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Joe Kenda Returns (to Nerdist)

I started listening to the Nerdist Podcast: Joe Kenda Returns | Nerdist and got about halfway through before I had to restart it and sit next to a text editor as I listened. There are way too many things I wanted to write down from his interview.

Who is Joe Kenda?

Joe Kenda (Homicide Hunter) returns to the Nerdist podcast! He and Chris talk about how would break the news to someone that a family member had passed away, statistics of murders and Joe talks about his interrogation techniques. He also talks about being married for 50 years, his show Homicide Hunter and his new book I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime!

So without further rambling, here are the bits of Joe Kenda’s interview I found notable.

On delivering the worst news someone can receive

It’s a very unpleasant task to be the angel of death.

I didn’t want to face picking someone. Let me torture you today. So I would do it, if I possibly could do it. And I would go to the house and it was in the middle of the night usually. You’re on the porch in a suit holding up a badge. They know when they see you, you can see it in their face someone’s not here that’s supposed to be and now here’s this man on my porch. I would stay away from bullet words. I wouldn’t say murdered. I wouldn’t say killed. I would say your son/daughter/husband is no longer alive. It’s not much but it’s something.

On lying

There’s no hard and fast rule for human behavior. But generally speaking, people will start lying when they’re little to their mother. They’re four or five years old and they’re confronted by the parent. Did you do this? No, no I didn’t do it. They are determined to continue to deny. That has been successful in the past on a few occasions so I’m going to keep doing it. I’m not going to admit to this because A) it’s too horrible B) if I do I’m in real trouble and if I just continue to lie maybe somebody will believe me.

Let me tell you what I hear you saying. You are in the kitchen saying to your mom that you remember being in the kitchen and you were near the cookie jar. And you seem to recall perhaps the lid was not on the cookie jar and there could have been a moment and maybe there was a cookie in your hand. But take a bite out of it. Oh no. Not you.

When you lie as a child, the parent knows you’re lying but they consider it insignificant so there’s no point in getting into a disturbance over it. And they let it go. This reinforces to the child that it was a successful attempt. I lied and nothing happened to me.

Death Drumbeat

The entertainment media. The news media. They beat the drum everyday. Death. Death. Death.
People all over the world are dead.
People in your country are dead.
People in your state are dead.
People in your city are dead.
People in your neighborhood are dead.
We’ll be back after these messages.
Unless you’re dead.

Stay Alive

You need to stay out of bars at closing time. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Do not associate with people who buy, use or sell narcotics.
And try to marry well. Don’t marry a psychotic.

On Gun control

Picture yourself at Broncos stadium during a Denver Broncos football game and it’s halftime. You’re on the 50 yard line. You’re surrounded by 79,000 emotional drunks. On a table behind you are 79,000 guns. Would you give one to everybody or would you be selective on who you gave one to?

On Stress

Take five days off. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t look at social media. You will feel immensely better. You will realize that life just sort of goes on for you.

On Children

It’s always good to say every child has a right to be alive. I’m a right to life person. Ok.
Unwanted children suffer. So what are you going to do about that? Should we bring them to your house? We’ll bring 1200 over to you on Monday. Don’t forget to send them to college.
Now the following Monday we’ll be back with 1200 more.

And a few one-off lines that I found worthy of writing down.

It’s human nature at its worst possible moments. That’s all murder is.

The Internet is a sewer and swans don’t swim in a sewer.

It’s not about being smarter than anybody else. It’s about being determined. I’m stubborn.

I will leave you with the line that stopped me in my tracks.

Emotion overcomes judgment. Murder results.

From 33 minutes, 54 seconds in:

Even in the advertising space, you know what, I will absolutely collaborate with Mucinex and Slim Jim and anybody because in a capitalistic society, you’re seeing those advertisements either way. So why not make them funny?
A great insurance commercial should make you cry a little bit. Life is so sad that when Allstate does it right, you should tear up a little bit.
It’s a tiny movie about how sad and hard life is. It’s a 30 second expose on how we’re going to die and we should leave the most we can to those who survive on.

Pocket Casts Timestamped Link: The Nerdist – T.J. Miller #3, 33m, 54s

Jason’s Journeys

Jason is a curious wanderer and good human. I enjoyed this podcast as he talks about his travels around the country.

“I’m too curious to let things be as they are. So I have to probe, I have to explore, I have to ask why of everything that comes my way in order to determine that it’s what I should be doing, or where I should be going, or somebody I should be involved with.”

Listen to Episode 53 – Enjoying the Journey and the Destination with Jason Rehmus

We’re all human

We are all human.

I remember the first time I got to see a professional basketball game in person. We were way up in the nosebleed section. We watched the players race across the floor and it felt surreal.

These giants of athleticism smashing into each other. The speed they moved and the fluids movements were like a dance.

A finely choreographed ballet of baskets unfolded. It was a blast.

Later, I saw another game. This time I was closer. I could see the players better. They were closer and it was more real. And they were human.

From afar, these people were a mysterious persona a mile high standing billboard tall. Up close, they were human. Big, bulky humans but humans.

That’s why I’ve never had a sense of celebrity worship. They’re just people. They do a job. They do it well. But they still get up in the morning feeling sick. They still have to put gas in their car and shop for groceries.

They still eat and sleep. They’re flesh and blood.


I started thinking about this during the follow-up with Marc Maron after his interview with President Obama.

WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: 614 – The President Was Here

When I listened to his interview I was struck by the humanity. This was a carefully orchestrated press appearance. This was two guys sitting in a garage talking about their lives.

Marc Maron and President Obama pose for a photo.

In the follow-up Maron talked about how human Obama was when he was there. He said, here I am sitting there looking at his mouth. Looking at his eyes. His face. He sat right across a desk from The President.

He is human.

When they took pictures afterward, they shook hands and wrapped their arms around each other. Just like you would with a friend or family member.

It’s worth your time to listen to the interview with President Obama. It’s a humanizing look at a man we often see and hear from in our best and worst times. But he’s an imperfect man full of fear and courage.

Photos are from MarcMeetsObama.com.

The Podcaster’s Blogger Press Kit

Austin Kleon posted about his Blogger’s Press Kit that he has put together for his books. Once he finishes a book, he wants to be sure people can share his work easily and with good-looking artwork. This is what spurred him into action. He writes:

Everybody’s heard of press kits, but the aim of a Blogger’s Kit is spreadability—images and videos that are easy to embed, post, and disseminate on the web.

Austin recommends a Blogger’s Kit should include:

  • author photos
  • the book cover (front and back)
  • “3-D” shots of the book in space
  • excerpt shots of the book spreads
  • a video of someone flipping through the book

This is a great idea for authors. In my recent writing about podcasts I run into the problem of not having good artwork for the show. It’s hard to find good artwork. I’ve resorted to screenshotting the album art from my podcatcher to use. Promoting something should be easy and podcasts are no different. With that in mind I now present you…

The Podcaster Blogger Press Kit.

Podcasters, I love your shows. You put a lot of work into them. I want to share them with the world! I want to help you get those coveted stars in iTunes.

Here is what you need for your Blogger’s Press Kit for Podcasters.

  • A decently sized copy of your cover art
    You know, that beautiful art you spent so much time on to for iTunes and podcatchers. I’d like a copy of that too.
  • Podcaster’s photo
    We’ve all heard your lovely voice. Now let’s see your beautiful face. This can be an “action shot* of you talking into the mic or editing tracks. It could be you looking goofy/serious/whatever with headphones on looking contemplative. A good example is imyke’s photo. It’s fun. It’s memorable. It gives the post about your show something visual to grab readers.

  • Photo of your podcast in your player of choice.
    Show your podcast, with cover art clearly visible open in your favorite podcatcher in the wild. Josh Ginter has some beautiful shots from his Overcast review.

  • Recommended episode(s)
    If your podcast episodes reach into the triple digits, it can be daunting to start listening. Do I need to start from 1? Can I listen to any of them and it won’t matter? Give the blogger a starting point to recommend to their readers.
    This is a tough problem and it’s one Merlin Mann asked his listeners for help with. The result was this list by Supertrainee on Huffduffer.

  • For bonus points, include some clips of your show.
    Give a new listener a taste of what they’re getting themselves into. Find 60 seconds of something interesting. Snag a 5 minute clip of an interesting discussion, or funny bit. Make a trailer for your podcast.

Cover image: Overcast podcast app by Kārlis Dambrāns

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