Features Week Day 2: Nature vs. Narcissism

Heather and I have bonded over a love of true crime and podcasting. She’s an amazing, persistent, and devoted creator that I can’t wait to brag about! 

What inspired you to become a podcast?

I have been listening to podcasts for several years and thought that podcasters were so creative!  I have always done well in school and excelled throughout college.  Once I started my Master’s Degree in Behavioral Psychology, I realized that I loved researching.  I know that sounds odd but it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy.  Digging and solving problems/mysteries, finding clues, having that sense of accomplishment when you put two pieces of a larger puzzle together; it’s all very satisfying!  Furthermore, I am beyond fascinated with the criminal mind and behaviors of individuals who commit crimes/murders.  I want to know why.  I have that urge to dig and dig until I can find a reason as to why some people commit such heinous crimes while others live a seemingly normal life.  What makes criminals different?  I have an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the Study of the Criminal mind, and I have a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Psychology.  I still haven’t found the perfect career but I wanted to apply this knowledge and scratch that itch of learning more about the mind of criminals/murderers.  So, I took a leap of faith and started my own podcast.  I wanted this to be an outlet for me to research and learn more about the minds of murderers; mainly serial killers.  Additionally, I figured that if I was this interested and fascinated in the criminal mind, then surely others would be as well.  More than anything, I think I wanted to get people thinking and talking about the underlying causes behind the development of a serial killer.


What kinds of topics do you talk about on your podcast?

For the most part, my podcast discusses serial killers.  Each week, we choose serial killers whose names or monikers begin with the letter of the alphabet that we’ve come upon.  For instance, week 1 was the letter A.  For this episode, we covered Aileen Wuornos and Amelia Dyer.  Week 6 was the letter F; we covered Albert Fish.  Week 10 was the letter J; we covered Jack the Ripper and Jack the Stripper, and so on and so forth.  Additionally, we have minisodes and MURDERsodes.  These episodes stray a bit from the normal alphabetical schedule and normally release on a Tuesday or the holiday that occurs in that week (i.e. Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, etc.).  For the minisodes, we have younger guests on (i.e. our children) or other family members to chat about spooky occurrences (i.e. ghost stories, fears, crime/death close calls, etc.) in their lives.  For the MURDERsodes, our guests will bring a story regarding murder or attempted murder that either peaked their interest or that occurred in their hometown.


What inspired the name of your podcast?

As you may well know, there are tons of true crime podcasts currently, which means that many cases are being covered repeatedly.  Especially the more popular or rather infamous crimes; they are the cases that people know about.  These cases are widely known due to pop culture and media coverage.  The idea that I envisioned from the beginning was that I wanted my podcast to offer a different perspective.  I wanted to drawl people in by giving them a way to look at the cases and killers from another angle.  Since I am so fascinated with the criminal mind, I wanted to study these cases from that point of view.  I wanted to discuss the underlying causes of the development of a serial killer. We’ve all heard of nature vs nurture.  I wanted to incorporate that but also discuss whether it is just plain ol’ narcissism.  What caused “x” serial killer to become a serial killer?  Did he/she have a mental illness that caused him/her to behave a certain way?  Was there a family history of mental illness?  Was he/she abused as a child?  Did he/she come from a broken home?  Was he/she a narcissist and wanted to have some feeling of power over others?  I wanted to explore any/all facets and see if I/we could determine what we think made these criminals commit these vile acts.


Which has been your favorite episode to record so far?

This is hard!  I am so fascinated by all the cases, so recording them is always fun!  However, if I had to choose; I would probably say the John Wayne Gacy episode (Episode 7: G (John Wayne Gacy)) for the main episodes.  For the minisodes/MURDERsodes, I would probably have to say MURDERsode 3 with dad, recorded with my father as the guest.  We (my sister, my father, and I) had so much fun recording this!  We had to cut out probably an hour or two because there was so much content.


What is the most challenging part about podcasting in the genre you’ve chosen?

I think the most challenging part about podcasting in the true crime/comedy genres is the fact that this genre is so saturated right now.  There are a ton of amazing true crime podcasts as well as true crime/comedy podcasts.  Although mine is different in the sense that it provides a different perspective, people probably swipe right past it once they see that it is another true crime/comedy podcast.  I don’t want listeners to feel bombarded with another podcast like the 20+ they already listen to, but I want to get the word out because I enjoy sharing my findings and love the discussions!


Do you have any funny stories from podcasting?

Yes!  Plenty!  However, there are a couple that are sticking out in my mind right now.  First, my guests and I tend to drink a little wine while recording.  It helps us loosen up and feel more relaxed/less pressured (I get very anxious with public speaking, lol).  Sometimes, when we drink wine, we say things that we don’t realize or that we would have thought more about if we weren’t drinking.  So, in Episode 10: J (Jack the Ripper & Jack the Stripper) we somehow got on the topic of syphilis due to the theories about Jack the Ripper’s identity.  During our conversation, we said something about “President” Benjamin Franklin having/said to have had syphilis.  There are so many things wrong about that statement!  Benjamin Franklin was NEVER a President…he was however, a Founding Father.  Additionally, he didn’t have syphilis.  That is one of those weird/random rumors and Rachelle eventually stated that she thinks she heard the rumor on “The Office”.  Second, while recording with my father, the sliding door was open to my apartment.  There were a few people talking/shouting outside and one of them said “don’t call the cops”!  It was perfect timing AND our microphones picked it up!  This made us laugh so hard because that is our tag line at the end of each episode!


Is there anyone you’d like to promote?

Someone that I would like to; no, LOVE to promote is Emily.  Since she is underage, I am not going to share her last name.  However, I want to get out the word about this amazingly talented young lady!  She is 17 years old and one of the best artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing/working with.  She is currently working on a piece of art for my podcast and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!  I had an idea and simply told her what I wanted.  She painted exactly what I had envisioned and I could not be happier.  She is truly gifted and everyone should check out her art work!  She was recently accepted to Lesley University which has a big art program, so I know she is only going to excel!  You can find her art here: https://unapologeticartist.com/ and you can reach out to her mother via Twitter at @katesaid.


Where can we find you on social media?

        Website = https://naturevsnarcissism.podbean.com/

Twitter = https://twitter.com/NvsNpodcast

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/naturevsnarcissism/

Instagram = https://www.instagram.com/naturevsnarcissism/

Email = naturevsnarcissism@gmail.com

Thanks so much to Heather for sharing her crazy stories and giving us some insight into what it’s like to be a podcaster in today’s world. Check out her pod if you get the chance, you won’t regret it!

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