Casey Anthony · American Gangster · The Oslo Killing
Plus: Killer Ratings, a homicidal actor, and Florida Man follow-up
|Best Evidence||Jun 4, 2019||2|
Casey Anthony says she’s working on an auto-bio-pic about her trial. Sure, you could watch Lifetime’s Prosecuting Casey Anthony for four bucks on Amazon if you’ve got a hankering for more on the 33-year-old, who was acquitted of charges in the death of her two-year-old daughter Caylee after a lengthy and high-profile legal battle. But according to a report in the Daily Mail that was then repurposed by outlets large and small, Anthony says that she’s working on a film called As I Was Told to express her innocence.
In what appears to be a series of texts (?) Anthony told the UK publication that [sic throughout] “I could care less what people think of me. I just feel my truth needs to be out of me…Hopefully one day people will find it in their hearts to believe that I could never do this.”
According to Anthony, she’s working with a group of novice filmmakers based in Kill Devil Hills, NC, and the movie’s “actors will be members of an amateur theater group the filmmakers run.” If that description has you looking for something -- anything -- else on the Anthony tip, here are The Blotter Presents’ episodes on ID’s Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery and Oxygen’s The Case Of: Caylee Anthony, neither of which will cost you a dime. -- EB
Frank Lucas, the man famously portrayed by Denzel Washington in American Gangster, has died. Lucas died Thursday in New Jersey, his nephew confirmed to the AP, following a period of declining health. He was 88.
The former drug kingpin rose to the top of the heroin game in 1960-70s Harlem, and was busted in 1975. Though he was convicted and sentenced to decades in prison, he turned informant and only served a five-year stint. He ran afoul of the law a couple years later, and spent another seven years in jail in a sentence that ended in 1991.
Lucas attracted the attention of filmmakers in 2000 via a New York Magazine article entitled “The Return of Superfly.” Eventually, Ridley Scott picked up the tale of the kingpin’s rise and fall, and invited Lucas onto the set to give “Washington advice on such details as how he carried his gun,” CBS reports. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the film, but I was surprised to see that in Sarah’s decade-plus-old review of the film, her main complaint was that an emerging talent named Idris Elba stole every scene he shared with Washington. Sarah, I’ll save you a seat at Hobbs And Shaw. -- EB
The Oslo Killing drops today on Sundance Now. Or so a press release from the platform says (as does the NYT) even though the link they gave us leads nowhere. I’m going to paste the whole URL for you old school style here, in the hope that your luck is better.
It’s a six-part documentary series that covers over 40 years and four countries, as it traces the unsolved April, 1974 slaying of Anni Nielsen, a pregnant wife of a “Spanish diplomat with shady connections.” The series follows Maria, Nielsen’s daughter and the (then four-year-old) witness to the crime, as she follows leads around the globe. As soon as I can get that link to work, I’m in. -- EB
Reviewers are rating Killer Ratings. I know that pun stinks, but as I really wanted to make some crack about what the Netflix series’ ratings are doing (“killing it”? “dead in the water”? Hi, I’m Eve and I’m a total hack), but you know how cagey Netflix is when it comes to releasing analytics. The seven-ep documentary series is about Wallace Souza, the Brazilian true crime TV host who allegedly (he wasn’t ever convicted, so we must say “allegedly,” folks) contracted hit men to create homicides he’d then cover. Over at the Guardian, TV writer Mark Lawson says the series is “a jaw-dropping story compellingly told.” The Daily Dot terms it “exhaustive and exhausting,” saying that (as with so many Netflix shows, in my opinion) the show eventually “runs out of steam and is tedious for long stretches.” Have you checked it out, yet? If you have, hit reply on this email and let us know what you thought of it. -- EB
Aspiring actor turned convicted killer Daniel Wozniak was the subject of last weekend’s 20/20. Sarah and I discussed the case last April, as it appeared on one of the earliest episodes of Oxygen’s In Ice Cold Blood. The hook for the new coverage, it appears, are tapes of Wozniak’s fiancee Rachel Buffett, “an actress and former Disney princess,” who was convicted of “lying to investigators and being an accessory after the fact” in the shooting deaths of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi. Wozniak claimed he killed the pair so he could steal Herr’s $62,000 in combat pay, which Wozniak wanted to use for his and Buffett’s wedding and honeymoon. Buffett was convicted last year for her alleged knowledge of Wozniak’s acts, and was sentenced to 32 months in prison. You can watch 20/20’s coverage, called “The Final Act,” here. -- EB
Our first reader mail! This is so exciting. In yesterday’s Best Evidence, we discussed the business reasons behind the “Florida Man” coverage you so often see on non-Florida news sites. Annual subscriber Tara Ariano wrote in with more information on how the Florida Man sausage is made, directing us to this episode of the Citations Needed podcast.
“In a nutshell,” Ariano writes, “what the hosts/guest elucidate is how these stories that are framed as losers doing wacky shit are, more commonly, stories of mentally ill and/or unhomed persons doing private things in public because they have no other option.” She also recommends Citations Needed as “a great podcast,” and based on its description, I’m intrigued: It’s “about the media, power, PR, and the history of bullshit.” As a fan of all those things, I’m adding it to my overflowing pod list immediately. -- EB
Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s the 99th episode of The Blotter Presents, how can that be? We’ve also got some Manson stuff and a true crime convention to chew over.
What is this thing? This should help.