“We are an explicit podcast. Our dad wishes that we cussed less, but when you are talking about serial killers a choice word slips out every once in awhile,” stated Paige Farmer, one-half of the true crime podcast 2KAway. “We don’t water down the details either - with choice exceptions like someone’s personal information or if a child is involved. Our podcast falls into the realm of entertainment, but we also look at it as an educational warning for people to be vigilant and remember there are real monsters in the world.”
Farmer and her sister, Payton Reeves, started airing episodes of their true crime podcast in October of 2020 when Reeves was living in Los Angeles, CA, 2,000 miles from her parents (Geoff and Theresa Reeves) and sister. While the podcast falls into the true crime genre with most episodes focusing on well-known cold cases, the sisters also delve into historical murders, conspiracies and creepy legends, offsetting the somewhat heavy topics with their light-hearted banter.
“We tossed around several different ideas when we were initially brainstorming names and 2KAway felt like the perfect fit. At the time I was living in Los Angeles and we were 2,000 miles away from each other. We knew that our main focus would be true crime, but we also wanted to throw in some other stuff, so we needed a name that would encompass everything and not box us into a specific genre,” explained Reeves, who convinced her older sister (by three years) to co-host the podcast with her.
When Reeves opted to return to Donnellson during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic the name stuck.
“Now we are feet away,” Reeves said with a laugh, while describing their current setup in the spare bedroom of Farmer’s home. “Our equipment is set up on my coffee table and we sit on the floor. It’s really professional–maybe some day we will get chairs.”
The sisters’ frank humor and sharp wits quickly draw in the listener. Each week Reeves and Farmer switch off on bringing cases to the table; both keep individual lists of topics they are interested in covering and research the subject material of the episode they are creating on their own.
“We are both true crime junkies, so we already knew about some cases that we wanted to dive further into. We scour pretty much any source that offers reputable information but it is really easy to fall into rabbit holes. If we are doing a true crime case we try to dig up old court transcripts. We also read a lot of articles and books and watch documentaries related to the subject,” Reeves explained, when asked how they choose material. “We don’t tell each other the case that we are bringing to the table each week so it is always a little surprise - like Paige covered the Axeman of New Orleans (episode #13) and I was so angry because I wanted to cover that case.”
With the exception of a few two-part episodes, each week’s subject differs with the only informal rule being that they try to break up the heavier true crime episodes with lighter episodes that center on paranormal mysteries and conspiracies.
“If we cover something that is particularly gruesome, we like to lighten things up the next week . For example, I just did an episode on changelings (episode #32) and a few true crime cases that are loosely attached to the folklore because the week before Payton covered the Keddie Cabin Murders (episode #31) and that was a really heavy topic.
“Plus the lighter episodes give us a chance to shake things up and banter back and forth which is really nice,” Payton interjected. “We definitely lay into the murderers during our true crime episodes, but you can’t joke about crime cases. No one wants to hear murder jokes and we definitely don’t want to make them.”
Once the research aspect is done they get busy writing out a loose script of the information they dug up. The duo reconvenes to record and then Payton edits the material before uploading the new episodes; generally around 5 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. Each brings their own elements to the table; Farmer loves a rambling conspiracy while Reeves prefers cases rooted in history and has plans to cover both the Lincoln and JFK assassinations in the future. However, they don’t limit subject material to their own personal preferences, and delve into difficult cases like the Oakland County Child Killers (episodes #20 and #21), as well as local mysteries like their first two episodes, the Unsolved Cerkvenick Murders, that center on an unsolved double homicide that occurred in Panama in the 1950s.
“2KAway’s goal is to entertain but also to educate,” Farmer stated. “There are way too many unsolved cases and so much police evidence that hasn’t been DNA tested because of the cost. I know that we are still very small and not as far reaching or popular as most podcasts, but I like to cover unsolved cases because to keep the cases fresh in the public’s mind and potentially dig up information, that helps bring closure for the victims’ families. For example, even though the Oakland Child Killer case happened back in the 1970’s it is still being investigated. We aren’t solving crimes but we hope to keep them in public view.”
Farmer went on to explain that there are also a plethora of organizations the public can donate to in order to help fund the resources needed for these cases to move forward.
2KAway will be going live on Facebook at the Montgomery County Bicentennial Celebration this weekend, Saturday, June 5, at the fairgrounds in Butler. The sisters encourage attendees to stop by their booth and share their scariest stories, whether they know someone who was involved in a true crime case or have witnessed a paranormal event.
Information on specific episodes may be viewed online at www.buzzsprout.com/1388023. Listeners may access 2KAway through a variety of platforms including Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher and Castbox among others.