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Episode 36: Investigating True Crime with M. William Phelps 

podcast Dec 31, 2020

On this episode of the Fast Lane with Sara Jayne podcast, Sara Jayne talks to M. William Phelps, famed true-crime writer, investigative journalist, and the host of the Paper Ghosts podcast on iHeartRadio. M. William Phelps talks about how he became a true-crime writer, formulating his podcast Paper Ghosts, and writing dozens of books. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Sara Jayne introduces M. William Phelps, who explains how he got involved in true crime stories.
  • Is being an investive journalist make his relationships difficult? 
  • How difficult is objectivity in his line of work?  
  • Death Trap is a book that deals with a custody situation turned deadly. 
  • M. William Phelps is working on season 2 of Paper Ghosts. 
  • M. William Phelps and Sara Jayne discuss the book, Where Monsters Hide
  • Is it hard not to judge people in these true crime stories? 
  • What is behind the serial rapists’ phone calls in Dark Minds?  
  • M. William Phelps wrote a book that was autobiographical about writing true crime stories. 
  • The devil looks for just a crack in the window, and then he is in.  
  • How did Happy Face Raven enter into his television show?  
  • Out of all of the subjects that he has spoken to, who did he like the least? 
  • If we are not mentally ill, we have the opportunity to fix things that happened to us earlier in life.
  • How does he remain sane while writing all of these dark and graphic true crime stories? 


3 Key Points:

  1. M. William Phelps has written over 40 true crime books.  
  2. You can’t always be an objective journalist because you are always going to bring in some element of how you feel.  
  3. Sociopaths have the ability to pick out a person with vulnerability, manipulate them, and exploit their weaknesses. 

Resources Mentioned:


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