Eureka! The writers block has been lifted. I have a working draft. And all of this with a toothache. Not too shabby. The podcast is coming together nicely. Doing things differently, I discovered a new way of working.
The idea for the podcast was to put a human face to crime. It’s reported that South Africa is the crime capital of the world. Statistics are unreliable at best. Meaningless either way.
I think its more accurate to say that crime touches most world citizens in some way. I have worked in news media for some 15 years now. As a survival tactic, I am numb to crime and its impact on human beings.
I have interviewed countless crime victims. I have spoken to people reeling from a personal tragedy like a fire or rape or murder. Death haunts my news angle. And then I was assigned to cover the so-called northcliff murders.
At the time I had been diagnosed with post natal depression. I was feeling very vulnerable. One of the cops on the scene showed me a photograph of the bodies recovered from the robbery/murder.
It reminded me of the first dead body I saw. It was a shack fire. I was a rookie reporter. Somebody I was interviewing, pointed to the smouldering remains of a man. He was the first victim of the fire.
It was only when I covered the trial of a woman ultimately convicted for ordering a hit on her husband, that I discovered the truth of a death by fire. The pathologist explained that the victim would only have felt the burn of the flames until it ate away at his nerve endings. A few minutes at best. Ultimately, he succumbed to smoke inhalation.
This is where the idea for this podcast started germinating. I approached it, not as a news reporter, but as a human being. It is time that we look at crime for what it is. Gruesome. Ghastly.