Mormon Cult Murders · The Red Market · Monk Eastman, Victorian Gangster

Plus murder ballads, amours fou, and more in a jumbo book Lineup.

The big lot of true-crime books I bought off eBay showed up the other day, so as I was trying to make my selections for the upcoming long weekend’s reading, I thought, why not throw the first 10 books out of the box into a Lineup. Around here, that works like this: I read the first 10-ish pages and decide whether I’m in or out. I’m running out of shelf footage around here, so if it doesn’t grab me fast, it’s going back on eBay or to the curb.

Have you read any of these? Did my instincts lead me astray on any? And do any look like likely candidates for B.E. Book Club? Let me hear from you!

Leave a comment

We’re off until next week for the holiday (though paid subscribers get the November book review on Friday), but Eve and I are thankful for this gig, and for all of you. Have a safe Thanksgiving. — SDB

The Heroic Gangster: The Story of Monk Eastman, from the Streets of New York to the Battlefields of Europe and Back by Neil Hanson. Guess Hanson got paid by the pound for that subtitle, although it does get a lot of pertinent information in there, about a guy I’m surprised I’ve never heard of given how large Eastman apparently loomed in the history of the city’s underworld. The Wall Street Journal blurb on the front cover calls it “Exquisitely rich with the gang life of New York and the perils of World War I,” and while the first 10 pages only got me as far as the Brooklyn Armory recruiting office, Hanson does do a good job evoking the atmosphere of late-19th-century New York City. Plus, I don’t feel like I know enough about Tammany Hall, and it’s kind of amazing how often Arnold Rothstein shows up in crime stories besides his own, so I’m intrigued…but I’m also concerned about flights of overwriting that seem to burst out of Hanson every other page or so. Eastman’s gold-capped teeth are rendered as “the precious metal in this bruiser’s face as incongruous as a diamond in a dung heap.” Later, we arrive at “the Manhattan waterfront, where the black, oily waters slapped against the timber piles with a sound like a fist on flesh.” The thing is, they do do that? But Neil still needs to calm down. With foot- and endnotes subtracted, it’s only 300 pages, so even if Hanson loses me with a bunch of purpled battlefield renderings, it’s not a huge commitment. KEEPING IT.

The Kirtland Massacre: The True and Terrible Story of the Mormon Cult Murders by Cynthia Stalter Sassé and Peggy Murphy Widder. I’m torn on this one: the writing is pedestrian, but it doesn’t pretend to anything literary, which is more than fine. (Sassé was a prosecutor on the case; Widder is billed as an “attorney and novelist.”) But the striking bits in the opening chapter — like Alice Lundgren’s hysterical campaign to get her husband Jeff discharged from the Navy, and Jeff’s early adventures in check-kiting and TV theft — aren’t really explored because they aren’t considered germane to the central story, and said central story is, I’m sorry to say, going to follow a certain predictable outline. That’s not even mentioning that the titular massacre involved small children, by the way. The pictures are plentiful, but poorly done, and there’s an off-putting preoccupation with describing various players as “heavyset” or “dumpy” that isn’t a great look (as it were). I reserve the right to change my mind after another 10 pages, but for now: KEEPING IT.

Lift Up Your Head, Tom Dooley: The True Story of the Appalachian Murder That Inspired One of America’s Most Popular Ballads by John Foster West. I didn’t even need 10 pages to make my decision, which tbqh I was halfway to just based on West’s author photo, which is a goddamn treasure. The scarf! The schnozz. Google “john foster west” and click on “images”; delights await you, truly.

West, a prof emeritus at Appalachian State when he published Lift Up Your Head (he died in 2008), must have been a pretty entertaining teacher; just a few pages in, I’d learned several things, like that folks in that region in the 1860s called syphilis “The Pock,” and the origin of the term “round heel.” It’s not a ballad I know, I can’t imagine it really merits not one but two books by the same author, and yet 130 pages of writing that calls fast-moving gossip “the meat at every table that night” seems like a sure thing. Absolutely KEEPING IT.

Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story by Ron Franscell. The look of the thing annoyed me for some reason? Something about the mix of fonts and the utterly expected wedding photo on the cover just looked cheap. But then the front-cover blurb is from Jeff Guinn, and the back cover’s got praise from Gregg Olsen and…Skip Hollandsworth? And the story does sound pretty bonkers, and Franscell was apparently an Edgar finalist in 2017. The prologue is beatnik-grooving all over the damn state of Wyoming, but a lot of the phrasings hit, and I’ve read enough Hunter S. Thompson to know when a boozy tone poem about The Nature Of The Western Territories is coming, so I can just duck those and keep going. Hoping for a hidden gem; KEEPING IT.

Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia by Kenny Gallo and Matthew Randazzo V. I almost didn’t even bother opening this one; a jokey cover blurb from Ron Jeremy? Pass. Misspells “Medellín” on the jacket flap? Yeah, no. But it won me over quickly, not least because Gallo wastes no time calling his former Colombo associates “evolutionary-chart escapees” and noting in the next paragraph that “the ability to read and speak like an adult aroused suspicion in Bay Ridge.” It’s funny because it’s true! I don’t know how far I’ll get with it; Gallo got in with the Mob in the first place because of his adult-film connections, and I tend to find accounts of that world grotty and bleak, but we’ll see. KEEPING IT.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven: A True Story by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo with Bob DeMoss. The blurb on the back is from Tim LaHaye; the back cover also describes Alonzo as “a speaker on betrayal and the power of forgiveness” whose story appeared on The 700 Club. Nothing against the devout per se, but it seldom does wonders for the prose. The Jesusiness isn’t the issue here, but the writing is still claggy, as they might say on Baking Show: “His brown eyes sparkled like perfectly matched quartz gemstones.” So he had…’70s countertop eyes? That was page 8. Page 10 dropped a “glitzy” (no) in reference to clear nail polish (yes, “that’s the joke,” but: no again). If Bryan Burrough wrote the case up for Vanity Fair, I’d read it, but this isn’t going to cut it. RESELLING IT.

The Confessions of an American Black Widow: A True Story of Greed, Lust and a Murderous Wife by Gregg Olsen. Olsen has gotten better at this on the sentence level in the years since Confessions came out; that doesn’t help me here, as the very first “real” page of the book describes the Rocky Mountains as “spraying up” out of the ground, like, what? I enjoy black-widow stories enough to make up for some strained prose, but I also enjoy writing that isn’t the text equivalent of a toddler flushing a hairbrush. RESELLING IT.

May God Have Mercy: A True Story of Crime and Punishment by John C. Tucker. Blurbed by Scott Turow, Sr. Helen Prejean, and Vincent Bugliosi, May God is about the Wanda Fay McCoy case, and I think more broadly an activist book about the death penalty. The first 10 pages, though, set the scene in Grundy, VA — coal country — and starts to give you an idea of what “justice” looks like there; Tucker, a retired criminal-defense attorney, is thorough but not flowery, and carries you right into the story. Pretty sure I know where it goes, but happy to take the ride. KEEPING IT.

The Blood of Lambs: A Former Terrorist’s Memoir of Death and Redemption by Kamal Saleem with Lynn Vincent. “This personal and unprecedented story of the making — and unmaking — of an Islamic terrorist” isn’t written badly, and I think Saleem (not his real name) does have something to tell us about radicalization. I won’t be finding out, though, because the prose has a “wake up, sheeple” tone I was already chafing at less than a dozen pages in. Maybe an as-told-to just isn’t the way in here; I don’t know. RESELLING IT.

The Red Market: On The Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers by Scott Carney. “I hadn’t expected that there would be multiple ways to sell a stolen skeleton.” Same? …My initial instinct was to assume that Red Market was going to read like a more global, crime-focused Mary Roach book, which for me would not recommend it, as I find Roach’s work a liiiittle cutesy and self-regarding. But Carney’s a Wired writer who spent five years investigating the book, and he captions a photo of a skull in the prologue with the observation that it “smelled faintly of fried chicken.” That could be Carney going for shock, or trying to run off weaker-stomached prospective readers before they get too deep into the book, but I’d already picked up a couple factoids before I even hit the numbered pages…and the index includes entries for Eisenhower, Oprah (person and show), and shrunken heads. Let’s do this. KEEPING IT. — SDB

Next week on Best Evidence: The December book poll, and a veritable plethora of news and longreads to pair with those last turkey sammiches. Watching anything good? Pop into the comments and let us know.

What is this thing? This should help. Follow Best Evidence @bestevidencefyi on Twitter and Instagram. You can also call or text us any time at 919-75-CRIME.

TikTok · Theranos · Con Queen Shocker

Plus: Your true-crime podcast name

A post shared by Spaulding Decon (@crimescenecleaning)

“Bloody crime scene cleanups are going viral on TikTok” says Wired UK, citing clips like these. That’s hardly the only viral TikTok trend these days — this correspondent is obsessed with Ratatouille: The Musical (explainer here) and had not even heard about these TikToks, which reporter Laura Holliday says is “a collection of videos with over 200 million views that document real life crime scenes in graphic detail.”

One of those, crimescenecleaning, has 2.8 million followers for posts that include “hoards, crime scene & drug lab cleans.” It’s run by Spaulding Decon, a “national crime scene cleanup, hoarding cleanup, meth lab cleanup and mold remediation company.” (I would watch an HG show in which this company pairs with flippers, just saying.)

Gabe Chrismon runs the company’s Nashville location. “While YouTube videos and Instagram posts are still extremely engaging and important, TikTok was another avenue where we could get our message and purpose out to as wide of an audience as possible,” he tells Wired. “I have had multiple customers find us through our social media platforms. The overwhelming response is: ‘I saw your TikTok videos and immediately called because my mom could use your services.’”

Here’s a snip:

A restoration supervisor in Las Vegas, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he initially began uploading pictures and videos of his bio jobs, including suicide scenes, to TikTok as a way to connect with ex-coworkers in California, but things soon escalated. “I did not realise my page was public,” he says. “The first video got over two million views in about two hours.” When his employer found out, he was suspended.

For TikTok, which came under fire in July after taking two days to remove footage of a group of teenagers discovering human remains inside a suitcase, crime scene videos are tricky to moderate. The platform has restrictions on gore, but does allow educational content – around medical procedures, for instance – although such videos are never promoted to a user’s ‘For You’ page of algorithmically chosen clips.

The whole piece is a great window into another platform for true-crime content that many of us have yet to dive into. Unless…are you all big true-crime TikTockers and you didn’t tell me? Assuming you’re not already an expert, you can read the full Wired story here. — EB

The holidays, they are approaching. Best Evidence makes a great gift — it’s only $55 for a year, it doesn’t take up any space, and you don’t need to worry about trying it on or if it’s the right color for someone’s living room. All you need is a recipient who’s into true crime, and you’re all set with a gift AND you’re keeping this thing afloat. What a twofer!

Give a gift subscription

Over here, we’re Bread and Butter Embezzlement and The Crackers Strangling. How about you?

Leave a comment

Today in Buttholes…

Our semi-regular feature runneth over with buttheads and the things they do. Here’s a three-fer:

  • College Admissions Grifter Mossimo Giannulli Shaved His Head Before Prison[GQ] A prison consultant says that the Target clothier might have made the chop because he wants to embrace change, but there’s another option, too: what if the guy wears a hairpiece (permanent or removable)? That’s not something he’d be allowed to continue while he serves his five months in Lompoc, not for nothing.

  • Harvey Weinstein Very Ill, Covid Likely [TMZ] Yes, we know that the disgraced film producer reportedly contracted coronavirus earlier in the pandemic, but “he was never officially diagnosed.” According to the LA Times, his reps say he is “struggling with a number of health issues in prison,” just not COVID-19.

  • DFW Brewery Owner Arrested on Charges of Federal Wire Fraud, Murder” [Eater Dallas] Folks, please read this report from my colleague Amy McCarthy, who says that explaining to county jail workers what “Eater” is added an unexpected complication to her job. “This fall,” McCarthy writes, “the brewery offered a Hatch chile infused ale called the Hatch Me if You Can, a play on the classic caper movie Catch Me If You Can, which seems pretty ironic considering the circumstances.”

The Theranos case is heating up. First, there’s a new lawsuit filed by Diana Dupuy, a former Theranos laboratory scientist. Dupuy had since found new employment at Italian diagnostics company DiaSorin, which has made recent headlines for its COVID-19 antibody test. But after Dupuy received a subpoena in the federal case against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and company president Sunny Balwani, DiaSorin fired her, the Bay Area News Group reports.

According to the suit, DiaSorin “was extremely concerned about potential negative publicity arising from a company employee testifying at the Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial because Theranos, the company that Elizabeth Holmes allegedly used to defraud investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, reportedly used analyzers from defendant DiaSorin … as part of fake and fraudulent testing.”

DiaSorin “did not want its name and Theranos and/or Elizabeth Holmes mentioned in the same news story or in any description of the Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial and therefore terminated … Dupuy in an improper and illegal effort to prevent it from happening,” the suit claims. Now, Dupuy is seeking unspecified damages from DiaSorin, and also says that she wants her job back.

And that’s not all — according to CNBC, late Friday night the attorneys representing Holmes in her federal case filed a motion saying that "The amount of money Ms. Holmes earned in her position at Theranos, how she chose to spend that money, and the identities of people with whom she associated simply have no relevance to Ms. Holmes' guilt or innocence,” and that information should be kept from the jury.

"Many CEOs live in luxurious housing, buy expensive vehicle and clothing, travel luxuriously and associate with famous people – as the government claims Ms. Holmes did," her defense writes, so "The jury should not be subjected to arguments regarding Ms. Holmes' alleged purchase of luxury travel, 'fine wine,' or 'food delivery to her home.’” As of this writing, the judge in the case has not ruled on the request. The trial remains on track to begin jury selection on March 9, 2021. — EB

The Hollywood Con Queen is no lady, a podcast on the case claims. According to the most recent episode of Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen, the con queen in question isn’t a woman at all, but (per Deadline)

…a man who is of Indonesian descent, living in the UK. A master of accents with an ability to disguise his voice to sound male or female, the person has so far successfully pretended to be one of a coterie of female Hollywood moguls, and others male and female who actually work in the business. The scammer has hooked aspiring filmmakers, security consultants, physical trainers and hair and makeup personnel, who were coerced into traveling to Jakarta with promises of employment. There, they ended up fronting money for things, with a promise of reimbursement that never materialized.

The podcast’s a production of Campside Media, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment; Vanity Fair has a full report on how they unmasked the scammer known for impersonating boldfaced Hollywood names like Kathleen Kennedy, Amy Pascal, and Wendi Deng. According to VF, “In the U.K. [the suspect] is known as a foodfluencer Instagramming under the handle Pure Bytes and ISpintheTales…who has not responded to multiple requests for comment.”

The key to the alleged con queen’s identity was a falsified passport, podcasters/reporters Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis say. The whole thing is fascinating, and the full Vanity Fair breakdown is definitely worth a read. — EB

[this piece was corrected 11/24 to reflect the podcast’s production provenance]

Wednesday on Best Evidence: Unboxing a true-crime book lot with SDB!

What is this thing? This should help. Follow Best Evidence @bestevidencefyi on Twitter and Instagram. You can also call or text us any time at 919-75-CRIME.

Scott Turow's One L · Snapped · The Myth Of The Superpredator

Plus a book excerpt, Australia's "Night Caller," and Danny Trejo

The crime
Student loans? [insert lawyer joke here]? Scott Turow’s One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School is more of an academic memoir, although Turow — best known for the legal thriller Presumed Innocent, which everyone I knew tore through when it came out in the late ’80s — did go from Harvard Law into the U.S. Attorney’s office as a public-corruption prosecutor. (In Chicago. So he wasn’t bored.)

The story
I four-starred it on Goodreads, but I don’t know that it’s actually that good; it did successfully overtake me with nostalgia — but for going to school, for having nothing to think about but books and outlines, and for the time that I last experienced school as a student, when students had only just started to lug heavy, overheating-prone Compaqs into lectures. The titular year in Turow’s “blended memoir” (his diary entries from that school year are interspersed with recollections “in tranquility,” i.e., on the other side of surviving the entirety of law school, a decade in the field, and a runaway best seller) takes place in the mid-seventies, so he and his colleagues lug typewriters into exam rooms dedicated to the noisy operation thereof…along with

earplugs, paper, four pencils, four pens, three rolls of mints, two packs of cigarettes, a cup of iced coffee, a Coke, two chocolate bars, a pencil sharpener, an extension cord for my typewriter.

Even I’m not old enough to remember smoking in a classroom, but I do still own a pencil sharpener (used primarily on eyeliner, but still), and reading One L as the weather’s getting truly cold brought me right back to the simultaneously drafty and hideously overheated precincts of McCosh and 185 Nassau, in which the battle for the soul of Sir Gawain was joined by the scent of cooked wool.

At evoking these sense memories in a specific sentimental sort of reader, One L is excellent. It’s also very good at opening a window into the panicked, grinding day-to-day life of a 1L, reflecting a mindset so overworked that it has no time to reflect, only to create exhausted little tornados of self-loathing. Twenty years ago, I was dating a Boston College 1L, and Turow’s account of his own experience brought me right back to the witnessing of my then-boyfriend’s tortures, right down to Turow’s elegantly bleak account of Boston-area weather in the wintertime.

Other aspects of the book work less well, like Turow’s periodic present-day irising out to talk about minorities and women at Harvard and other law schools, which feels perfunctory. The extended complaining about the Socratic teaching method, and about one formidable professor in particular, isn’t a great look thanks to the pious tone, and a string of rhetorical questions about the purpose of a J.D. program that someone with Turow’s real-world experience should have more substantive answers to. But the more tiresome sections make themselves apparent, allowing a switch to skim mode, and until the last quarter of One L, it’s effectively structured and paced.

This one’s a bit tough to find — I’m racing to finish this review before the library takes back my virtual copy and I have to join a four-week hold line — but my library does have it, and you can find a used copy at the link above for just a few bucks. Leaf through 4-5 pages before you buy, though; it’s not essential, but if you’re nostalgic for the same sets of autumn days I am (mmm, that smell of pencil shavings!), you’ll know in a handful of paragraphs whether it’s for you. — SDB

Still haven’t got around to reading Furious Hours yet? CrimeReads ran an excerpt last week. I reviewed it last year for paid subscribers, and I definitely recommend it — and any of Cep’s more recent writing in The New Yorker.

The excerpt at CR focuses on Harper Lee’s role as Truman Capote’s wingperson in Kansas when he first headed out to dig into the Clutter murders, with a cameo from “a giant tiger-striped cat called Courthouse Pete,” so if you’ve been on the fence about whether to commit to the book, this might push you over to one side or the other.

CrimeReads also dropped a piece on Jonestown and the “empathy gap” by Courtney Summers, a novelist whose latest, The Project, describes as a “pulls-no-punches thriller about an aspiring young journalist determined to save her sister from a cult.” Summers chooses to write her piece in the second person, a conceit that kind of obscures the occasional insight into the challenges an author faces in writing cults “relatably” from the top down; there’s also rather more repetitive lecturing than I’d like about glib jokes and dismissal of Jonestown survivors’ experience, but then, true-crime critics spend more time with that tragedy than “civilians” and don’t need virtue-prompting in our reactions. A missed opportunity there, I’d say, but I’m interested to hear what you guys think. — SDB

Leave a comment

A four-parter on Australia’s “The Night Caller” premieres Sunday, November 29 on Stan. That means it’s likely to wind up on Acorn or Sundance Now in early 2021, but here’s hoping one of our Australian correspondents can tell us whether After The Night worth marking our calendars for. Created by Thomas Meadmore, After The Night “delves into” the story of Eric Edgar Cooke, one of Australia’s most infamous serial killers; Cooke murdered eight people and attacked many others before police finally connected all his crimes, and was executed in Fremantle Prison in 1964 — but not, apparently, before two other men were wrongfully convicted for his crimes.

I admit I hadn’t heard of the case before; if you hadn’t either, there’s a good overview here, along with a bibliography, if anyone can recommend (or not) anything on that list. — SDB

WE recommend whittling down YOUR holiday-shopping list with a gift subscription to Best Evidence! And if we get enough paid subscribers, Santa will bring you an end to these hideous segues…

Give a gift subscription

Snapped “celebrated” its 500th episode over the weekend. That might not sound like all that many for a genre staple that seems like it’s on all day, but then you start making the comparisons — Law & Order: Mothership only had 450-ish; Bonanza, the go-to reference for long-running shows, had even fewer that that — and you realize how nuts it is that Oxygen’s top-performing lethal-ladies show has half a thousand.

So…how? How does a show that’s the Hootie & the Blowfish of basic-cable true crime — neither adored nor despised, but with millions of units sold — get to that many episodes? I had a couple theories at Primetimer; here’s one:

The literal construction of the show is competent and workmanlike; each story proceeds in an orderly and formulaic fashion, starting with the crime, flashing back to the prime suspect's background, then zooming back in to the investigation and trial. The same eight or nine photos appear over and over, and the talking-head interviewees — who are lit and made up with, I'd say, minimal effort — drop the sound bites they understand are required of them. The average Snapped episode is basically a Mad Lib. That's not a bad thing, necessarily. I'd compare it to travelers going to Starbucks in strange cities: it's not that the coffee's that great, but it's exactly the same in Augusta, ME as it is in Augusta, GA.

I note later that the show’s marketing team looooooves to make a BFD about ladies who cheat…with other ladies, which is both uncool and demonstrably effective. So, Snapped in a nutshell, I guess. Anyway, the five hundredth ep aired on Saturday, along with a never-seen alternative pilot ep. Did you watch, or were you catching up on Below Deck Med like I was? — SDB

Belly Of The Beast airs tonight on Independent Lens! I liked the doc a lot when I reviewed it a few months ago, and provided your PBS station carries IL, now you can watch it for free…and share my rage. — SDB

The conclusion to Skip Hollandsworth’s “Tom Brown’s Body” series is on Texas Monthly’s website if, like me, you’ve been reading instead of listening to the podcast (which is also great).

When I started working on this story almost a year ago, I assumed that the truth about Tom’s case would eventually come out. I assumed the “Justice for Tom” signs would be removed and peace would return to the small town.

I sort of assumed it would too, because it’s Hollandsworth, and if there is a truth to come out, it’s going to run into that man’s arms first and foremost. And it still may; Hollandsworth mentions an upcoming grand jury, although based on context, that seems like a fishing expedition. You can read the series here.

When you’ve finished, hop over to the piece from the same issue on Danny Trejo (not really a true-crime topic, but because he did time in some of California’s most notorious prisons five decades back, I’ll allow it). — SDB

The Marshall Project digs into the term “super-predator,” in coverage that calls it “The Media Myth That Demonized a Generation of Black Youth.” Every time I hear the term, I think of that famous footage of Hillary Rodham Clinton saying it…or trying to; her whole face is fighting it, like she knows it’s BS, and it comes out as an awkward “super-pray-de-tore.” TMP also has a first-person account from Derrick Hardaway, 14 when he drove the getaway car in the execution death of an 11-year-old, of what it’s like to have that label stick to you forever.

I also tried to keep a still face. The lawyers tell you not to react to things that people say in the courtroom, but then the media said my face showed no remorse.

Then the media said I smiled when the judge announced my sentence. Well, I was facing 20 to 100 years because of the youth of the victim. I thought I was getting 100 years, so when the judge said 45, I smiled a little bit with relief. I tried to hold it in, but I cracked a little smile.

There is some rage-making material here, but I always try to read TMP’s coverage — of anything, really, but especially the testimony of those who have had to live with whatever baked-in-racism sociopolitical “fashions” coincided with their youthful/desperate mistakes. — SDB

Tuesday on Best Evidence: The more things change, the more true-crime buttholes stay the same.

What is this thing? This should help. Follow Best Evidence @bestevidencefyi on Twitter and Instagram. You can also call or text us any time at 919-75-CRIME.

Can True Crime Bring Us Together This Thanksgiving?

It’s a pretty major “no shit” that the Thanksgiving holidays are different this year, what with how gathering with Grandma might kill her. (And you! I mean, who knows where Grandma’s been?) That means many of us are staying home, alone. Others are heading out to fraught gatherings, with certain family members passively-aggressively talking about those who chose not to attend, perhaps…or saying more pointed things about who supported what political candidate, who may or may not have truly won a recent election.

Of course, this isn’t the first year we’ve had to deal with a politically loaded holiday, just the weirdest one. One way to diffuse the tension, as we’ve all learned, is to turn on something politically neutral (if there is such a thing) that you all can enjoy together.

That’s where true crime comes in. In a lot of cases, even the most divided group can agree that certain on-screen suspects are good, and others are bad. Now, with kids underfoot, this means that you and your MAGA-capped uncle can’t bond over Ted Bundy, but there’s still a lot of room within the genre to consider. What are some true-crime properties that are great for the whole family (or, at least, of low trauma levels for the little ones)? Which shows or movies should be avoided at all costs? Share your ideas below — they just might save someone’s holiday.

View 11 comments →

Loading more posts…