[Mgmt. apologizes for various sound issues, incl. 1) construction noise next door; 2) dog being a yappy heller; and 3) Skype throttling Kevin's sound.]Kevin Smokler is back to discuss Liz Garbus's feature on one fragment of the Long Island Serial Killer case -- Lost Girls, based on Robert Kolker's excellent book. We like everyone involved, but aren't sure we can recommend the film, because despite excellent sources and performances (mostly), the film isn't sure who it's for.All Good Things, Andrew Jarecki's FIRST take on Robert Durst's various (alleged?) misdeeds, is worth watching, if only as a primer on the case if you've forgotten what went down in The Jinx. Events of the case have overtaken it, and Ryan Gosling is miscast...and yet an abundance of acting talent and a few flawlessly done moments make it worthwhile. If you must leave the house for a sandwich, please pay for it: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 136.SHOW NOTESLost Girls (https://www.netflix.com/watch/81157128) Lost Girls reviews on Metacritic (https://www.metacritic.com/movie/lost-girls/critic-reviews)Kolker on the death of Mari Gilbert (https://www.thecut.com/2020/03/the-true-crime-tragedy-behind-lost-girls.html) , Shannan's mother A few of Kevin Smokler's (https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/woody-allen-court-tv-dahmer) and my (https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/stolen-oscars-lost-girls-lindbergh) thoughts on the book (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062183656/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0062183656&linkCode=as2&tag=blotterpresen-20&linkId=0c854827a56eb926b42486972c44da18)All Good Things (https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/all-good-things) The Best Evidence thread on "Vanity Fair movies" (https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/friday-thread-vanity-fair-movies/comments)Kevin Smokler.com (https://www.kevinsmokler.com/)And my sponsors, Best Fiends and Feals (http://www.feals.com) !
Can FX repeat its American Crime Story success in the unscripted space? The Most Dangerous Animal Of All takes a big swing, but Gary Stewart may get stuck on the bench with me, my guest Eve Batey, and everyone else whose dads aren't the Zodiac. Would this have made a good feature just on the criminal drama that was Stewart's birth parents? What is the series trying to accomplish with the volte face in the fourth episode? And should I rename the podcast "Look, Nobody's Dad Did Anything"?
But we're thrilled that Hustlers qualified for discussion in our Cold Case section, and no, not JUST because it's a crime that Jennifer Lopez didn't get an Oscar nom. What makes a good longread-to-film adaptation? Does Constance Wu make the perfect not-too-charismatic protagonist? And is Cardi B's character running on a pro-labor platform or what? Don't let your earbuds fall out during a reverse stag: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 135.
FX's landing page for The Most Dangerous Animal Of All (https://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/most-dangerous-animal)
Aaron Barnhart's TMDAOA review (https://www.primetimer.com/barnhart/most-dangerous-animal)
Eve's and my first foray into the Zodiac case, Ep 019 (https://audioboom.com/posts/7349401-episode-19-019-the-zodiac-s)
Ep 079 on The Innocent Man (https://audioboom.com/posts/7349311-079-the-innocent-man-and-misfortune-the-lou-pearlman-story)
Hustlers (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XLBZFPK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07XLBZFPK&linkCode=as2&tag=blotterpresen-20&linkId=6adfde85fb5ef6e639b0d225a31eaf33) on Amazon (you can also rent it)
Jessica Pressler's original story in New York (https://www.thecut.com/2015/12/hustlers-the-real-story-behind-the-movie.html)
That New Yorker profile of Constance Wu (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/23/constance-wus-hollywood-destiny)
Eater San Francisco (https://sf.eater.com/)
Best Evidence (http://bestevidence.fyi)
Estão a faltar episódios?
I'm so grateful Dr. Marcia Chatelain made time for even more discussion of fast-food malfeasance; she's my guest again as we take a look at the back half of Monopoly-scam docuseries McMillion$. The character-based future seasons we wanted, "poor man's Sante Kimes" used as a verb, the ways in which McMillion$ is the most American of stories, and much more.
Later, we waded into Netflix's Big Food series, Rotten, which does a lot of things well (good research, excellent vintage footage), but a lot of other things not so well (stentoriously inexperienced narration, over-reliance on said vintage footage). Is there any food we can feel ethically okay about enjoying? Is there any-one who will steal Tancítaro's avocado welcome sculpture for Sarah? Find out what happens when Mayor Pete does a presentation in Dr. Marcia's class; it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 134.
McMillion$ (https://play.hbogo.com/episode/urn:hbo:episode:GXflGywF16DzCHAEAAAFR) on HBOGo
Last month's Extra Hot Great episode with Eve (https://www.extrahotgreat.com/288) on McMillion$
Rotten (https://www.netflix.com/watch/80990443) on Netflix
Episode 112 (https://audioboom.com/posts/7371568-112-murder-in-the-bayou-and-betting-on-zero) with Marcia Chatelain
More on Franchise (http://www.marciachatelain.com/) and Marcia's book-tour stops
The Best Evidence (http://bestevidence.fyi) newsletter
And head to TakeCareOf.com (http://www.takecareof.com) for 50 percent off with that BLOTTER50 code!
Jessica Liese joins me to talk about a limited series Netflix picked up from Reelz, Unabomber: In His Own Words, which exceeded our expectations -- and while we'd recommend it as a good case overview with unparalleled access, we both wondered if it wasn't trying to hard to explain (or even rationalize) Ted Kaczynski's motivations for killing three people and injuring dozens more.
Our second Most Wanted topic is recent podcast Strictly Stalking, and we agree that it's a great idea with some unfortunate execution errors. Has the production team fallen prey to "NPR syndrome"? And we admire a true-crime property that starts from believing women and goes from there...but how much further can it go with this premise? Stupid punctuation tricks, FBI agents we'd like to drink with, and more in The Blotter Presents, Episode 133.
Unabomber: In His Own Words (https://www.netflix.com/watch/81013986) on Netflix
Strictly Stalking (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/strictly-stalking/id1494237083) on Apple Podcasts
Vice on Lenora Claire (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4xxg8j/meet-the-erin-brockovich-of-stalking)
Jess Liese's work on Primetimer (https://www.primetimer.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=liese)
And don't forget to check out our sponsor, Best Fiends!
The new four-parter about a grieving father's crusade against Purdue Pharma, The Pharmacist, has a couple of problems -- but, guest Jeb Lund and I agree, the chief issue is that we wanted more: more on the pill-mill ecosystem, more on the race and class issues that permeate awareness of the opioid crisis, and more from this production team. Even when Dan Schneider Sr.'s grief is hard to watch, The Pharmacist is very watchable.Our Cold Case topic, Inside Story's episode on Jeffrey MacDonald from 1989, isn't UN-watchable; it's just...kind of weird. It seems like it's trying to both-sides the evidence, but in doing so, often exposes alternate theories of the crime as absurd-sounding. It also seems like it's trying to trap MacDonald in bogus overacting, and like it's trying to explain the late-'60s counterculture to visitors from space? But it got Jeb interested in the case, so hold onto your pajama bottoms: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 132.SHOW NOTESThe Pharmacist (https://www.netflix.com/title/81002576) on NetflixPatrick Radden Keefe's "The Family That Built An Empire Of Pain" for The New Yorker (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain)Inside Story, "False Witness" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=fxCByoakms8)The Best Evidence MacDonald reader (https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/jeffrey-macdonald-a-reading-list)Dave And Jeb Aren't Mean (https://daveandjebarentmean.libsyn.com/)
Toby Ball didn't watch all of Interrogation, CBS All-Access's new choose-your-own-watch-order procedural (based, evidently, on a real case); I did; we both have some of the same issues with the "hook" of shuffled episodes -- and I had MAJOR issues with the ending. Was an all-star cast wasted on a project that doesn't really know what it's trying to do?
Later, we talked about an episode of The Power Of Attorney, a podcast from Rutgers Law School, that talks to the guy on whose case Interrogation might be based: exoneree and marathoner Huwe Burton. Alas, that podcast doesn't talk to Burton enough, and while it's a solid overview of how false confessions come about -- and a clever idea for a podcast overall -- we're not sure this treatment of the material works either. But we also talk about David Simon's many contributions to the genre, so have a listen to The Blotter Presents, Episode 131.
Interrogation (https://www.cbs.com/shows/interrogation/) on All Access
TV Guide’s Noel Kirkpatrick (https://www.tvguide.com/news/interrogation-review-cbs-all-access-kyle-gallner/) on why the shuffled structure makes the show hard to plug into
The Power Of Attorney, Episode 4 (https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-the-power-of-attorney-53671210/episode/4-the-failures-of-our-criminal-53717271/)
Huwe Burton on Real Sports (https://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/all-episodes/november-2019)
New York Times coverage of Burton’s exoneration (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/nyregion/huwe-burton-exoneration-bronx-murder.html)
Toby’s Deep Dive book club on the CWO Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/partnersincrimemedia)
Best Evidence (http://bestevidence.fyi)
Stephanie Early Green is back to discuss the usual complement of light, fizzy fare! ...Okay, no: our first Most Wanted conversation is about Amazon's new Ted Bundy docuseries, Falling For A Killer. Does it succeed in subtracting Ted Bundy from all the secondary stories of grief and horror he created? Should the filmmaker have spun off another series on women in '70s law enforcement? And what exactly happened between Bundy and Molly Kendall?
We KNOW what happened between Shelly Knotek and her children (and luckless boarders) in Gregg Olsen's mercilessly detailed If You Tell -- but Olsen doesn't do as much with the hows and whys as we'd like. Olsen's book reads fast, but not so fast that we didn't wonder why certain figures in this tale of gaslighting and abuse weren't taken to firmer task. (And why his editor didn't cut that awful eagle simile.) It might seem like nothing good comes out of Washington State in The Blotter Presents, Episode 130.
[Content warning: this episode's materials involve sexual trauma, child abuse, and...well, Ted Bundy. Please listen with care.]
Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bundy-Falling-Killer-Season/dp/B082FPGQD8
If You Tell https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Tell-Unbreakable-Sisterhood/dp/B07TNTB329
Stephanie Early Green's blog http://www.stephanieearlygreen.com
Best Evidence: bestevidence.fyi (http://bestevidence.fyi/)
And our sponsor, Lola! http://mylola.com
First-time guest David J. Roth and I came late to the discussion of Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez...only to realize that the discussion we DID have didn't require us to watch KI:TMOAH, which is well made and yet not made the best way for the material. We also talked about responsibility vs. indemnity; Bill Belichick's trademark grey reluctance; and the untitled Mike Massey project we're hoping comes out in 2021.Our Cold Case topic, The Tillman Story, is more successful, even as it brings us back to a "dumb, shitty" time in recent American history. Pat Tillman's death may not qualify as a true-crime subject, but Army cover-ups -- and how predictable they are -- might. Jon Krakauer, Tom Brady, and two NFL stars with very different untimely demises: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 129.[Content warning: this episode addresses suicide, and there is some gore. Please listen with care.]SHOW NOTESKiller Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez https://www.netflix.com/watch/81090138Sports Illustrated review: Docuseries too reliant on speculation https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2020/01/16/aaron-hernandez-netflix-docuseries-reviewBlotter Brief 2 on the Gladiator podcast: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349338-blotter-brief-2-gladiator-aaron-hernandez-and-football-incThe Tillman Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz2jtO0GvI4&feature=youtu.beTravers review of The Tillman Story for Rolling Stone https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/the-tillman-story-251351/Dave and Jeb Aren't Mean https://daveandjebarentmean.libsyn.com/Dave Roth on Twitter http://twitter.com/david_j_rothBest Evidence: bestevidence.fyi (http://bestevidence.fyi/)
Piper Weiss and I waded into basic cable's accidental anthropology this week, starting with MTV's new extension of a heritage non-fiction show, True Life Crime. It's got potential, and we'll keep watching, but we couldn't help wondering if the network was giving a lot of Dateline-y notes -- and if the show in its original inception involved a lot more of the late Zachary Stoner.
Later, we looked at Love/Life After Lockup, and questioned WEtv's intentions. Is it trying to make an acerbic comment on the American incarceration industrial complex, or the unintended consequences of mandatory sentencing and the opioid crisis? Or that a coincidence arising from the filming of various figurative emotional trainwrecks? Either way, we're voting B for president in The Blotter Presents, Episode 128.
[Content warning: this episode addresses child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and suicide. Please listen with care.]
True Life Crime (http://www.mtv.com/shows/true-life-crime)
William Lee from the Trib: the Kenneka Jenkins case was "never a murder mystery" (https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-kenneka-jenkins-mtv-commentary-20200109-wefnlw5vfzgshcshu6gazx25ri-story.html)
Life After Lockup (https://www.wetv.com/shows/life-after-lockup)
LAL's Lacey implies that husband Shane has gotten violent (https://allaboutthetea.com/2020/01/12/love-after-lockup-shane-beat-lacey/) with her
Piper on Twitter (http://twitter.com/thepiperweiss)
Best Evidence: bestevidence.fyi (http://bestevidence.fyi/)
And of course my sponsor, Feals (http://www.feals.com) !
Mark Blankenship discussed the first season of Surviving R. Kelly on the podcast, and kindly returned to unpack the second season. Is the additional testimony, and our bearing witness, the point? Could a different organizational strategy have made Part 2 more effective? And what drives the people who take to the streets with signs to defend Kelly and his ilk?
Later, we talked about singer-songwriter Allison Moorer's memoir of her parents' tragic deaths, Blood: A Memoir. Mark read the book and I listened to it, and these contrasting experiences of the text led to a conversation about the spaces in narrative, whether sometimes physical text is more "musical" than when it's spoken, and how to write yourself as a child.
[Content warning: this episode addresses child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and suicide. Please listen with care.]
Surviving R. Kelly: https://www.mylifetime.com/shows/surviving-r-kelly
Episode 080 on SRK Part 1: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349303-080-surviving-r-kelly-and-behind-the-music
Elaine Weiss reads from The Woman's Hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnaYTC9r2Mg
Blood: A Memoir: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0306922681/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0306922681&linkCode=as2&tag=blotterpresen-20&linkId=3a7fdd7f2c2eb5c9c14156eca4391dc2
My review of The Reckoning for Primetimer: https://www.primetimer.com/features/dont-look-away-from-surviving-r-kelly-part-ii-the-reckoning
The Showtune Countdown: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1248-the-showtune-countdown-50444773/
Best Evidence: bestevidence.fyi
All the true-crime properties that were worth MY time last year, from The Act to Zeman. "Special" "appearance" by Bear E. Williams!
Abducted In Plain Sight: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349289-brief-36-abducted-in-plain-sight
“Caught Up In The Act” on Primetimer: https://www.primetimer.com/features/caught-up-in-the-act
At The Heart Of Gold: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349273-095-at-the-heart-of-gold-and-cold
Bundyville: The Remnant: https://longreads.com/bundyville/
Catch & Kill: https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/november-bonus-book-review-catch
Down City: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349260-108-down-city-and-the-fbi-files-yahweh-ben-yahweh
The Inventor: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349281-089-the-inventor-and-children-of-the-snow
Leaving Neverland: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349284-087-leaving-neverland-and-the-skye-borgman-interview
Murder Mountain: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349295-083-murder-mountain-and-the-weather-underground
Norco ’80: https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/august-bonus-book-review-1-norco
Savage Appetites: https://audioboom.com/posts/7447885-124-detective-trapp-and-savage-appetites
Say Nothing: https://blotterpresents.substack.com/p/december-2019-bonus-book-review-say
Surviving R Kelly: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349303-080-surviving-r-kelly-and-behind-the-music
Tell Me Who I Am: https://time.com/5706370/tell-me-who-i-am-netflix-true-story/
We Are Columbine: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349275-093-we-are-columbine-and-most-notorious-on-adolph-coors-iii
When They See Us: https://audioboom.com/posts/7349269-099-when-they-see-us-and-who-killed-nancy
...and of course Best Evidence: bestevidence.fyi
Jeb Lund returns, but probably wishes he hadn't, because we're talking about Apple TV's Truth Be Told, a property that may think it brings Serial to mind, but is actually a lot more in line with the estranged-from-reality journalisming of one Brandon Walsh. Have the creators never watched even part of a procedural? Why does the series contain EVERY possible story about this family? And is every agent involved getting fired?
It's bad, is our point. 2018 Netflix series Dark Tourist is better, but it's still muddled as to whether it's trying to comment on the dark-tourism industry -- and its consumers -- or participate in it, or both. We're also not 100 on whether Jeffrey Dahmer is the quintessentially American killer...or just the easiest target. Wasted opportunities abound, but we might save you from wasting your time in The Blotter Presents, Episode 125.
Visit my sponsor, Lola! (Don't forget the code!) http://mylola.com
Truth Be Told: https://wondery.com/shows/detective-trapp (https://wondery.com/shows/detective-trapp/)
Dark Tourist E03, "The United States": https://amzn.to/2P5XfxS
This American Life 385 (Jon Ronson): https://www.thisamericanlife.org/385/pro-se
Dave And Jeb Aren't Mean: https://daveandjebarentmean.libsyn.com/
The latest L.A. Times/Wondery joint project from the Dirty John team, Detective Trapp, may be a podcast in search of a Sunday magazine; Kevin Smokler and I talk about old-media effortfulness, why "merely good" is sometimes great," and narrative choices. The same topics come up again when we look at Rachel Monroe's Savage Appetites, as we ponder difficulty ratings in non-fiction, the power of teenage girls, and how Monroe makes "old" crimes new again. In a nutshell (not that kind), that's The Blotter Presents, Episode 124.
A year of Best Evidence (http://bestevidence.fyi/) is just $52, now 'til 12/15!
Visit my sponsor, Zola! (Don't forget the code!) zola.com/blotter
Detective Trapp: https://wondery.com/shows/detective-trapp (https://wondery.com/shows/detective-trapp/)
Rachel Monroe’s Savage Appetites: https://amzn.to/2P5XfxS
Susan Douglas’s Where The Girls Are: https://amzn.to/2YwD4fM
Kevin Smokler’s website: kevinsmokler.com (https://www.netflix.com/title/80213588)
It's a six-pack of DVR clutter this week as I let you know what I'm granting a continuance...or a motion to dismiss. Netflix's latest on Henry Lee Lucas, plus a Frontline on a predator on the reservation, a doc on Oakland PD, the continuing fascination with the murder of Martha Moxley, yet more JonBenét Ramsey theories, and a new hope for the oldest profession. Get ready for some justifiable deletions, people: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 123.
A year of Best Evidence (http://bestevidence.fyi) is just $52, now 'til 12/15!
Murder & Justice: The Case Of Martha Moxley // https://www.oxygen.com/murder-and-justice-the-case-of-martha-moxley/season-1/mourning-in-greenwich?autoPlay=1
Dominick Dunne on Martha Moxley // https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2000/10/dominick-dunne-martha-moxley-murder-greenwich
New York on Dunne vs. RFK Jr. // https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/features/n_8816/
Timothy McVeigh: In Defense Of // https://www.oxygen.com/timothy-mcveigh-in-defense-of/videos
POV S32E14, "Blowin' Up" // http://www.pbs.org/pov/watch/blowinup/video-blowin-up/
Hunting JonBenet's Killer: The Untold Story // https://www.aetv.com/specials/hunting-jonbenets-killer-the-untold-story/full-special
Independent Lens, "The Force" // https://www.netflix.com/title/80168198
Frontline S37E12, "Predator On The Reservation" // https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/predator-on-the-reservation/
The Confession Killer // https://www.netflix.com/title/80213588
[CONTENT WARNING: language; discussion of child sexual abuse investigation]
Toby Ball is back to talk about two fairly recent podcasts: the first, a departure from politics for Slow Burn, as the podcast's third season delves into the still-unsolved murders of Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur. Am I too impatient with a project that is, after all, called "Slow Burn" -- or are the attempts to give far wider context to these murders too unfocused? And ARE these killings ever going to get solved? Later, we confront Hunting Warhead, a CBC/VG joint venture about a white-hat hacker's investigation into child pornography consumers in Norway that got much bigger...and as the podcast goes on, the story gets much, much darker. Is the excellent reporting worth the harrowing experience of listening?
Slow Burn Season 3 https://slate.com/podcasts/slow-burn/s3/biggie-and-tupac
Ep 22 on Biggie: The Life Of Notorious BIG https://audioboom.com/posts/7349398-episode-22-022-biggie-the-life-of-notorious-b-i-g-and-gesualdo-death-for-five-voices
Ep 47 (with Toby Ball) on Unsolved https://audioboom.com/posts/7349366-episode-54-047-unsolved-and-the-family
Connie Bruck in The New Yorker: "The Takedown Of Tupac" (and now that I've reread it, I think it absolutely informs Slow Burn's third ep https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1997/07/07/the-takedown-of-tupac
Ep 50 on In Ice Cold Blood https://audioboom.com/posts/7349363-episode-57-050-in-ice-cold-blood-and-mysteries-scandals
Hunting Warhead https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts/hunting-warhead/index.html
Crime Writers On… http://www.crimewriterson.com (http://www.crimewriterson.com/)
Stephanie Green is back to discuss Netflix's latest original docuseries, The Devil Next Door, in which John Demjanjuk may or may not have been a Nazi extermination camp's Ivan The Terrible...and his true identity may or may not have been the point of the series. How is trauma "remembered"? Why did the U.S. consider some war criminals "useful"? And what did Demjanjuk really do between 1942 and 1952? Later, we talk about two different takes on crowd-solving cold cases: CrimeCon's "true crime experience," CrowdSolve; and the Vidocq Society. The Crime Report's piece on the former raised more questions than it answered, but The Telegraph's 2009 overview of the latter had me and Stephanie wondering if a hybrid isn't advisable. The panel will not be taking questions on Jack The Ripper; it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 121.
The Devil Next Door: https://www.netflix.com/title/80201488
Netflix to amend docuseries following complaints from Polish government: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/nov/15/netflix-to-amend-holocaust-documentary-after-complaints-from-polish-government
"My Weekend As An Amateur Cold Case Detective": https://thecrimereport.org/2019/11/12/my-weekend-as-an-amature-cold-case-detective/
"The Vidocq Society: Murder on the menu": https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/3489805/The-Vidocq-Society-Murder-on-the-menu.html
"Crowdsourcing Criminal Investigations in the Digital Age": https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2014/07/01/cold-cases-criminal-investigations
Stephanie Early Green's site: http://stephanieearlygreen.com
The Blotter Presents's sponsor, Zola: zola.com/blotter (https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2014/07/01/cold-cases-criminal-investigations)
The Preppy Murder is Sundance's five-part look at the murder of Jennifer Levin by Robert Chambers, and how it gripped New York City for years starting in August of 1986. Guest Piper Weiss and I remember those headlines well, but the miniseries corrects our memory on some points -- though we're still not sure why this is coming out now, or why Linda Fairstein's participation isn't asterisked in some way. In the Cold Case section, Piper and I revisit one segment of Zeman and Mills's Killer Legends, with Piper theorizing on why the "call coming from inside the house" urban legend gained traction and both of us recommending Zeman's Cropsey. We also talk about ghost apps, snack diplomacy, and more in The Blotter Presents, Episode 120.
The Preppy Murder: Death In Central Park: https://www.sundancetv.com/shows/the-preppy-murder-death-in-central-park/season-1/episode-01-woman-down-in-central-park
The book I loaned to Piper: https://www.amazon.com/Wasted-Inside-Robert-Chambers-Jennifer-Murder/dp/1504030370
Michael Stone's NYMag cover story: https://nymag.com/news/features/crime/48262/
Killer Legends: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B00M4QPDMI/ref=atv_dl_rdr?autoplay=1
Contemporary coverage of Janett Christman's murder: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/3930183/janett_christman_1950_missouri/
Mueller's suit against local law enforcement: https://openjurist.org/203/f2d/797/mueller-v-powell
Piper's book You All Grow Up And Leave Me, now in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/You-All-Grow-Leave-Obsession/dp/006245658X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
It's another Wondery podcast up top this week -- I'll try not to make a habit of it -- as guest Eve Batey and I contemplate American Elections: Wicked Game. Eve thinks the deep weekly dive into every single U.S. election, and the adjacent chicanery/felon...ery (?), might have worked better with visuals, while I confess I've still never seen/heard Hamilton but think the podcast is primed to get really good with a few tweaks. But is it crimey enough? We'll compare it to existing properties so you can decide.
In the Cold Case section, Eve makes her pitch to turn 2015 documentary The Fear Of 13 into a podcast instead. Is Nick Yarris's highly personal Spalding Gray-esque tale intimate and credible, or strained and stagey? Is it...both? And who should play him in the scripted version? Philly accents, that notorious milk ad, and yes, the cutting of cheese: it's The Blotter Presents, Episode 119.
[Editor's note: Apologies for residual barking that I couldn't scrub out of the track. Mr. Bear E. Williams is not always a good dog.]
SHOW NOTES American Elections: Wicked Game: https://wondery.com/shows/american-elections-wicked-game (https://wondery.com/shows/american-elections-wicked-game/) /
The Presidential podcast from WaPo: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/podcasts/presidential/
Irving Stone's Those Who Love: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68775.Those_Who_Love
Jon Meacham's American Lion: Andrew Jackson In The White House: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3147367-american-lion
The Fear of 13: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80099305
Nick Yarris talks to The Innocence Project about The Fear Of 13: https://www.innocenceproject.org/yarris-discusses-fear-of-13/
Still not subscribed to Best Evidence? Check it out: bestevidence.fyi
I'm on my own for a round-up episode, reviewing 1) the latest from Wondery and Dr. Death's Laura Beil, Bad Batch; 2) a documentary about twin mind and malleable memory, Tell Me Who I Am, that just hit Netflix; and 3) a 2017 crime-oir, Sarah Perry’s After The Eclipse.SHOW NOTESBad Batch: https://wondery.com/shows/bad-batch/Tell Me Who I Am: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80214706 (https://www.netflix.com/watch/80214706?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C7762b4ae-8a69-407c-b8b4-d212ec29bfd1-52923659%2C%2C)After The Eclipse: https://amzn.to/2Nm8Uqq (http://nytimes.com/2019/10/18/arts/television/leavenworth-review.html)The Forensic Files ep on Crystal Perry's case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TfyjF4b1IE
The five-part documentary series from Starz, Leavenworth, looks at the very complicated case of Clint Lorance, and after the first episode, guest Jeb Lund and I were a little impatient with the painstaking set-up -- but mostly because we wanted more of the textured, compelling stories that all converge on a single incident in 2012. Will we keep watching? And should you?
Later, we revisit what's probably an all-time top-ten true-crime topic: the 1962 escape from Alcatraz, this time as considered by Phoebe Judge on Criminal. I'm seldom NOT going to recommend a Criminal episode, and this one's no different -- so why is that? What sets Criminal's treatment of this well-trodden ground apart? And what do Jeb and I think happened to the three who got out? Dig, dash, dive into The Blotter Presents, Episode 117.
Leavenworth on Starz: https://www.starz.com/series/leavenworth/featured
Daniel Fienberg for THR on Leavenworth: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/leavenworth-review-1248478
Mike Hale for the Times: nytimes.com/2019/10/18/arts/television/leavenworth-review.html
Dr. Nathaniel Frank, Unfriendly Fire: https://amzn.to/2oUAB1o
Dexter Filkins, The Forever War: https://amzn.to/2BuIfCe
Ep 078 on Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/078-leah-remini-scientology-aftermath-apostate/id1213321943?i=1000425653050
Criminal #77, "The Escape": https://thisiscriminal.com/episode-77-the-escape-10-20-2017/
Spitting Image IS getting a reboot: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49865406