Best True-Crime Podcasts of 2019 - Blood, Sweat and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance (Q&A)
Nominated BEST TRUE-CRIME PODCAST at British Podcast Awards 2018 and iTunes Top 50. Subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher and all podcast platform.
Hey avid true-crime podcast listeners! If you're dribbling and drooling insatiably for the very latest true-crime podcast to get your chops into, you're in luck. On this blog, every week, I will be posting a Q&A by some of the best true-crime podcasters out-there. This week, it's the turn of the fabulous Eve Lazarus, reporter, best-selling author and independent podcaster of the amazing Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance.
Michael's thoughts: If you're a true-crime fan and a history nut, I highly recommend Blood, Sweat & Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, written and presented by reporter and best-selling author writer of Murder by Milkshake, Eve Lazarus. Not only is it insightful, well-conceived and beautifully produced, but if you love story-telling and true-crime history, then this is a must. Anyone who knows me knows I'm slightly obsessed with Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the father of forensic science, but this opened my eyes to a new world as this is the true story of Inspector Vance, a pioneer of forensic science in Canada. Eve's podcast is written, researched and presented with a lot of love and care, so I strongly recommend you give it a listen. Mx
Q & A with Eve from Blood, Sweat and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance
How did you get into true-crime podcasting?.
It seemed like a natural extension of my true crime/history book Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s first forensic investigator It was a way to keep the story going and to reach a different audience. Now I’m totally obsessed with creating and listening to podcasts.
What podcasts (true-crime or not) inspire you?
I love long-form true crime podcasts like Dirty John and Teacher’s Pet that do great reporting while telling a compelling story. My latest book Murder by Milkshake: an astonishing true story of adultery, arsenic and a charismatic killer, has been optioned for movie/television and documentary, and I’d eventually like to turn it into a long form podcast.
What was your first episode and why was it an important story to tell?
My first episode was The Mysterious Disappearance of Clara Millard: and takes place in 1914. Jack Kong was a 16-year-old Chinese house boy who worked for the Millards’ in Vancouver’s West End. One morning, Jack got up, made porridge for Clara Millard, killed her, hacked up her body, and burned it in the furnace. It was the first time my Inspector Vance worked for police when he was brought in to examine the blood found at the crime scene. And, while the story was incredible, it was fascinating for me to research because it put racism into a historical context and takes us through early Chinatown, a “third degree” police inquisition, and the eventual trial.
What’s the most obscure true-crime fact you know?
That the BC Coroner’s office currently has 181 cases of unidentified remains dating back to 1947.
Which piece of research are you most pleased with?
The hero of Blood, Sweat, and Fear is Inspector Vance, one of the first forensic scientists in North America, certainly the first to be attached to a police department. He retired in 1949 and died in 1965, and there was little information available about him. I tracked down his grandchildren, begged them to look for anything they may have kept of his, and eventually turned up seven cardboard boxes full of case notes, crime scene photographs, autopsy results, trial transcripts, his diary, and even forensic samples—hair and gravel that was found at a crime scene. These boxes hadn’t been opened for over half-a-century. It was an incredible find and really added to the richness of the stories.
Which case has been the biggest joy or headache to cover and why?
The murder of Jennie Eldon Conroy in 1944. Jennie was a war worker who was beaten to death and dumped outside a cemetery. After her death, the police leaked to the media that she was an unwed mother and the press brutalized her, basically blaming her for her own murder. She was an amazing woman, and it was wonderful to set the record straight. During the course of my research, I found Jennie’s niece in Vancouver and her daughter in New Zealand, who was then 71. Mary and Debbie helped me write the story, and show the impact of a murder on the family even after several decades. Now the story is about Jennie, and not just her murder.
If you had a time-machine, which murder would you love to witness simply so you could say “oh, that’s what happened?”
The murder of the two brothers whose skeletons were found in Stanley Park in 1953. It has always been thought that their mother was responsible. I’d like to find out if that was true, but more importantly, I’d like to give them back their names. They are just known as “The Babes in the Woods,” they have never been identified.
Why should new listeners give your podcast a try?
I’m a reporter, and I take a deep dive into the story behind every podcast, and wherever possible, double source everything. As well as newspaper morgues and archives, I get the inquests, vital statistics, and talk to everyone involved in the case. That could be police detectives, lawyers, forensic psychologists, coroner, doctors and toxicologists, but more importantly I talk to the families, friends and former colleagues of the victims. My focus is always on the victim, and as much as possible, I try to give them back their voice.
Blood, Sweat, and Fear is a 12-episode podcast. I’m now in the planning stages of creating a podcast based on my book Cold Case Vancouver: The City’s most baffling unsolved murders .
A big thank you to Eve for taking part in this True-Crime Podcaster Q & A. Don't forget to check out her podcast and website. To explore this fine true-crime podcast further, click on the links. .
Stay safe my friends
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tor of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British podcast Awards 2018", and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk
Such a good book, and such a good interview. Mike, you might be interested in checking out this other podcast, specifically on Sir Bernard: Spilsburyhttps://shedunnitshow.com. You've got a fun site, wishing you well in all future creative endeavours.
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Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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