Peter McCully chats with Former CBC producer Laura Palmer, who is the host of the podcast, ‘Island Crime,’ now the #1 podcast in Canada on the Apple podcast chart.
During the first four seasons Palmer has told stories that have included Lisa Marie Young’s disappearance, a young woman from Nanaimo who was 21 when she vanished, Amber Manthorne of Port Alberni who went missing in 2022- and 4-year-old Michael Dunahee who went missing from a Victoria Playground.
‘When I first thought about Michael’s story, I thought, what can I possibly bring to this story? It’s more than 30 years old. This has been a huge story that’s been widely covered. What can I bring to it? And then I started talking to people and realized that a tiny fraction of that story had only ever been told because you were talking to the same people all of the time,’ says Palmer. ‘But when I approached the story, I talked to everybody. So, when you get a chance to go into that kind of level of detail and research on a story, inevitably you find more, and I think that’s true for every season that I’ve done so far.’
Season 5 of the podcast has recently been released, it explores the deaths of three people in Whiskey Creek, Halloween Night, 2020.
Palmer says she was approached by the mother of one of the victims who really felt that no one cared about her son dying in this tragic circumstance.
‘When you start talking to family members of victims, it immediately becomes a very different story. Initially when I read the reports, all you heard was two people had been identified and they had extensive criminal pasts. The police were saying nothing to worry about here. This is a targeted thing. There’s no public danger. And I think for a lot of people that might be where it ends, but I’m hoping once they listen to the stories of the victims of Whiskey Creek, they might feel a little bit differently,’ says Palmer.
McCully asked Palmer if there are any island crime cases or topics that she is eager to explore in future podcasts.
‘I have a running list, and it’s more than 50 cases right now that I would like to take on. This island, as beautiful as we know it is, has a lot of dark stories to tell and a lot of unsolved crimes and missing people. So, every season I try and approach something that’s a little different.’
The Island Crime podcast can be found here.