Grim Sleeper · Tiger King · Jeffrey Epstein

Also: A true-crime longread that took two years to write

The second season of Broken: Jeffrey Epstein has been delayed. The Adam McKay-backed podcast is arguably the best of the slew of shows about the disgraced financial magnate to drop following his arrest for sexual assault, and it announced its triumphant return (with a new host, ABC News’s White House correspondent Tara Palmeri) earlier this month.

But according to an update that dropped last week, the show has been delayed by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), or more likely, work responsibility shifts and slowdowns related to the virus. Despite the delay, Palmeri dropped a tease about news reported on March 19 that we all likely missed: alleged Epstein co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Virgin Islands against Epstein’s estate, saying that she had “no involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged misconduct,” but that he’d promised to support her — and now she needs private security due to “regular threats to her life and safety,” The Guardian reports.

Then Saturday, the Daily Mail (so, as always, keep an eyebrow cocked) reported that “Maxwell, 58, allegedly sexually assaulted 16-year-old Annie Farmer at Epstein’s 7,500-acre ranch in New Mexico, according to the book by Bradley Edwards, a lawyer for more than 20 of Epstein’s victims.” That, and a load of other claims, appear in Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein, which is teased as “the definitive story of the case against Jeffrey Epstein and the corrupt system that supported him.” The book drops today, and while there’s isn’t an audio option (unless you want CDs, ugh), the Kindle version is only $14.99 as of publication. — EB


Tuesdays are usually a subscriber-only day, but we’re keeping Best Evidence free again this week because it’s a hard crummy time out there. Don’t worry, subscribers will still get some extra perks this week — perks that you could also get if you sign up for a paid subscription now!


The Grim Sleeper has died. Los Angeles rapist and serial killer Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. was sentenced to death for the deaths of nine women and one girl in 2016, slayings relentlessly covered by LA Weekly (it was that alt-weekly, in fact, that gave Franklin his memorable nickname).

He was found dead in his cell in San Quentin Saturday, and officials say the 67-year-old showed no signs of trauma, the LA Times reports. Franklin’s crimes were covered by a 2014 Nick Broomfield documentary called Tales Of The Grim Sleeper, which you can watch for no extra charge if you use Amazon Prime. For my money, though, it’s the Lifetime dramatic adaptation of the Franklin case, simply called The Grim Sleeper, that has a Stefon-like all in terms of casting: Dreama Walker, Ernie “Ghostbuster” Hudson, Michael O’Neill, and MACY EFFING GRAY. The trailer for the show, which will run you $4.99 to watch on Amazon, is a real thrill ride and/or Lifetime true crime BINGO card waiting to happen. Macy Gray, y’all! — EB


I feel a little bad for San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jason Fagone. In fact, I feel bad for anyone who’s devoted enormous time to work that gets dropped this month, as it’s all overshadowed by the thrum-thrum-thrum of the pandemic. For the last two years, Fagone has been reporting out a story on Dan “Superman” Rush, a weed labor advocate with ties to the Hells Angels who was indicted for fraud and money laundering back in 2015, SF Weekly reported at the time. Of all weekends for it to drop, it was published on March 29. Ouch.

Timing aside, Fagone’s report on Rush’s rise and fall is a thorough but super-engaging piece that kept me scrolling for a solid stretch of time on Sunday. While it’s presented as “subscriber only,” I was able to see it even when signed out, so I assume you will be able to, as well? If not, it was offering some pretty sweet deals for digital subs that might be worth your while. You can read Fagone’s report, called “Operation Limelight,” here — and after that, let’s talk casting for the (so far, imaginary) dramatic adaptation. What do you think — Michael Rooker, maybe? — EB


Who am I kidding? All anyone cares about anymore is Tiger King. Would the Netflix series on Joe Exotic have captured as many hearts and minds if we weren’t all trapped at home? Maybe; it’s a pretty intense tale — but a nationwide (and beyond) captive audience sure didn’t hurt, I’ll bet. This weekend alone, the headlines related to the show felt like The Onion, and/or a April 1 prank come early. For your reading pleasure, here are the seven silliest headlines about Tiger King that crossed my screen.

Seven: Popularity of Netflix's 'Tiger King' prompts sheriff to ask for leads in 1997 cold case [NBC News] Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister tweeted “Since @netflix and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads.” Here’s hoping none of our deaths ever come with a hashtag.

Six: Celeb ‘Tiger King’ fans fighting over roles in future movie [New York Post] I’ll let the social media shenanigans speak for themselves.

Is one of the signs of COVID-19 intense and embarrassing thirst? If so, someone should call 911.

Five: ‘Tiger King’ star Doc Antle, Britney Spears shared VMAs stage in 2001 [Fox News] This is about that iconic “ performance, which was pretty great! Per Fox, Spears opened “the performance by coming out of a cage with Antle and a liger.”

Four: 'Tiger King:' Shaquille O'Neal explains his cameo [CNN] O'Neal, who was seen visiting the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, says that he was traveling between Dallas and Oklahoma City via bus for a basketball game "On the way we see a sign that says 'Tiger Sanctuary,' we go in there and it's a beautiful place and the character that was there was Exotic Joe." It wasn’t until later that he learned that Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage was “involved with all the stuff.”

Three: Artist transforms Uptown tiger into ‘Tiger King’ portrait of Joe Exotic [Trib Live] Artist Jeremy Raymer painted a portrait of Maldonado-Passage on a Pittsburgh wall because the wall “was just too perfect.”

Not sure who this dude is, but I heard some bitch named Carole Baskine down in Fl doesn’t like him. 🐅🍁
Uptown’s getting an exotic animal park. Moultrie st at Tustin right behind Forbes Field garage
The tiger was painted years ago, 1 block from my studio by another artist. UnPlanned collabs
March 29, 2020

Two: Everyone's Personality Matches Someone From "Tiger King" — Here's Yours [Buzzfeed] How am I motherfucking John Finlay? Jeez. [“I got Joe Exotic, so don’t feel bad.” - SDB]

One: Cardi B vows to start GoFundMe for incarcerated ‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic [Page Six]


Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s The Blotter Presents, Episode 137 with Mike Dunn on The Scheme and Finding Steve McQueen! Some show notes for your previewing delectation:


What is this thing? This should help. Follow The Blotter @blotterpresents on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to The Blotter Presents via the podcast app of your choice. You can also call or text us any time at 919-75-CRIME.

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