America’s Most Notorious
Private Investigator, Steve Carman, Launches New Crime Radio Show
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Jamie Sangar
Crime aficionados in the greater Indianapolis area can now learn never-before-heard details on some of the country’s most famous criminal cases by tuning in to “America’s Most Notorious”, which launched in June on Freedom 95 Radio. Host Steve Carman, a west-side Indy native and Geist resident, doesn’t rely on secondhand accounts – he speaks with investigators, victims and criminals directly, offering them the chance to speak on the air, unfiltered and at great length, about their experiences.
And if you’re wondering how Carman is able to track down his guests and persuade them to come on his show, the fact that he’s a licensed private investigator with three decades of experience certainly doesn’t hurt.
Carman worked in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff after graduating with a degree in political science from Indiana University in 1989 and has since worked arson and insurance investigations, missing person inquiries, financial fraud and even murder cases. Earlier this year he launched SIU Resource Group, his own private investigative firm.
“I happened to make some contacts with Freedom Radio 95.9, and someone there eventually suggested a show,” Carman says. “The station started asking me what my experiences are and who I’ve had interactions with. When I told them they said it would make for a great show, talking to all different kinds of people – victims and criminals. I’m having a great time with it. I find that I’m always thinking about the next show and guests for the future, and I love that.”
After just a few months into his broadcasting career Carman has already managed to secure several guests involved in high-profile criminal cases, including Frank Bourassa, known as the world’s greatest counterfeiter who allegedly forged approximately $250 million in U.S. currency, as well as Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly’s abduction and murder in California captured national attention in the fall of 1993.
“I never really considered myself a radio guy or a news guy – I always considered myself an investigator,” Carman says. “I’ve always felt like I’m an average guy who’s lived in Indiana his whole life but who’s had an unusual job and has bumped into all these wild characters during my life. But I’m very used to being one-on-one with people. I’ve had fantastic guests and that’s been the fun part of it.”
Far from the rapid-fire question-and-answer approach taken by many a radio personality, Carman lets his guests speak as long as they wish without interruption, to provide listeners with a comprehensive – and sometimes disturbing – recounting of events. In July he talked with Rebecca Garde, who described surviving an attack by serial killer, Gary Ridgway, in Seattle in 1982. Known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway was convicted in 2003 on 49 counts of first-degree murder – more than any other known American serial killer.
“The people I try to get on the show need to feel like they can trust me,” Carman says. “I’m always very honest with people and tell them, in the case of criminals, I know what they got arrested for and what happened. Sometimes people feel like there’s another side to the story, and they’ll say they had all this other stuff going on that people didn’t know about. I find with most everybody, when you give them a chance to say where they’re at today and how they’re better, they’ll take that chance.”
“America’s Most Notorious” with Steve Carman airs on Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Freedom 95 Radio, 95.9 FM/950 AM.