Blotter is your twice-weekly rundown on all things true crime happening in the world of movies, TV, podcasts, and beyond.
Hello again. I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the kinds of crime stories I’m drawn to. Turns out putting lists of true crime stories together will do that to a person. If you’re reading this, I’d bet there’s a certain kind of narrative that most catches your attention, too. Maybe you’re the type who likes to read survivor’s stories, imagining how you’d escape harm. Maybe the criminal justice system and all its flaws fascinates you (Heads up if that describes you: I have a good story coming for you on Thursday). Me, I know I get riled up about social justice issues.
It’s a big world out there and I try to offer up links that cover it all, but this week in particular I’ve been thinking about the stories of the people left behind after a crime happens. How did they put it all back together? So that’s what today’s Blotter covers.
But first, a time-sensitive reminder for podcast listeners: Serial spinoff, S-Town, is available—all seven episodes of it—today.
OK, onto the links:
- Have you been watching Spike’s fantastic six-part docu-series Time: The Kalief Browder Story? It’s been airing once a week, but you can catch up on Spike’s site using your cable provider info. If you’d like some backstory, challenging as it is, you can read more here.
- For many of us, the impulse to dive into crime stories (and particularly those involving murder) is an attempt to understand what it’s like to face down evil. Often that means putting ourselves in the victim’s place and attempting to make sense of it all—the fear and the finality of it. But if you’d like a different perspective, to understand better what a victim’s family goes through, I can’t recommend the memoir Alligator Candy enough. A snippet of its description: “David Kushner grew up in the early 1970s in the Florida suburbs. It was when kids still ran free, riding bikes and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed. David’s older brother Jon biked through the forest to the convenience store for candy, and never returned.”
- On Wednesday, I’ll be taking a second look at the 2015 documentary Let the Fire Burn, about the infamous 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia. If you’d like a refresher, or some first-time insight into the story and its lasting impact on a city, Philly.com has an impressive interactive archive.
- Truck Stop Killer, from GQ in 2012, is a gripping account of a ride one woman accepted from a stranger, and the moments of synchronicity that are often more terrifying in retrospect.
See you Thursday.
Featured Image: S-Town Podcast