I always knew I wanted to produce a documentary. I never dreamed we’d delve into such a dark, torturious, sadistic world. The conversation began with a friend of mine who works in law enforcement. As we talked about our careers, the good, the bad and the ugly, I shared with him my plans to do a documentary. He asked if I’d ever considered exploring the issue of human trafficking. At the time, I had no idea that it even existed in the U.S. let alone so close to home.
For the past three years, we’ve been investigating the kidnapping of children, who are then sold into slavery. We traveled back to my home state of Oklahoma. We also spent time in Kansas, Missouri and worked with survivors and law enforcement across Iowa. It culminated in one of the most disturbing stories I’ve ever told.
Some will find it chilling. Others will struggle to believe it. Our hope is that after you watch it, you’ll come to terms with the fact that it’s real. It’s happening in Iowa. It’s happening in Illinois. It’s happening in the Quad Cities.
It’s not where I expected to travel in my documentary journey. However, once I started down the path, I couldn’t turn around and pretend I never saw the evidence that was before me. I couldn’t ignore the fact that children, many of whom come from troubled homes were being targeted and victimized.
It also led us to explore more issues They all fall under the umbrella of “The Dangers They Face.” We’ve already produced and aired “If You Only Knew: The Journey Through Teen Depression and Suicide.” It’s now available on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Once we wrap up “Human Trafficking in the Heartland” we’ll move on to the next topic. “Down on the Pharm: A look at Pharmaceutical and Heroin Abuse” is already in production. We hope to finish it by early spring. There’s more to come.
Is it what I planned? Absolutely not. Are they stories that need to be told? Without a doubt. My hope is we can bring awareness, start a community discussion and give a voice to at-risk children who desperately need that voice.