Category: Blotter

Blotter | Angels, Demons, Branded Women, and The Eleven

Hello again. I have a few more links to the latest in true crime for you today and a quick reminder that if you’re more into scares of the supernatural kind, the second in this year’s Ghostwriting stories comes out tomorrow. Real scares from real AE writers and readers.  I think this week’s are the best yet. Let’s start with a few longreads: A classic from Longform: Angels & Demons From the New York Times: Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded “He said it would be ‘awesome’ to help a friend kill herself. Now he’ll be tried...

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BLOTTER | Halloween Costumes, Therapy, and Dirty John

Tuesday Hi again, pals. I’m here with a short roundup of all things true crime and true crime adjacent (sometimes I feel like there are sea disasters you need to be aware of, it’s no big deal). Let’s first take a closer look at our nasty habit. Being into true crime is good, so says this article that touts the therapeutic qualities of the hobby. But, actually? It’s bad. Or at the very least, it is really screwing over some kids’ Halloweens. Maybe it’s the Mindhunter binge that has me feeling philosophical about the whole thing. Earlier this week,...

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Blotter: Lost at Sea, a Rehab Surprise, and Justice for Danny

Good morning! Tomorrow, our first-ever collection of AE ghost stories comes out just in time for the somewhat arbitrary Friday the 13th kickoff. I hope you’ll take a look. We’ll have new installments coming out every Friday until Halloween. But you came here for more literal scares. Here are some of the best in true crime links this week: Season 3 of BuzzFeed’s Unsolved Supernatural series debuts on YouTube tomorrow, but you can get a sneak preview today. This season takes on an abandoned and allegedly haunted hospital, Roswell, the London Tombs. Ben Stiller is directing a multi-part series...

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Blotter: Dirty John, Kim Wall, and a Request for Stories

Hello! I’ve been busy collecting ghost stories and interviewing people about their experiences with the supernatural for some solid October content for you. I hope you’ll excuse me if the Blotter links are just a bit briefer this week. I hope to pay you back in scares over the coming weeks. This past weekend, Dirty John, a unique joint podcast and print feature from the Los Angeles Times blew up online. I’ve only just finished listening to the first of the five-podcast series and it’s every bit as good as people have said. I’m partial to the audio version...

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BLOTTER: Room 1046 and The Dyatlov Pass Incident

For today’s Blotter, I wanted to try something different. Instead of sharing my account of an old case, I want to offer up some tantalizing resources you can either enjoy as standalone creepy stories, or choose to follow them down the rabbit hole. This first case is among the strangest I’ve ever heard, combining elements of mystery, violence, and one of those logic puzzles they used to throw at you in junior high (“But I can’t operate on this boy. He is my son.”). How does a man with no past exist? What made him check into a motel...

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BLOTTER | Jeffrey Dahmer, The Hot One, and The “Clown Shot Her”

Hello, pals. I’m back again with your roundup of Thursday true crime links. I have plenty, so let’s get started with TV. I’m excited for Waco, an upcoming six-part series about the disastrous 1993 Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas. Michael Shannon stars alongside a frighteningly accurate-looking Taylor Kitsch as leader David Koresh. The show will air in January but you can watch a trailer here. If you’re in the UK, you might be familiar with ITV’s Call the Cleaners, a reality show that follows the everyday situations the men of Merseyside House Clearance are presented with as they...

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BLOTTER | The Gatekeeper and The Death of Sherlock Holmes

Hi again! Earlier this week, I began the first in a two-parter looking at some of the best recent crime-related long reads and upcoming books. If you missed it, you can catch up here. I have much more coming for you today, but I’m kicking things off with a few podcast recommendations. This week’s Criminal is a must for true crime readers. “The Gatekeeper” tells the story of Marilyn Stasio, who has been writing her review of crime fiction for the New York Times Book Review for decades. Even if you’re not interested in the art and science of...

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BLOTTER | Group Therapy, an Alien Con Man, and the Man from the Train

Hello, Early on this year, in a fit of either productivity or self-improvement, I decided I’d aim to read 50 books before the end of 2017. I was most likely inspired to do it because I knew I already had a healthy head start; in January I’d already managed to read seven. As the year went on, I noticed a defined inverse relationship between the weather getting nicer and the book totals barely budging. So this week’s two editions of Blotter will both focus on good reads to inspire me to hit the magic, arbitrary number (13 more to...

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BLOTTER | The Grim Sleeper and Dragging the Lake

Hi, hello. First, let me just say that I’ve avoided talking about this so far. It may actually be fine. Good, even! (It’s getting reviewed well) And Netflix knows its way around a story. It’s even alleged to have reinvented the dick joke, but still I don’t think it’s enough to get me to watch the true crime parody American Vandal. What if I don’t want to rethink my stance on true crime, Bustle? What then? That said, maybe you’ll dig it. It began streaming September 15. Just let me know if I’m wrong. In a much more serious...

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BLOTTER | Liquid Matthew

On a Sunday night in December 1983 in Miami’s Hialeah neighborhood, a pair of joggers found the body of Francisco Patino Gutierrez, who’d been murdered and dumped in a parking lot. It was the start of what became known as the “Liquid Matthew” case. A nasty rainstorm was passing over Miami that night making the search for clues difficult. It wasn’t until the next day that police returned to the scene and tried to piece together what had happened to Gutierrez. A few things were known at this point: the victim was a Colombian national, he’d been a seaman,...

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BLOTTER | Fall TV Preview

Hi again. It’s time to ease into our final fall preview of all things true crime. If you missed the updates on podcasts or film, there’s still time to catch up. But today we’ll be looking at what’s ahead for fall. I’ve got cable recommendations (do you still watch? I’m trying to cut the cord), network, and for variety’s sake, a few from streaming services, as well (more of those in the film preview, too). First up is a great roundup by Esquire that includes some upcoming shows of interest to true crime and scripted dramas, including  10 Days...

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BLOTTER | Fall Film Preview

If your film tastes tend toward the grim, the murky, or the unsettling, then right about now is the time you get the itch to start double checking release dates. For those of us who fall into that camp, the arrival of fall means the movie offerings get better—and often darker. True crime fans will still find the most to watch on the small screen, but you won’t be sacrificing quality. Longform true crime will continue to be dominated by Netflix, which seems to have separated itself from the pack by producing a string of thoughtful and unhurried documentaries...

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BLOTTER | Fall Podcast Preview

Hello again! I’ve been away for a bit and was so excited to pop into my Google News Alerts and see that our long, national nightmare of podcast drought seems to be ending. Suddenly, they’re everywhere again and I’m excited for what this new crop promises. Today, we’re going to take a dive into some of the newest potential obsessions and commute comfort foods of the audio world: For fans of cold cases, check out the brand-new monthly podcast Gone Cold, which will take an in-depth look at a new crime each broadcast and focusing, for now at least,...

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BLOTTER | Sharks, Murder Hostels, and Natalee Holloway

Hi guys. Want to know a secret? I’m on vacation. I hope a lot of you are too, or at the very least, eking out as much of what remains of summer as possible. The point is that I needed to find you a few links in advance. And since there are now anywhere between 4 and 17 news cycles between when we wake up and when we sleep, there’s just no way to keep things timely. But I can keep them reasonably topical for a holiday weekend. Here are a few stories of crimes that happened on vacation:...

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BLOTTER | AUGUST 29

For today’s Blotter, we’re going to move away from our usual media—films, books, television, podcasts—to take a look at the shadowy corners where the worlds of crime and art intersect. First let’s get in the mood. Throw some jazz on and pour yourself a [Googles old time drinks] …Rob Roy (?) and let’s begin by taking a look at the visual arts. The Guardian compiled a short but compelling list of ten crime scenes depicted in art. Not all are pictured, but all are worth an image search and a few moments of contemplation—and maybe a trip down a...

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