Crime Beat

Jan 12 2021 47 mins 4.8k

People know their hometowns by streets, a favorite restaurant or the local mall. Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt knows hers by the crime scenes she's been to over the past 20 years. Journey deep inside some of Canada’s most high-profile criminal cases. Each episode will take you inside the story to give you details you didn't hear on the news. New episodes every other week. Winner of the 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award (RTDNA).

The evil and senseless plot against Ray Johnson |3
Nov 17 2020 69 mins  
On this episode of the Global News podcast Crime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt shares the story of the evil and senseless plot against Ray Johnson. Johnson was a kind and generous soul, the kind of man who would give the shirt off of his back to someone in need. He was an antiques and collectibles dealer and had a table at a Calgary flea market. In January of 2009 he celebrated his 77th birthday, and enjoyed daily routines that included coffee every morning to start his day with his youngest daughter. That’s exactly how Friday, Jan. 30, 2009 began. Ray and his daughter Bonnie went out for breakfast and sat and read the paper together. They ended their meeting with a hug and goodbyes and promised to see each other at dinner later that night. In the meantime, he went to a garage sale with one of his close friends -- then planned to meet up with an online seller who had reached out to him about some items he might be interested in. When Ray didn’t show up for dinner that night, his daughter thought he must have gotten delayed at a garage sale. He loved to visit, even with complete strangers. But the next day, when she still couldn’t reach her father, Bonnie started to worry. She called family and friends and even tried local hospitals to see if Ray had been in an accident. No one had heard from her father. Bonnie called police and reported him missing. The next afternoon, investigators met with the Johnson family to update them on his case. Their father was found dead -- murdered. Follow along as family and friends helped investigators retrace Ray Johnson’s last steps. And, learn the shocking and senseless reason he was targeted. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Instagram: Facebook: See for privacy information.

Daniel, Silenced at 26 days | 19
Jun 02 2020 51 mins  
On this episode of the Global News podcast Crime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt shares a story of a child whose life was silenced, snuffed out and stolen-- so young he never had a chance. In the summer of 2010, EMS were called to a Calgary home where an 18-year-old single mom, Shelby Herchak, lived with her parents and her baby. The infant, just 26 days old, was rushed to hospital. But baby Daniel Herchak’s injuries were so severe, he died hours later. At a media conference soon after, Calgary police stated the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head. Officers said Daniel’s injuries were believed to be non-accidental in nature. Police formally interviewed Herchak twice and said her story changed each time--and the explanations didn’t add up when compared to the evidence. 14 days after baby Daniel died, his mother was charged with second-degree murder. But the case would take several major turns. Herchak had bail granted and revoked several times. Then, in September of 2012, the trial date was abandoned and the case was temporarily put on hold--while some of the work done by the medical examiner, in this case, was reviewed. Alberta Justice ordered an independent external review panel to look at 14 of Dr. Evan Matshes’ cases. The panel found his findings “unreasonable” in 13 of those 14 cases. In baby Daniel's case, the panel agreed with the finding of homicide, and the cause of death-- but deemed his findings unreasonable because he noted there were signs of prior abuse. Then, that government review-- was called into question. A Queen’s Bench Justice ruled the government review was unfair and quashed the results. The judge also ordered Alberta Justice to pay for a large portion of Matshes legal costs. In this episode, Dr. Matshes speaks to Hixt about the review. It’s the first time he’s ever spoken to a reporter about the investigation and he said he wanted to set the record straight. Because of the controversy surrounding the government review another pathologist provided expertise in the Herchak case instead of Matshes. They came up with the same findings: it was deemed a homicide and the cause of death was blunt force head trauma. Daniel suffered two fractures to the skull, extensive bleeding, bruising to the head and face, bruising and swelling of the brain, nerve damage along the spine, bruising to the chest abdomen and back and hemorrhaging to both eyes Then, on the eve of her trial, Shelby Herchak pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. She was sentenced to five and a half years in jail but with credit for time in custody pre-trial, she had just two and a half left to serve. It was only during that time in prison, the Herchak finally shed light on what happened that fateful morning. Hear those admissions, along with an exclusive interview with the primary investigator in this case in this episode of Crime Beat: Daniel, silenced at 26 days. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] See for privacy information.

The Paths That Choose Us | 18
May 19 2020 56 mins  
On this episode of the Global News podcast Crime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt shares the story of a man who became the victim of a senseless crime and the unfortunate hands life dealt him throughout his life. This case began, in the spring of 2014, when the co-manager of a Calgary Walmart was closing up shop and getting ready to head home. As he walked out to the parking lot with several coworkers, they spotted a man on a nearby bench who looked to be in medical distress. A closer look revealed the man was unconscious and lying in a pool of blood. The store manager called 911. Police and EMS arrived within minutes. The man was badly beaten and had been stabbed twice. He was rushed to hospital in serious, life-threatening condition but later died. An autopsy revealed he died from a loss of blood caused by the stab wounds. The victim was Gabriel Okeynan, 45, a father of four and his death became a homicide investigation. The question was, who did this to him, and why? This is a case that highlights what the detective in charge of this case refers to as “good old fashioned police work.” Follow along as police investigated a trail of evidence and unravelled a complicated series of events to solve this case. It’s the story about the paths we choose...and the paths that choose us--and how every decision we make impacts our lives. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] See for privacy information.

The boy who overcame the odds | 17
May 05 2020 49 mins  
This episode begins with an investigation that rocked Alberta's foster care system. Garry Prokopishin took in troubled teenage boys: kids with behavioural and substance abuse issues. His foster home was considered a last resort for teens who had nowhere else to go. Those boys described having all the freedom in the world at the Prokopishin’s. They were allowed to smoke, they could have friends over, party, go out and not get in trouble. Prokopishin also took them out for dinner and drinks and made the boys feel special. A local association recognized him for his tireless efforts with boys, naming him “foster parent of the year." By 2009, Prokopishin had been operating a foster home for nearly 20 years and during that time 55 teenage boys had come under his care. Then, one young man came forward alleging sexual abuse. Before long, police revealed that abuse went beyond just one victim. The court process revealed Prokopishin used money and threats to manipulate the boys into keeping the abuse a secret for years. But what set these young boys on a path that led to the Prokopishin home in the first place? In covering this case, Hixt came to meet one of the young victims who revealed the abuse went much deeper. That’s what set the stage for his time with Prokopishin, who preyed on his vulnerability. Follow the shocking turns this case took as Nancy Hixt shares the story of young boy who was abandoned by the very people who were supposed to show him unconditional love and left him wanting a loving home. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] See for privacy information.

Crime, the Courts, and Covid-19 | 16
Apr 21 2020 38 mins  
In this episode, Global News crime reporter Nancy Hixt, turns to the experts including police, judges and lawyers, to answer your questions about crime, the courts and COVID-19 -- and what it all means for your safety. The novel coronavirus has affected all of us. Many have lost loved ones, businesses have closed, thousands have lost their jobs. People are asked to stay home wherever possible, to self-isolate and to maintain social distancing. With that, there are added strains on many relationships. Advocacy groups are seeing increased rates of domestic and sexual violence -- in some areas, the number of reported incidents has tripled. Others, can’t avoid going out -- including essential service providers like doctors, nurses and hospital staff. That also includes those working to maintain public safety during a time of heightened anxiety. Police are experiencing new challenges and are noticing a change in the types of crimes they’re being asked to investigate. With more people working from home, house break-ins are down, but many closed businesses have been left more vulnerable and commercial break-ins are on the rise. There have also been cases where COVID-19 has been used as a weapon against police, in the form of coughing and spitting on first-responders. Experts note one silver lining in this difficult time--and that is the increased use of technology to keep the wheels of justice moving. Video conferencing and teleconferencing is being used whenever possible to deal with bail, sentencing hearings and even trials. Other court cases are being delayed because of the need to follow social distancing and limits on people gathered in one place, including jury trials. That’s raised concerns about an already strained Canadian justice system and what that means for keeping up with time limits imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada on how long a case can take from start to finish. See for privacy information.

The Brentwood Five Massacre - Part 3 | 15
Apr 07 2020 63 mins  
On this episode of the Global News podcastCrime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt brings us to Part 3 of her special series, the Brentwood five massacre. This episode takes an in-depth look at what it means to be found not criminally responsible (NCR) in Canada. Carol de Delley understands the anguish of what NCR can mean for the family of a victim, as few others can. She lost her son, Timothy McLean, in one of the most high profile cases in Canadian history where the killer was found NCR. In 2008, McLean was brutally attacked by a stranger—a man who sat next to him as they rode a Greyhound bus. McLean was stabbed more than 100 times. He was mutilated and cannibalized. Vince Li was charged with second-degree murder Less than a year later, he was found not criminally responsible for his actions. Just eight years after that, Vince Li (who changed his name to Will Baker) was granted an absolute discharge. That ruling gave him complete freedom. He never has to receive treatment or take medication again—if he chooses not to. The families of the Brentwood five are concerned the same thing that happened to McLean’s killer will happen to the man who killed their five children in the Spring of 2014. Matthew de Grood was originally charged with five counts of first-degree murder but was later deemed to be NCR for the stabbing deaths of Lawrence Hong, Kaiti Perras, Jordan Segura, Josh Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell. The judge ruled de Grood was suffering from a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of knowing that his actions were wrong when committed the worst mass killing in Calgary’s history. The finding meant de Grood would not go to prison and he would not have a criminal record. He was no longer a part of the Canadian criminal justice system. Instead, he was moved to the healthcare system. De Grood’s case is assessed on a yearly basis by the Alberta Review Board (ARB) and each year the board has three options: to continue his treatment in a secure facility, to grant him a conditional discharge or to grant him an absolute discharge. In the conclusion of “the Brentwood five massacre” you’ll hear from the families of these five victims, and from Timothy McLean’s mother. They are working together to lobby for a change in Canadian legislation so killers deemed to be NCR would be mandated to continue their treatment and monitoring indefinitely. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Instagram: @nancy.hixt See for privacy information.

Kelly Cook: The Back-up Babysitter - Part 2
Apr 29 2019 50 mins  
On this episode we're bringing you details of the Kelly Cook case that have never been reported before. In 1981, Kelly took a job to babysit for someone new named Bill Christensen. The 15-year-old was never seen alive again.What most people don’t know is that Kelly was not the killer’s first choice. She was the “backup babysitter.” Christensen's first choice was a 17-year-old girl. In the small rural community of Standard, in southern Alberta, the 17-year-old received a call from Christensen, but she already had plans so she turned him down. Christensen then asked the girl for names of other babysitters in the area. One of the names she gave was Kelly Cook. That original target, who we’ll refer to as Stacey, has never spoken to a journalist about what happened — until now. Global News is not using Stacey’s real name, as she continues to fear for her safety. Thirty-eight years later, and the case continues to impacted every aspect of her life and will continue to until the killer is caught. Police continue to investigate the case but are still waiting for the tip they need to solve it. If you know anything that can help police as they investigate Kelly's homicide, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. If you enjoy Crime Beat, please take a minute to rate it on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] See for privacy information.

Shannon Madill's Last Audition | 4
Apr 02 2019 59 mins  
Crime reporter Nancy Hixt tells a story of an aspiring actress who mysteriously disappeared from Calgary, Alta., in November 2014.Shannon Madill had everything going for her. She had just landed an audition for a role in a television series, and was looking forward to moving from Calgary to Edmonton. That audition was recorded on video. Hours later she vanished. It was only when Shannon missed a planned dinner with her older brother that her family realized she was missing and called police. By then, she was already gone for several days. Her parents, siblings and husband stood side by side in front of the media at Calgary Police Headquarters to make a plea for help in finding her, and at one point, spoke directly to Shannon. Investigators looked into her cell phone, medical and banking records, but all leads came up empty. The days turned into months. Police tried to prepare the Madill family for all possible outcomes. Seven months later, the case took a shocking turn. The disturbing details are revealed in an interview with police. This Crime Beat episode is the first time those recordings are being made public. Find out what happened to Shannon Madill following her final audition in episode four of Crime Beat. If you enjoy Crime Beat, please take a minute to rate it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] See for privacy information.

Meika Jordan, The Broken Princess | 1
Mar 04 2019 56 mins  
On this episode of Crime Beat, crime reporter Nancy Hixt takes you through the case--step by step. Follow along as she reveals the shocking behind the scenes details of the Meika Jordan case --and goes through the evidence as it was uncovered by investigators in their quest for justice for Meika. Meika Jordan was a bright, cheery and playful six year old. When she was rushed to hospital with serious life threatening injuries, her father and step-mother told police she had fallen down the stairs. But the injuries didn’t match that explanation. Meika later died in hospital. That was the beginning of a lengthy investigation into her death--lead by the Calgary Police Homicide Unit. The little girl was from a split family--she spent half of her time with her biological dad Spencer Jordan and her step-mother Marie Magoon. She spent the other half of her time with her biological mother Kyla Woodhouse, and her step-father Brian Woodhouse. Early on, it became clear to detectives there were two people with the sole opportunity to kill Meika. But why would anyone kill such a beautiful and innocent little girl? If you enjoy Crime Beat, please take a minute to rate it on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends. Contact: Twitter: @nancyhixt Facebook: Email: [email protected] Resources: If you suspect a child is in immediate danger please call 911. For more information or if you're looking for support: See for privacy information.

5 • 5 Ratings

MegBrown Dec 31 2020
EVERYTHING I look for in a true crime podcast: no annoying chit chat, excellent presentation and attention to detail, perfect podcaster voice, respectful treatment of victims/survivors, fascinating cases. HIGHLY recommend.

Shyne Dec 20 2020
I just found this podcast and have not stopped listening. I'm a huge crime podcast junkie who didn't even know there was one in my home town! The stories are told so well! It takes a few episodes to get past the typical news reporter style of talking vs the typical podcast voice, so keep listening! I will be sharing this podcast.

Clykidis Dec 12 2020
Can't stop listening!

JackandSally2014 Oct 27 2020
Can't stop listening. as grisly as the details can be, the stories are always told in a respectful manner. very well done.

kaliekw Jul 15 2020
Crime Beat is one of the best true crime podcasts around. Nancy's thorough knowledge of each crime makes this podcast very interesting.