Hear 6 Iowans tell their hard-to-believe but true stories at the next Des Moines Storytellers Project
I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with true crime.
I gobble up every HBO documentary, "20/20" episode, or new podcast I can find, even if it's a story I've heard before. It's fascinating to me how quickly people's lives can change in one instant. And I'm interested in learning about America's frustrating criminal justice system.
Like all of life's stories, true crime is particularly complex — from the lifelong emotional and mental toll on victim's families, friends and neighbors; to the yearslong fight through the courts system; to the media coverage along the way.
But one thing these stories all have in common: It's simply hard to fathom how they're true. How this can be real life.
Six Iowans will share their hard-to-believe stories in the next installment of the Des Moines Storytellers Project, "True Tall Tales: Stories so bizarre and mysterious they have to be true." The show is sold out.
Yes, you'll hear stories of true crime. But you'll also learn about the ghosts that haunt us, the secrets that were never meant to be uncovered and the chain of events that change our lives forever.
Still to come in our fourth season: Holiday Spectacular: Family, faith and reasons we gather at the end of the year on Dec. 17. Season tickets for 2020 are also on sale now. Find details for all shows at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers.
Meet our next storytellers, coached by Des Moines Register reporters Rekha Basu, Shelby Fleig, Stephen Gruber-Miller, Lee Rood, Anna Spoerre, Linh Ta and me.
Born and raised in Azerbaijan and now residing in Des Moines, Sadagat Aliyeva mostly enjoys wandering through the magical streets of her inner world. And sometimes she shares her authentic experiences in her fairytale-like stories and whimsical illustrations. She's one of the pioneers of the Bicultural Iowa Writers’ Fellowship and her four stories published in the first edition of the anthology, "We the Interwoven."
Rachel Corpus lives with her husband, Edward, and children, Olivia, Sam and Felix in West Des Moines. She is a full-time angel communicator, psychic medium and spiritual teacher. Rachel loves going to the movies and is one of those people who decorates for Christmas really early.
Chad Elliott is an award-winning songwriter, painter, sculptor, poet and children's book author from Lamoni, Iowa. Lauded as "Iowa's Renaissance Man," Elliott has been traveling coast to coast performing original songs and teaching creativity in schools for more than 20 years.
Amanda McCurley is a health facilities surveyor for the Iowa Department of Public Health. Amanda has a bachelor's from the University of Northern Iowa and a master's from The Ohio State University. She enjoys reading, cross-stitching, reality TV and all things pop culture. Amanda lives with her partner and two spunky and spirited daughters.
Sandra Rohrer is an esthetician and marketing professional who loves writing and traveling. She lives in Ankeny with her family and their fluffy cockapoo, Binny Binkins. She is currently writing a memoir. Her unique story of tragedy, joy, and overcoming has led to a passion for seeing other women walk in heart freedom.
Suzanne Volkmer-Jones and her late mother, Pat Jones, operated Pat Jones Tag Sales together for many years in the Des Moines area. After her mother's retirement, Suzanne kept the business going. Even after 30 years, she still enjoys the process of going through everyone's stuff.
Become a teller
The Des Moines Storytellers Project strongly believes that everyone HAS a story and everyone CAN tell it. None of the storytellers who take our stage are professionals. They are your neighbors, friends or co-workers, and they are coached to tell by Register journalists.
Want to tell your story at one of our upcoming Storytellers Project events? Read our guidelines and submit a story by clicking "Tell" at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers.
Visit the Storytellers store
Embrace local storytelling and the feelings it creates with our latest Storytellers Project merchandise. Browse T-shirts, tote bags and more at ShopDMRegister.com/Storytellers.
Kim Norvell is the Des Moines Storytellers Project director of content. She also covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com or 515-284-8259.