Portland Helmich has worked as a television and radio host, reporter, producer, writer, voice-over talent, and actress for the last two decades. She’s lent her producing and writing skills to news, magazine, “infotainment,” reality, and documentary programs airing on PBS, the Sundance Channel, Lifetime Real Women, the Hallmark Channel, the Travel Channel, the History Channel, Destination America, Animal Planet, Oxygen, Veria Living TV, Wisdom Television, WCVB-TV, New England Cable News, and more.
For three years, her voice was heard on Boston’s WGBH Radio, where she produced and read local news during NPR programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace.
She’s also the creator, host, and executive producer of 78 half-hour national lifestyle talk shows on two start-up channels – the former Veria Living TV and the former Wisdom Television. She’s been a correspondent for Oxygen’s Pure Oxygen and done reporting for The American Consumer on PBS and New England Cable News (NECN). Portland was a segment host on American Builder, a Comcast home improvement series, and she was Barry Nolan’s fill-in host on Comcast’s Nitebeat, a live evening talk show covering all topics. She hosted Careers in New England, a job recruitment series on New England Cable News, co-hosted My TV Prime on WZMY-TV in New Hampshire, and once hosted a magazine travel show that aired on Discovery Home & Leisure called Rural Free Delivery.
Portland began her career as an actress in New York City, where she studied at Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School. She’s acted on the stage, in commercials, films, and on television. She’s appeared on the HBO series, The Newsroom, and on HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. She’s also a recent winner of The Moth in Boston. After a 3-year stint in Los Angeles, Portland currently lives outside of Boston, where she works as a producer/writer at the documentary film company, Northern Light Productions. She also hosts and produces an interview podcast called Kripalu Perspectives for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Portland holds a BFA in acting from New York University and an MA from St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
From June, 1962 through January, 1964, women in the city of Boston lived in fear of the infamous Strangler. Over those 19 months, he committed 13 known murders-crimes that included vicious sexual assaults and bizarre stagings of the victims' bodies. After the largest police investigation in Massachusetts history, handyman Albert DeSalvo confessed and went to prison. Despite DeSalvo's full confession and imprisonment, authorities would never put him on trial for the actual murders. And more than 50 years later, significant doubts continue to surround the case. Was DeSalvo really the killer? Was there more than one Strangler? And did the Boston PD and the FBI do everything necessary to find and stop the murderer? Stranglers, an original 12-part weekly documentary podcast from Earwolf and Northern Light Productions, is a fascinating, contemporary audio investigation of the Boston Strangler story. Using never-before-heard voices, interviews with actual suspects, extensive original research and new conversations with the victims' family members, host Portland Helmich will introduce you to every facet of the case, from the reporters who originally covered it to the police who worked furiously to solve it, as well as terrified witnesses who claim to have met the Strangler himself.