The Making of a Podcast Episode

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Due to my current workload, I’ve been working on producing new episodes my true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas, every other week. I have a notebook where I keep my ideas for topics, and I have an e-mail account set up where listeners can send in suggestions. I check to see what national holidays are coming up. For my most recent episode, I wondered if there were any missing persons cases or true crimes that took place near Valentine’s Day. When I went back to my list of ideas, I noticed there was an unsolved murder from Asheville, North Carolina, from February 14, 1987. I penciled in that case for the week of Valentine’s Day this year in my project management software and began researching. 

One of the investments I’ve made for my podcast is a premium membership to It has been well worth the money I paid for it because it features more than 834 million pages of historical newspapers. Once I began researching the Valentine’s Day abduction/murder of a young woman named Pamela Murray from a shopping mall, I realized another victim had been linked to the same killer. Reading the news reports in chronological order, I could see the suspect had been lingering at this same mall for several days in a row, exposing himself to one woman in the parking lot and following another into a women’s bathroom. This became the central focus of my episode, along with the reports of how evidence found at two murder scenes linked two women to one suspect. I looked for other news items to include in my script.

There is another well-known case from my state, the disappearance of an 8-year-old named Asha Degree, and she also went missing around Valentine’s Day in 2000. Since I had never covered her before on my podcast I gave a timeline of her case along with recent updates. And since the podcast was about a cold case, I included the arrest of a suspect in a 1984 double homicide from Charlotte, North Carolina. (Genetic genealogy strikes again!) One of the things I enjoy the most about creating my podcast is finding ways to weave various cases like these three all together in one narrative. I’m always on the hunt for stories to share and explore on Missing in the Carolinas. I follow the pages of my local news sites and bookmark posts so I can find them later. Sometimes I’ll be reading an archived newspaper article and scan the page to find something else to jot down in my notebook. Ideas are all around you, if you just keep an open mind and a good place to take notes. 

You can read an abbreviated transcript of the my podcast episode, "Episode 54, The Pamela Murray and Beverly Sherman Cold Cases" here.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and host/producer of the true crime podcast Missing in the Carolinas. She will be hosting a 90-minute webinar, “You Can Start Your Own Podcast!” on March 22. She will share examples of different formats, what kinds of software, subscriptions, and other tools you may need, finding ideas for creating podcasting content, monetization ideas, and how you can repurpose your materials. Learn more about Renee at her podcast website.


Angela Mackintosh said...

Ooh, I've been thinking about subscribing to; it sounds super useful. I started writing a memoir about my time in Vegas, and was researching some of the murders that happened while I lived there. I'll probably opt for the premium when I pick up the project again. But I found that the Vegas PD's website has an unsolved homicide cases database that anyone can look through, complete with description, photos, where they were found, etc. and it goes back to the 70s! I don't know if that's the case with all PDs.

I told Mike you were producing more podcast episodes now and he's stoked! He had listened to all of them and didn't know you were back at it on the regular, so he downloaded all your latest episodes for his drives into town, which is about an hour away. :)

We're sending our markets newsletter in a couple days, and I found a grant for emerging crime fiction writers you'll definitely want to check out! (Emerging being less than 2 books or 10 published fiction stories.)

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