Author: Samantha Sanders

“True Things about Bad People:” Nobody Speak Pushes at an Open Door

Overview: The 2016 Gawker trial gets top billing, but this documentary also looks at its broader implications for the free press. 2017; Netflix; Not Rated; 102 minutes. “Bullies always act the same”: I didn’t come into this story impartial. I was a longtime reader of Gawker and on the day its office finally closed, I was getting a haircut across the street. I saw Nick Denton and some guys in suits gathered around on the sidewalk clearly having a moment, and while interrupting seemed borderline embarrassing and definitely rude, I felt like I needed to say something. I came...

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Blotter | Truman Capote, A Fugitive Hunter, and Oscar-Nominated True Crime

Hello! Thanks to everyone who read AE’s first go at some original true crime coverage earlier this week. If you haven’t taken a look, the story of Sarah Fox’s unsolved murder is both confounding and complex, and I hope worth a few minutes of your time. I’ll be back Tuesday with something new. In the meantime, I have plenty of links to true crime across page, pod, and screen(s) to hold you till then: TV Dust to dust, book to movie to TV reboot. The True Story Behind Capote’s In Cold Blood Is Coming to TV. The description of...

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In Counterpunch, Boxing Fights for Its Life While Boxers Fight to Define Theirs

Overview: Three boxers fight to win—each with wildly different motivations, and to varying degrees of success—against the backdrop of boxing’s decline.  NR;  91 minutes, 2017; Netflix. The Set-Up: In boxing, a counterpunch is just what it sounds like: a punch to counter one that was just thrown. But in practice, it’s much more. All boxers can counterpunch, but for some fighters, what begins as technique evolves into strategy and strategy cements into style. Hear the names of counterpunching notables—Tunney, Ali, Mayweather, Marquez, Hagler, Hopkins, Holyfield—and you might wonder why everyone doesn’t fight this way. It comes down to inclination...

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Blotter | The Unsolved Disappearance of Sarah Fox

On May 24, 2004, a rented school bus made its way from the Pennsauken, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, to Inwood, a neighborhood at the very northern tip of the island of Manhattan. The bus was filled with family, friends, and strangers who just wanted to help, to do something for Sarah. Five days earlier, Sarah put on her sneakers, loaded a CD into her Discman and told her roommate she was going for a run—something she did often. This time she never returned. * At the time of her disappearance, Sarah Fox was a 21-year old student...

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BLOTTER | June 22

Hi, out there. I have a roundup busting at the seams to see you through the weekend. All links have been quality-tested by me under the harshest conditions to ensure their quality. Let’s do things list-style today, huh? Podcasts First up: A man serving a life sentence for murder decided to pass some time by listening to a podcast. He heard a voice he thought he recognized. He was right. Need something a bit different to try? Archive 81 is a “found footage” podcast that describes itself as being “about horror, cities, and the subconscious.” Oh, and if you...

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BLOTTER | JUNE 20, 2017

Welcome back to your twice-weekly rundown of all things true crime (at least as they relate to page, pod, and screen). We’re going to do something a bit different today. We’ll be taking a closer look at links of interest related to England’s infamous Moors Murders. One of the perpetrators, Ian Brady, died in prison last month at 79. His accomplice, Myra Hindley, has been dead since 2002. With that tangible link to those horrific crimes now gone, it’s worth another look at how the murders affected England then and now. Here are some links of note: • Al-Jazeera...

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BLOTTER | JUNE 14, 2017

Hi, all. I have links, lists, and longreads to see you through the weekend, starting with The New York Times and their true crime summer reading picks. If you’re looking for crime of the fictional kind, they have that, too. Movies more your thing? Lately they are for me. Oxygen has a list of 10 true crime classics from the 80s, including I Know My First Name is Steven, which was responsible for a fair share of my middle school nightmares. As you may or may not remember, Steven’s brother later went on to become a serial killer. The...

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BLOTTER | JUNE 12, 2017

Hi, guys! [said sheepishly] Last week’s summer Friday turned into a week-long break from the crime scene on Audiences Everywhere, but I never stopped collecting links 4 U. In the meantime, I also had jury duty, and likely sensing my deep expertise in all things crime, I never got called to a case, but did enjoy a full day of reading and relaxing in the surprisingly well-appointed courthouse for Brooklyn (they have charging stations). But back to those links. In further proof that interest in true crime just keeps getting more meta, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office recently...

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BLOTTER | JUNE 1, 2017

Happy June! This is our twentieth installment of Blotter—thanks for reading—so we’re going to try and pack a lot in. Deep breath, here goes: In podcasts, Forbes talked with Maria Konnikova, host of the excellent show The Grift, about the screwy mental distortion of interviewing the most convincing liars in the game. I just began listening to They Walk Among Us, a UK podcast about some of Britain’s most intriguing cases and I’m hooked, if you need a new show. Also, be sure to look for AE’s Becky Belzile on Pop Culture Case Study this week, talking Patty Jenkins’ Monster,...

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“They gotta tell you somethin’: Patty Jenkins and the Politics of Monster

It’s a typical modest Hollywood success story. A young, female writer/director gets her first crack at a feature—a character-driven true story about an ill-fated love affair between two women, undone by one’s inability to heal the septic damage of her past and the destructive lengths she goes to incise it from her body and spirit. The film does well. Really well. For whatever reason, maybe this director sticks to TV for a few years (slumming I’d argue, she’s got chops destined for greatness, if chops were a quantifiable thing). Fourteen years pass before she lands her next feature—one of the...

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BLOTTER | MAY 30

Welcome back from the long weekend! I hope yours was restful and that your highlights are starting to come in nicely and that the AC in the movie theater was ice cold. Me, I’m writing this before Memorial Day but I’ll be reading Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life?—A.K.A.  the book on every June bookstore endcap—on my break, so I’m sure I will have everything figured out by the time you’re reading this. But on to crime that isn’t my professional life. This week, The Intercept told the bizarre story of a documentary made about the...

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BLOTTER | MAY 25

How’s your day going? Slowly? The long weekend (at least in the States) is almost here. Patience. I’ve got some true crime links to pass the time. A VICE roundup of the fall TV shows they’re excited about is entitled “All the Dumb TV Shows I’m Going to Watch This Fall” and includes Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, which, same. We’ve seen film as a form of advocacy before, but few filmmakers have had as much success garnering attention for the wrongly convicted as Shawn Rech. Here’s a fascinating profile from XY about his work, his...

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The Keepers Elevates the True Crime Documentary by Challenging the Trope of Victimhood

True crime, as a genre, gets a bad rap. It’s wholly deserved. I say this as both a fan, and a person who writes about it critically on a weekly basis. I’m constantly on the lookout for the latest news of any projects that fall into the sometimes-nebulous category of “true crime.” It’s harder than it seems. Is a news report of a crime in of itself “true crime?” Semantically, yes. Realistically, no. I subscribe to a Google News Alert for the phrase. Here are the headlines for some recent results: “Colorado Man Allegedly Kills 4-Year-Old Nephew with Axe”...

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What Celluloid City is Your Ideal Home?

Last week, CityLab pondered which fictional cities they’d put down roots if given the chance. Some of the usual suspects emerged—Sesame Street, Whoville—along with some unusual picks, like the Los Angeles of Blade Runner (good food, vibrant nightlife, can be crowded, would visit again. Three stars). I currently live in the Brooklyn of Broad City (and have also overspent at the Gowanus Whole Foods), but it got me thinking about my own picks. I’ll throw a few out, but frankly, reading your answers would be more fun: The San Diego of Three’s Company (the zoo, terrycloth rompers encouraged, see...

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‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’: Confounding, Troubling, and Yes, You Should Watch

Overview: Gypsy Blancharde was a lifelong victim of her mother Deedee’s Munchausen by proxy syndrome, until she and a boyfriend decided to take matters into their own hands. HBO; 2017; Not Rated; 82 minutes. Both Kinds, Southern and Gothic: When I was a kid, I had a friend whose parents were, uh, free-spirited. I loved spending time at their house, feeling liberated by the lack of rules and parental concern. It was fun, until it wasn’t. Usually the “until” was her parents drunkenly fighting, though memorably it was once her dad speeding down the highway while we lie, bracing...

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