Ep. 058 A Blonde Walks Into a Prison
Dr. Michelle Ward is the host of 2 true crime television shows: “The Mind of a Murderer” and “Stalked: Someone’s Watching”. In this episode, she chats with Rachel about everything from what it’s like to walk the halls of death row to what it’s like to move your family to the South of France. Life is a complex balance of pleasure and pain, and this conversation covers it all!
01:48 - Michelle got her PhD in clinical neuroscience with a focus on the biological underpinnings of murder.
02:25 - After learning that the math we use to predict human behavior can be used to predict jury behavior, Michelle became a litigation consultant.
02:42 - Michelle became the “Murder Girl” and consulted on big cases around the country like the Phil Spector and Casey Anthony trials.
03:00 - Michelle became one of the talking heads of the Phil Spector trial and was offered a chance to host a television show.
05:09 - “If you become an expert in anything, there will be a job for you.”
07:14 - Michelle realized that she was exhilarated by doing new things everyday - especially when she’s walking into prisons and meeting murderers.
09:40 - #1 funny thing: When visiting Houston death row, Michelle had to sign a contract saying that if she was taken hostage, the sharpshooter would shoot her.
10:41 - #2 funny thing: At the same prison, Michelle has to go into the chaplain’s office to pump breastmilk, when an inmate wandered in. That guy was scared straight!
11:44 - Rachel asks Michelle how she stays so balanced when she is confronted by so much darkness.
12:51 - “When I look back on my life, the times when I’m laughing...are the times when I felt most centered and balanced.”
14:32 - The science behind “laughter is the best medicine.”
15:42 - Why social media can end up making us feel worse when we’re in a bad place.
18:17 - The posts people really want to see on social media.
20:00 - Michelle lost both of her parents in a short amount of time and she decided to move abroad.
22:09 - Michelle’s friend told her about a town in Provence called Bonnieux and she decided to take action.
23:35 - “I have never felt so alive.”
25:02 - Rachel had a chance to visit Michelle during her time in Bonnieux.
27:07 - “Life is this push and pull of pleasure and pain. And if we don’t allow ourselves the pleasure, we’re going to sit in the pain.”
27:33 - Michelle’s marriage fell apart in France, but it was still an important experience.
29:00 - Thoughts on inertia.
30:00 - Do you want to just feel happy or do you want to feel alive?
32:20 - Balancing life’s more serious moments with humor.
35:45 - Michelle makes her friends laugh even when she’s not there!
36:16 - Michelle can be very gullible…
38:58 - Michelle meets a guy named “Yo.”
40:22 - The Lightning Round.