An Interview with real Crime creator and Podcast Host James Renner

James Renner is a man which constantly seems to be on the run. He’s a power and enthusiasm for a lifetime and all sorts of the projects he’s involved in. In 2018 he established a true-crime / criminality podcast ‘The Philosophy of Crime‘. Episodes tend to be written and stated in between writing their after that book, posting blog articles, taking care of shows, and now even films for their works of fiction. it is a busy profession with unsolved unlawful cases at center that started in an almost accidental method.

James Renner ended up being a journalist for a paper in the home condition of Ohio in 2005. He composed an article that showcased the unsolved murder of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic, who was simply abducted and murdered in Bay Villiage, Ohio. It had been a case close to house for James along with his fascination with it resulted in an obsessive drive discover the woman killer. Their journey, investigations, and personal battle had been all presented in his book Amy, My Search For the woman Killer, published in 2006. Ten years later in 2016, real Crime Addict had been published. A novel featuring the dogged research and investigations in to the mysterious disappearance of Maura Murray in Haverhill, brand new Hampshire in 2004.

Both books current devastating situations that journalist became dedicated to and focused on. Each of their publications detail his find answers and justice for 2 young girls. But both publications in addition reveal a tremendous amount towards writer himself. They have been a window into his internal handling, his introspections by himself life as they investigations progressed. They’ve been surprisingly personal and intricately honest as James pours their life into looking for the reality in each case.

James Renner’s podcast has become an outlet for his drive to increase awareness of unsolved cases and a location to inquire of the questions of mankind and criminality that individuals all ponder and consider. He’s also recently launched a unique project to secure financing for DNA examination in cold instances with some early interesting results. Right here, James features kindly provided me personally their time and energy to respond to my questions about his work, their drive, and his after that projects.

Q&A With Journalist and Creator James Renner


Q. The abduction and murder of Amy Mihaljevic was a case that had an individual link for your needs. Exactly how did your research development to your guide and do you have any clue this search could be so intense and impactful by yourself life?

JR – I had no clue the things I had been engaging in when I started to explore Amy’s abduction and murder. I happened to be a new reporter also it ended up being my first huge feature and I also believed the thing I would get a hold of ended up being that authorities had a suspect but not enough proof to charge him. What I quickly discovered ended up being exactly how difficult the truth was. There were countless males that has the means, motive, and possibility to dedicate the criminal activity. Ideal the FBI was in fact able to do would be to narrow it down to a premier 25 record.

This article was too long for my editor and I also needed to cut many essential details out. After the article ran, I took all that additional information and presented it to a publisher just who thought it can make a great book. So, that’s how it-all emerged together.

We discovered plenty about human nature within my analysis many from it ended up being very scary. That actually effected just how I looked over other folks. Often I’ll get a hold of myself in food store behind a person purchasing frozen food and wonder if he’s got some one chained up inside the cellar. It took me personally quite a long time to locate comfort once more.

Q. Did the procedure involved in tackling this situation, chasing after down those leads, finding and interviewing individuals, did that open up this opportunity available as a path you wished to follow? I believe True criminal activity Addict arrived several years later on however it is a certain further plunge into that obsessional truth hunting present in Amy our look for the woman Killer?

JR – Everything else I’ve done began thereupon guide about Amy. It performed very well, I had the opportunity to compose more publications. Not just nonfiction real criminal activity, and novels – I’d wished to be a novelist since I have ended up being a kid reading Stephen King later at night. The process of writing that very first book taught me so much about journalism, which assisted whenever I blogged True criminal activity Addict, about Maura Murray’s odd disappearance.

Q. The case of Maura Murray is interesting and rather terrifying. For someone to only vanish like this, specifically after a vehicle accident. Your investigations into Maura’s disappearance weren’t constantly welcomed, for some reason, by everybody in Maura’s life. Just how much were you amazed or surprised also by the effect you got when investigating the woman disappearance?

JR – I happened to be extremely astonished at a reaction to a number of Maura’s buddies and family when it emerged time for you to report thereon instance. Her father truly didn’t desire anyone writing a book, after that. He knew that any journalist which took a close look would find out about Maura’s reputation for theft and identification fraud, and how she was going to be kicked regarding western Point. He informed some of her pals never to speak with me personally, also, making sure that managed to make it tough.

But we don’t think Maura was really all that bad. She was making use of a stolen charge card, certain, but i do believe she got the help she needed and was on course to be a great nurse, or whatever she put her head to. But once you are twenty-one, you believe it is a larger package than its.

Q. For real criminal activity Addict the guide normally element of you and your life. Your journey in enabling to Maura’s situation and things you had been finding about yourself plus very own life-while examining the woman disappearance. It’s rather an unusual and uncommon design for a real criminal activity guide. What do you consider received you to just take that approach and get therefore open and step-by-step when you look at the journey you had been on?

JR – we felt it had been just fair when I happened to be gonna share these personal statistics about Maura, I quickly should share the important points of my entire life as well. It had been a rough time in my situation, directly, the months I invested in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, collecting interviews. I was suffering addiction. Plus in a gloomy place. The act of writing the guide ended up being an act of self-preservation, I think.

Q. So for you personally you can find true crime obsessions, instances which resonate and become addicting and all sorts of encompassing. Equally, it’s clear that allows this drive and commitment in you, searching for prospects and folks and trying to find the answers. I’m sure there are a number of fiction tasks you’re focusing on but is there a next instance obtainable like Amy and Maura’s? Can we anticipate another guide?

JR – I have simply done up a unique real criminal activity guide in regards to the 1990 unsolved murder of Lisa Pruett, who was stabbed to death behind a mansion in Shaker Heights. When COVID struck, I had enough time eventually to dive into the thousands of pages of authorities reports and test testimony. Used to don’t expect to discover the killer in there but i might have gotten happy with this specific one. And as you go along, I uncovered proof that a person has been sitting in jail for 35 years for a murder he performedn’t commit. It’s the craziest story I’ve ever before worked on.

Q. A year ago you launched the Porchlight Project in Ohio, supplying investment into examining cold situations and having DNA evaluating done for these instances. You’ve had your first arrest also this season i am aware, is it possible to tell us more about the task and therefore arrest?

JR – There’s only a great deal you are able to do as a reporter. Before long, i acquired burned-out on currently talking about true crime in Ohio and wanted to see if there was an easy method i really could actually assist solve some of these instances. That has been the beginning of just what become The Porchlight Project. We raise money for brand new DNA screening and hereditary genealogy for Ohio cold situations. We only identified a Jane Doe instance out-of brand new London and I also hope to take on two even more cases within the next 12 months. Compliment of our assistance, police arrested James Zastawnik the murder of Barb Blatnik. Therefore we’re waiting for that trial, too.

Q. I needed to ask you regarding your podcast too, The Philosophy of Crime. You began that in 2018 and episodes tend to be a variety of checking out mysterious and unsolved instances additionally the deep important concerns to be inquired about crimes and criminality. Is-it an outlet for your imagination and questioning mind nearly? Just what can you feel may be the aim of the podcast for your needs and in which do you wish to go with it later on?

JR – I guess I’m hoping to function as the helpful old uncle of True criminal activity, the man you go to when you’ve got big questions. That’s exactly what the podcast is, a method to explore and explain the big concerns behind our obsession with real criminal activity. Do lie detectors actually work? Do you know the honest issues of hereditary genealogy? I look to classical philosophy for responses. It’s an enjoyable distraction from all of the gory details of any single instance.

Thank you James for responding to all my questions and providing united states a glimpse behind your projects and what’s coming next! You can meet James Renner directly at CrimeCon London 2021, look for him on Podcast Row!


Crime Traveller is a proud news companion of CrimeConUK
Two amazing true crime week-end activities in London and Austin, June 2021. More details and seats at crimecon.co.uk and crimecon.com/CC21.
Quote CT21 for a 10percent discount!

Latest posts