Candy Montgomery · Prison Dogs · Kim Wall

Plus: A hit-and-run mystery, solved

Thank you, Elizabeth Moss, for giving me an excuse to link to one of my all-time favorite Texas Monthly stories. So here’s my news hook: Moss has agreed to play Texas ax murderer Candy Montgomery in an upcoming film, Deadline reports. The plan is for creators Nick Antosca and Robin Veith (Mad Men, The Act) to shop it to streaming platforms, which is great because who even knows when we'll be in a theater again?

Montgomery’s story is a wild one, best taken in via this 1984 TM report from Jim Atkinson and John Bloom. Their reporting would evolve into Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs, an Edgar finalist that in 1990 was adapted into A Killing in a Small Town, a TV movie starring Barbara Hershey and Brian Dennehy.

That show’s so lost to the ages that it’s not on any streaming platforms, though if you have a VCR it’s yours for a Lincoln. In other words, it’s high time that the Montgomery story gets a retelling, and Moss seems like a good person to pick Candy’s ax. — EB

The Hero of Goodall Park dropped earlier this week. Poor ESPN, with no sports they have to find something to do…and that something is true crime, it appears. The Hero of Goodall Park is a “true-crime drama 50 years in the making,” the network says, a documentary about a fatal pedestrian collision at a Babe Ruth league baseball game (there’s ESPN’s in, right there) that uncovered another hit-and-run some 45 years prior.

The Portland Press-Herald has an extremely spoilery news account of the yarn, and ESPN has a whole extremely longread-y inside-baseball (ha ha) look at the doc that also gives most of the tale away.

Here’s the correct order: Start with the movie (you can watch it here via your cable provider or streaming service), then do the Press-Herald piece, then pour yourself a drink and read ESPN’s longer item. Now you’re an expert, and can suggest who to cast in the dramatic version via the comments, below. — EB

Here’s a delightful short film about the Happy Hounds Prison Dog Program. You’re likely familiar with programs like these: incarcerated people work with at-risk dogs to help train them into adoptability. (Sarah’s the one who found this story, so maybe she’s trying to tell us something about Bear’s past? [“Literally all we know is that he’s from Baltimore…[hums The Wire theme]”)

Happy Hounds is on hold right now as the coronavirus crisis continues (don’t get anxious — the last of their prison dogs was adopted at the end of June), but before the world shut down, Maryland Public Television took a look at the program inside Roxbury Correctional Institution. It’s quite sweet, and available to watch in full here. — EB

Today in Best Evidence history:

  • Chaos: Charles Manson, The CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties had just dropped, finally ending the media blackout on the obscure case. (jk, jk)

  • People were still mad about Honour, the fictional adaptation of the slaying of Banaz Mahmod. The two part show will, it appears, drop on Britbox in October — filming wrapped last year, so no COVID worries there.

  • Jailbirds’ Megan "Monster" Hawkins went back to, uh, jail.

  • Nick Godejohn sang the praises of his time with Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

And plenty more! You can read the full issue here, and act on how impressed you are at our year-plus of hard work by (if you haven’t already!) dropping a five-spot a month on a paid subscription.

You can read an excerpt of A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall now. The book about Wall, a journalist slain by a Copenhagen inventor as she checked out his homesamade submarine, is by her parents. Just thinking about that hurts my heart.

Their book about Kim’s death and the trial of her killer dropped on Tuesday, and Slate ran a sizable chunk in tandem with the release. It’s not written the way you’d expect, perhaps because Ingrid and Joachim Wall are also journalists, or maybe it’s because they’re from Denmark, where grief takes on a different face. Here’s a snip:

During the months that have elapsed since Kim disappeared, Peter Madsen hasn’t had more than a peripheral place in my life. I have followed all the events in great detail and have come to the conclusion that no matter how often I thought we had reached bottom, we always fell even further. Peter Madsen is simply a shadow figure, a person I know exists, but about whom I waste no time thinking.

It’s probably a kind of defense mechanism. What energy I have, my body and I choose not to spend on him. He’s not uninteresting—after all, he’s been charged with robbing me of my daughter—but he’s not going to be allowed to move into my soul, my mind. I have no use for hate or revenge. Even under normal circumstances, these aren’t things that are typical for me, but no matter how I try, I can’t feel anything but apathy toward the man who somehow caused Kim’s death.

Peter Madsen has already cost us way too much, far more than any human should have to pay. If I allow myself to be caught up in feelings of hate and revenge, I’m the only one who has something to lose. He couldn’t care less. Life has to win, not death. Evil can’t be allowed to triumph.

And now the day has come when we’ll meet Madsen face to face

You can read the full excerpt here, or pick up a copy of the book here. — EB

Friday on Best Evidence: A Justified star goes true crime!

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