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In Episode 3, Wes Naslund talks about growing up with his father. Miles Naslund is reported missing, but no one seems to care he’s gone. Helen and her family live with a haunting secret. One day in 2017, almost exactly six years after Miles was reported missing, two men show up at Helen’s work.

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In episode 3, Jana G. Pruden interviews Helen Naslund's oldest son, Wesley.Photo illustration The Globe and Mail. Source photo Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

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Hi, it’s Jana.

What a whirlwind the last week has been, with the release of the first two episodes of In Her Defence. The response to the show has been overwhelming. We hit No. 2 in the True Crime chart and No. 4 overall on Apple Podcasts in Canada, thanks to people like you following, listening and rating the show.

I had some great conversations about the podcast with media in Edmonton, including this interview with Stacey Brotzel and Daryl McIntyre on CHED radio, and this appearance on Real Talk with Ryan Jespersen. Please check out those interviews if you’re interested in hearing me speak more about how the podcast was made, and about domestic violence more broadly.

In Episode 3, we spend some time with Helen Naslund’s oldest son, Wesley. My interview with Wes was one of the most intense and interesting I’ve ever done. (And not just because of the moment when he shows me a large bulge in his pants.)

Wes keeps himself extremely busy, and after weeks of texting, the interview came through very quickly. Wes wanted to meet in Leduc, a small city outside Edmonton, and my colleague Amber Bracken and I scrambled to find a quiet and private place to talk. These aren’t the kinds of conversations you have in coffee shops, if you can help it. (Shout out to the Light House Cowork in Leduc for their flexibility in accommodating us.)

Like many of Helen’s family and friends, Wes didn’t really want to speak with me. But our conversation lasted many hours, and he shared a lot of powerful stories and astute observations – not only about life on the farm, but about the broader effects of growing up with domestic abuse.

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Wesley Naslund, Helen Naslund's son, in Leduc, Alberta on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The eldest of Helen's three sons says his father Miles Naslund regularly and extensively abused him, his brothers and his mother.Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

After we spoke, Amber photographed Wes around some nearby buildings. One looked almost like an Old West saloon, and the sun was setting and golden. As Wes walked away, he told me about the letters tattooed on his neck – GFID – and asked me to guess what it stood for. You’ll have to listen to the end of the very last episode to find out what it means.

Our little team has been so glad to see Helen’s story connecting with people. Please continue to share it with friends and family, and to rate us wherever you are listening. It really does help.

And feel free to reach out to me any time. I’m at

Take care,


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