Why True Crime?Jul 30, 2021
As I write this, there are over 48 million podcast episodes out there. A good chunk of those are on the topic of true crime. So why did I think the world needed another true crime podcast? Because I couldn’t find any that combined true crime with the Christian faith.
If I was going to put in the time it takes to consistently put out quality content, I wanted to use that time to feed both my interest in true crime and my calling as a Christian to serve people. There had to be a way to blend these two passions in my life, and I wasn’t going to stop until I found it!
It didn’t hurt that I also have the fairly unique perspective of a licensed private investigator. I learned from watching some amazing victims and their families struggle with the fact that they needed much more support than I could give by myself. So I created The Unlovely Truth, which gives me a great excuse to talk with experts and other people with real life true crime experiences and ask them what needs they see in their work and how they think regular, everyday people can fill them. Now I get the privilege to serve my listeners by sharing the information and opportunities that I hadn’t been able to find when I was starting out.
I know that the idea of engaging with true crime content is one thing, and the aftermath of actual crimes is quite another! I want you to know that you don’t have to be a PI, a lawyer, or case worker to be able to make a real difference in victims’ lives. Even when we are talking about a murder case, there are still living victims - the family and friends of the victim whose lives will never be the same.
As believers, I think we have a special calling to this type of work. Consider what we can learn from the book of Job. Though quite poetical, it’s considered to be wisdom literature. Though the author is unknown, it’s clearly an attempt to explain the unexplainable - why did Job have to lose everything that he treasured? Ultimately, I think the answer to the “why” question is that we are asking the wrong question.
I think the question we need to be asking is this: is our faith strong enough that when something incomprehensible happens, we will still trust that God loves us, and that He alone can satisfy our every need? If we believe that deep down in our bones, how can we not share that?
Let’s be clear - I am not suggesting that a tragedy gives us reign to proselytize to grieving strangers. What I am saying is that it gives us a unique chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It puts us in places to show people what the love of Christ looks like. They may not recognize it as that right away, and that’s okay. If we are obedient to our call to help, then God will do the heavy lifting in their hearts - and ours.
Service doesn’t just change the ones being served. It helps us see others the way God sees them: as His dearly loved children. Like he sees us.
If you’ve read this far (and thank you!) then you are ready for some practical things you can do to support victims and their families, right? Here are just a few of the really easy ones:
Comment on and share social media posts. Especially when a case has gone cold, or it's a missing persons case, families will use social media to generate tips. It really does mean so much to them if you comment that they are in your prayers and that you have shared their post and hope that it causes someone with information to come forward.
Leave a positive review on a victim-centric podcast and then share that podcast with your friends. You wouldn’t believe how much that helps podcasters expand their reach, which then gets the word out about cases that need attention, and great organizations that are doing their part to help.
Donate to a well regarded advocacy focused non-profit organization like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
There are so many more, and I highlight new ideas and organizations every week on my podcast. The best way for me to help more families is by convincing people like you to join a community of service in the true crime world. And now, I want to grow that community into a team - a team that gets out of the audience and into the action through service. I will show you what I’ve learned that has changed my life. It will change your life too.
I will never forget one of my early podcast guests. She had been through what no parent ever should - the loss of a child by what she and many others believed to be murder. As the years passed, she continued to advocate for her own child, but also for other families who have gone through things similar to what she has.
As we talked, I had a question that I knew I needed to ask her, but I was terrified that by asking it I might compound her trauma. I prayed and searched for the right words to use to find out if the work she did with victims was hard to do given that she was a victim herself. Didn’t working day after day with people experiencing the worst days of their lives bring back the pain of hers?
Even though I couldn’t see her as we chatted by phone, I could feel her smiling as she simply said “It heals my heart.” That statement did a lot of healing on my heart too. Working the cases that I do and touching on tough topics on the podcast can take a toll.
That’s another reason that it’s so important for us to work as a TEAM! As we try to build up and serve others, we need someone to build up and serve us as well. If you’ve ever flown in a plane, you know that part of the safety talk (or song as one hilarious flight crew I flew with used) is where they tell you that if the oxygen masks drop, PUT YOUR OWN ON FIRST. You can’t help anyone else if you go down for the count.
My mentor in the PI business has a very unique team-centered model for solving cases, so I guess it’s to be expected that I want my podcast to be something of a team sport. What I like most about this team I’m trying to build is that everybody makes the cut!
You already have the skills you need to start making a difference today. Join our community by subscribing to the podcast, following The Unlovely Truth on Facebook and Instagram, and joining my email list. That way, you’ll be up with the latest, and you’ll have a chance to share your thoughts with people just like you who love true crime, love people, and want to make a difference for victims.
Looking for more wonderful stories? Or just looking for more ways to get into the action yourself? Check out my resources page for more information.
Get updates on my story right to your inbox, along with suggestions for how you can get out of the audience and into the action!