We want to take the focus away from the criminal and put the focus back onto the victims and the people that have been impacted, which are the families of the victims. A lot of times you hear the graphic details of a crime but what’s missing is who loved that person, or who does this impact?
GN: Is there a story this season that you felt especially compelled by?
NH: This one’s hard for me because there’s so many and every single time I deal with a case, I’m dealing with each family. The families who meet me know they can call or text me at any time, any day. I develop a real relationship with these families so I feel grateful that they’ve trusted me with these stories, and they’re trusting me with these memories.
GN: What can listeners expect in Season 2?
NH: (We’ve released) a two-part series on one of the most difficult cases that I’ve ever covered, and the families of the victims called this a real-life horror story. We drove out to B.C. where one of the family members live and spent a whole day with this one woman. Her strength is so inspiring.
The case is a triple murder that happened in the Rocky Mountains and it started with a two-year-old child that went missing, her father was found dead and this community was just shattered. No one could’ve predicted just the horrific things that had taken place. You’re going to hear from people who’ve never spoken publicly before, sometimes, other people who become victims as well.
When you meet the families and you’re able to share their stories. There’s some healing in that for the families, to be able to let people know. It’s almost like you’re leaving this lasting memory on this public platform for people.
You can download and subscribe to Crime Beat for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.