Welcome back to Blotter! Let’s get to it.

  • First, I need to say that I hope this young man is safe. Secondly, I need to add that some people on the internet think he has been abducted by aliens. I don’t make the links. I only share them.
  • To make good on my promise to only say positive things about podcasts this week, I’m offering up a brand-new recommendation: Billed as “a show about con artists and the lives they ruin,” The Grift might be the perfect listen for those who like their crime stories stain-free.
  • Its description reminded me to look up an old favorite, a fantastic episode of Radiolab called People Who Lie. There’s something so satisfying about a standalone episode of a podcast—maybe because it’s the ideal way to convince friends to listen, commitment-free. I polled some of AE’s writers for their favorite standalones and added a few myself:
  • On the podcast horizon, Vulture brings word of an upcoming non-fiction collaboration between the Night Vale team and indie types, The Mountain Goats. Will it be crime-related? Unknown. Will it be weird? Likely. Me, personally, I haven’t listened to any new music since 2009, but I can tell you that singer John Darnielle’s recent novel, Universal Harvester, makes for one compulsive read—sort of a horror novel with the pacing of a procedural. But better than that description.
  • In movie news, Deadline reports that the distribution rights for a new dramatic Jim Carrey film were acquired, so expect to hear more about it sooner rather than later. The film’s title, True Crimes, makes up for its blandness, presumably, by being SEO-rich. It’s also a variation on the title of the 2008 New Yorker piece on which it’s based, which tells the true story of a murderous writer who likely hid clues about his crime in his novel.
  • In real world news, 20,000 drug offenders’ cases may be thrown out in Massachusetts, where a Department of Public Health chemist faked results in criminal cases and remained undetected for years.
  • Finally, if the New Yorker piece didn’t ring your bell, I have a classic whodunnnit for you: A man on a business trip settles in to bed in his hotel room to watch a movie and eat some late-night snacks. By the next morning, he’s discovered dead. Yet there are no signs of forced entry and no plausible motive. This one comes with a solution (not aliens).

See you Tuesday.

Featured Image: Imgur