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In Episode 7, appealing a plea deal is a longshot, but defence lawyer Mona Duckett wants to take it on. The Crown says justice has been served. The Court of Appeal considers Helen’s future.

Open this photo in gallery:

Senator Kim Pate has advocated for Helen Naslund and helped launch the national Self Defence Review in 1997, which examined the convictions and sentences of women in Canada who killed abusive men.Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

For the best listening experience and to never miss an episode, subscribe to In Her Defence on your favourite podcast app or platform: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Pocket Casts.

Hello again,

The other day someone asked me, “What are your thoughts on true crime as entertainment?” This is a version of a question I get quite a bit. Many people are drawn to true crime stories, but then feel guilty about their interest and wonder if it’s wrong.

“True crime” is a very broad genre, and it encompasses a wide variety of work of vastly different quality. At its best, I believe true crime stories can offer insight into some of the most profound aspects of the human experience, and teach us valuable lessons about other people – and ourselves.

A few years ago, I explored this idea in depth with this essay, True crime is popular. But is it ethical? That piece is a condensed version of a lecture I gave on the same subject, which you can watch here.

I also wanted to share this story about Cliff and Wilma Derksen. The murder of their daughter, Candace, is the first act of violence I remember hearing about as a child, and it had a huge effect on me, and many others growing up in Winnipeg at the time. For me, the Derksens remain the most powerful example of the goodness that can prevail, even in response to the most hideous of crimes. I think this is an important thread that runs through many crime stories, if you look for it.

This Friday: Reddit Ask Me Anything

Join me and producer Kasia Mychajlowycz for our first Reddit AMA on /truecrimepodcasts this Friday, Nov. 17th at 1 p.m. ET.

Kasia and I will be ready to answer all your questions about the research and reporting of Helen’s story, and the process of turning months of material into our podcast series, In Her Defence. Do you have questions about particular moments in the show? Wonder why we approached something a certain way? This is your chance to ask us anything.

YWCA panel

Next week I will join a panel of women exploring the link between gender-based violence and housing, as part of the YWCA’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This is a free event on Zoom, and promises to be a very interesting discussion. If you’re interested, you can register here.

Our theme song’s music video

I’ve heard from so many people who love our theme song, The Fighter by Nova Scotia artist Jenn Grant. I wanted to share the link to the video, which is really lovely and worth a watch.

As always, you can reach me at

All my best,


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