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In Episode 4, Helen is interrogated by police officers who say they understand the abuse she’d been living with, and know that something had to happen for her to get free. Someone she loves has betrayed her. Her life and the lives of her sons are all on the line.

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Episode 4 includes audio from Helen Naslund's interrogation by police officers.Photo illustration The Globe and Mail. Source photo Dustin Delfs/The Globe and Mail


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Hi, it’s Jana.

Episode 4 is a little different, in that most of the audio in the episode comes from Helen’s police interrogation. I think it provides an important insight into how Helen starts to move through the legal system.

We almost didn’t get this audio. The original files I received from the courts were corrupted, and it was quite a process to get another copy. Though we were entitled to this material through the courts, it took more than a year and many e-mails to make it happen. I give kudos to the RCMP for ultimately providing me with the uncorrupted files. That is an act of transparency and openness.

By many measures, this would be considered a very successful interrogation. At the end, Helen has confessed to killing Miles and is charged with first-degree murder.

But I also think it contains serious flaws. And I think there are many lessons to be learned about how police deal with women who have survived abuse, and how investigators approach the possibility of self defence in the context of domestic violence.

What do you think? You can always reach me by email at jpruden@globeandmail.com.

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Video still of Helen Naslund being interroogated at the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment on September 8th, 2017.RCMP/Handout

In Her Defence hits top podcast spot

This was a proud week for our team, as In Her Defence reached No. 1 on Apple Podcasts, both overall and in the true crime genre. This is a huge accomplishment for our little show.

We are so glad Helen’s story is resonating with people. I’ve already received so many e-mails from listeners. People have said a lot of nice things, including recognizing the technical work of producer Kasia Mychajlowycz and David Crosbie, who mixes the show.

Many people also write sharing their own experiences with domestic violence. These stories are very emotional, and the immense damage done to women, families and communities comes through again and again.

“It’s like you’ve written some of my family’s story …”

“This is happening so much and silence Is the real enemy. STOP THE SILENCE.”

“I was fortunate that I was eventually able to get out, but not till after multiple failed attempts.”

" I left with my three-year-old. I have been fighting in court for 10 years since.”

It’s harrowing to hear from women who are still living in danger, or have narrowly survived leaving. And it is gutting to hear about those who could not get free.

“A close high-school friend’s daughter was murdered by her abusive husband. She was stabbed to death in front of their two kids. He was given a short sentence and was later released even though there was no remorse. Still upset by that lack of recognition of the severity of the injustice to Christine, her parents and her children.”

Please consider sharing the podcast with someone you know, or rating and reviewing it wherever you are listening. It really does help keep getting the word out, so In Her Defence can reach as many people as possible.

See you next week,

Jana

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