In my four years of practicing journalism, I’ve conducted many interviews. Rarely, though, have I been the one interviewed. This has recently changed, with two interviews in as many weeks, both surrounding murders.
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The first was for a local news channel, on research I had done concerning Colleen Harris and her murder trial in 1985 and ’86. It was not a big production, mostly just sitting down and telling a story.
On Jan. 18, however, I was filmed for an episode of “Snapped” on the Oxygen Channel. The spinoff will be on “killer couples” and will feature Steven Colver and Tylar Witt, who rose to fame after the murder of Witt’s mother, Joanne. While I had not heard of the Witts until the news broke, I was in high school clubs with Colver — then known as “Boston” — who was a year behind me. His circle of friends overlapped mine in a sort of social Venn diagram, meaning I had limited interactions with him.
A conference room at the Mountain Democrat office was commandeered for a few hours as the interviewer, Katie Harrington, and her director of photography, Paul Foster, shot on two cameras. For two hours, they asked me questions ranging from what the area was like to what I thought of Colver. In a word, he was “mellow” in high school.
Having the tables turned and being interviewed is an odd sensation, especially about such an important topic. The giant lights, reflectors and having to take my glasses off — I’m can only see about an arm’s length out without them — made it a surreal experience.
I think, for the time being, I’ll stay out of the camera light and stick to newspaper reporting.