Finding the Truth in your own Voice

Steven Pacheco

There is some indefinable compulsion at our core, on a very human level, to help those around us. Some may call it a spiritual calling, though for me, it has always been about the reality of acknowledging someone’s pain and wanting to alleviate it. Initially, the podcast wasn’t about helping others, at least not in that pure sense. I am fascinated by unsolved cases and I wanted to spend my time talking about them. I thought, sure, perhaps I can shake something loose or bring out a piece of evidence that has been overlooked and maybe something will come of it, but it wasn’t until I began doing the show that I discovered the power of my platform and the ability I possessed to help others. A podcast which began about unsolved cases slowly transformed, and today, I do my best to focus on the victim over the suspects, the family over the circumstances.

I deal with missing persons and unsolved murders, questions without answers that haunt the families and everyone who cared about the victims. As someone who has lost loved ones, I cannot imagine the depth of their pain in losing someone and not knowing what happened, or why or who was responsible. That utter lack of closure leaves the wound unhealed and I cannot deny that I feel an overwhelming compulsion to want to provide them with compassion. I can’t solve the cases for them, but I can bring them back into the light and do my best to keep the memory of their loved ones alive. The list of names is incredibly long, and for many, they feel frustrated that their loved one has been forgotten, or often times ignored by a media system that is based on ratings and not emotions. I have the ability to feature victims who haven’t gotten the attention they deserve, and I do my best to focus on those cases that haven’t been splashed all over the headlines.

There is a certain sense of selfishness about it. Doing something for others, reaching out and shinning the light on a specific name, while it draws attention to the case and revitalizes interest, it also makes me feel good. It’s comforting to be able to offer something back, and even if all you can do is resurrect a name that has been lost to time, it’s more than was being done yesterday. Imagine all the times in your life when you needed a helping hand or a comforting word. There is a certain wonder when someone reaches out, even in the smallest way. You don’t need to change the world for someone, but to dedicate your time and heart to something that is near and dear to them can change everything. The greatest gift of hosting a podcast isn’t in popularity or fame, it’s in your ability to make someone else feel like they’re not alone. I began as a listener, and it was that sense of comfort and unity that I wanted to be able to give back to.

It can be challenging, to spend countless hours of the day researching, writing and talking about incredibly painful situations. To submerge myself into the desperation and anguish of loss and the unknown, but what I feel reading about a case is nothing compared to what the family experiences in the time afterward. I can’t take that burden from them, but I can attempt to share in it and allow them to know that they are not alone in this and there are others who care and wish to help in any way that they can. I’ve been contacted by family members of victims who have thanked me for discussing their loved one’s story and I can’t begin to describe how it feels to know you’ve helped, even if only to lighten the load for a moment. The greatest thing you can do, I believe, is to help carry someone else’s pain.

The world of technology is still, in many ways, an unexplored frontier. In a world where technology is ever expanding, we often find that those new methods of communication which should bring us closer together can actually divide us further. Podcasting offers the ability to bridge that gap, to reach out to others and make genuine connections. Though, for me, it began about curiosity and the unknown, it has become a platform to give a voice to those unable to speak for themselves, and a way to shine a light into the darkness of those who have been left behind without answers.