Often thought of as criminal investigators, coroners play a much more fundamental role when it comes to an unexpected or suspicious death. Unlike law enforcement, coroners are primarily concerned with the physical causes behind someone's death, rather than a motive.
Paul and Jordan talk to seasoned Canadian coroner, Dr. Susan Aitken, about the challenges and demands of her profession, as well as her appreciation for the dignity of the deceased, for whom Dr. Susan attempts to "speak"--to uncover the mystery of their death and provide closure to bereaved loved ones. What is more, coroners, as advocates, also use their findings to make recommendations on how to improve the safety of society.
Read Dr. Susan's personal essay on her profession, here.
Mon, Sept. 9, 2016
Sun, Sept. 11, 2016
Could you defend an accused murderer?
As the former lawyer of Jodi Arias, the high profile defendant who would be convicted of first degree murder of her boyfriend Travis Alexander, Kirk Nurmi is no stranger to big publicity.
Looking at the bigger picture, Paul and Jordan talk to Kirk about what it takes to be a defense attorney, not only to protect the legal rights of vilified clients like Arias, but others accused of serious crimes.
Mon, Sept. 12, 2016
Convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2009, Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 26 years in Italian prison, along with his former girlfriend and co-accused, Amanda Knox, for the same crime. The case received widespread media coverage, in large part because of the supposedly sexual and bizarre nature of the murder--a “satanic orgy,” gone wrong. Acquitted in 2011 for the murder, Rafaelle speaks with Paul and Jordan about the new DNA evidence that ultimately led to his release and the toll prison will have on the rest of his life.
Learn about Raffaele's memoir, Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, here.
Tues, Sept. 13, 2016
True crime stories have long fascinated the public imagination, allowing audiences a relative degree of familiarity with violent and horrific acts from a distance. These stories become all the more curious to audiences when offenders escape detection by the authorities and eventually become part of "cold cases." Paul and Jordan talk to criminologist, Michael Arntfield, about his own unorthodox method to solving such cases and why it is, important for law enforcement to employ a multidisciplinary approach to effectively investigate violent, unsolved crimes.
Learn more about Michael at michaelarntfield.com
Wed, Sept. 14, 2016
Prisoners are not only expected to follow rules of behaviour, determined by the institutions they occupy, but In order to "survive,” they are also expected to obey an informal code of conduct--observed and created by inmates themselves. Paul and Jordan talk to prison consultant, Lee Steven Chapelle, about this code and how, having long experience as a former inmate himself, he prepares clients to properly follow it, thereby avoiding violent or other negative repercussions behind bars.
Also, as an advocate of prison reform, Lee shares his views on how governments can develop institutional environments more amenable to the successful rehabilitation of inmates, while doing away with archaic practices, such as solitary confinement, that produce more harm than good.
Learn more about Lee at canadianprisonconsulting.com
Following a harrowing sexual assault and the subsequent bullying and harassment she received because of it, 17 year-old Rehtaeh Parsons committed suicide. Paul and Jordan talk to Rehtaeh's father, Glen Canning, about the tragic event, the legal system's questionable response to it, and how the unspeakable cruelty she was forced to endure reveals the "rape culture" that persists today. In the wake of Rehtaeh's death, Glen has become an advocate against such culture, encouraging men themselves to play a direct role in ending it.
Learn more about Glen at glencanning.com
Thurs, Sept. 15, 2016
Fri, Sept. 16, 2016
We are accustomed to hearing about sex trafficking as an international issue, involving young women forced into prostitution overseas. Paul and Jordan talk to Carly Kalish, Casandra Diamond, and Carly X, about sex trafficking at the lesser-known, local level--in this case, Toronto. Drawing from their lived experience within sex trafficking itself and helping survivors of it, the three women share powerful first-hand accounts on what such "modern day slavery" looks like in the city and how we can better remedy the problem as a compassionate society.
Learn more about Carly Kalish, Chair of the Toronto Human Trafficking Intervention Strategy (H.I.P.S.), at carlykalish.com and Casandra Diamond, survivor of sex trafficking and director of anti-sex trafficking outreach group, BridgeNorth, at bridgenorth.org
Sat, Sept. 17, 2016
Epitomized by movies like Taxi Driver and The Warriors, New York City of the 1970s was a much different place than the glamorous one it is today. Ridden with crime, the city felt to many an anarchic nightmare, where confidence in police appeared to be at an all-time low. In the final cast of The Dark Room "Crime Week" series, Paul and Jordan talk to founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, about what led him to form the civilian-based group to "clean-up" New York and the fine line between activism and vigilantism.
Learn more about Curtis at guardianangels.org
Mon, Sept. 17, 2016
Sometimes comedy is founded in the darkest places. For stand-up comedian Jess Salomon, those places include the UN, where she used to work as a war crimes lawyer. Paul and Jordan talk to Jess about the unlikely humour she found at her former job and how that would help inspire her to become the entertainer she is today. At times controversial for her views on gender and religion, Jess opens up about difficult aspects of her life that have both informed these views and are at the heart of much of her comedic material.
Mon, Sept. 25, 2016
The amount of attention the Jodi Arias trial received was due in no small part to the audience's curiosity in the dark details of the relationship between Arias and her boyfriend. Paul and Jordan to talk to professor and therapist, Dr. Kristyan Kouri, about what such attention overshadows regarding enduring female gender roles. In Dr. Kouri's view, Arias was the protagonist of a "tragic opera,” in which her fate to be a publicly despised murderess, was sealed by society’s pressure for women to “find a man.”