Chippendales · Epstein · Cheetos

Plus: if you have $48K for this Lizzie Borden ephemera, you'd better not be reading this for free

Does the world need THREE more true crime-focused Chippendales tales? Apparently so! We discussed Craig Gillespie’s movie about co-founder Somen Banerjee’s murder and racketeering yarn last fall; that feature stars Dev Patel and was the first out of the gate (that is, after the early aughts TV movie The Chippendales Murder, in which Naveen Andrews played Banerjee, and which Margaret reviewed for us here).

Now, on the same damn day, Deadline reports that there are two more takes on the tale in the pipeline: a Discovery+ series that’s Discovery+edly titled Curse Of The Chippendales, and a Hulu series called Immigrant.

Curse will be a docuseries, with (per Deadline) “video and photo archives, never-before-seen footage and a nostalgia-filled soundtrack.” It’ll appear in four parts, release date TBD.

Then there’s Immigrant, which stars the apparently-still-buff Kumail Nanjiani. This one is pitched as “darkly comedic,” will run for eight episodes, and one of the show’s writers is Emily V. Gordon — Nanjiani’s wife, and his co-screenwriter on The Big Sick. The release date on this one is also unknown, but it’s safe to say that we’re going to be very shirtless and oily very, very soon. Meanwhile, Welcome to Your Fantasy, the podcast on the case, just wrapped up last month; you can catch up here. — EB

Jeffrey Epstein’s ranch is causing problems in New Mexico. For decades, the state of New Mexico had a deal with Epstein’s Zorro Ranch, which allowed it to rent a portion of the sprawling estate for cattle ranching. It’s a deal that went under scrutiny in 2019, when Epstein was arrested for the last time, with spokespeople from the State Land Office unable to explain why — like so many danged people out there — they were doing business with a convicted sex offender.

Now Epstein’s dead, and the property — which includes as 21,000-square-foot mansion, a landing strip for planes, livestock corrals, and worker housing — was about to go on sale earlier this month. Now, reports KRQE, it looks like a huge portion of that land was transferred to a Florida-based church called Love and Bliss, but this time, Epstein isn’t to blame.

Instead, say representatives for the estate, the church has been making a habit of filing fraudulent deeds for Epstein’s properties, and that “If Love and Bliss filed a warranty deed clouding our ability to sell the property, then we’ll definitely have to go to court to get rid of it.”

It’s a weird and wild tale, and well worth the six minutes it takes to watch the video above. I mean, did you know how easy it is to file a fake deed, because I SURE DID NOT. — EB

It’s not the biggest crime in the world, but it sure is interesting. Earlier this month, the LA Times published an investigation into the origins of Flaming Hot Cheetos, concluding that the guy who’s made a career claiming that he came up with the idea is an alleged fraud.

The original report dropped late last week, and was followed by a reaction piece on how many folks were enraged by the investigation. Not enraged at Richard Montañez, the motivational speaker whose claims on his invention were seemingly debunked by the piece, but at reporter Sam Dean, whose work was questioned by many folks — including some journalists — on social media.

Now a podcast episode from the Times claims to unravel the mess, responding to the criticism of the piece and defending their reporting.

If you’re looking for a balm from the harsher side of true crime, you could do worse than to open a bag of spicy, salty snacks (me, I prefer Takis) and dive into this increasingly complicated yarn. — EB

Seriously, they couldn’t offer free shipping? I must credit Sarah for finding this bizarre eBay listing: a “Lizzie Borden Cabinet Card” with the cryptic description that “She certainly was wealthy enough to travel at this time. Photo taken in Minneapolis Minnesota. Buyer decides. Everybody I have talk to you about this photo firmly convinced that it’s her.”

Everyone you talk to, you say? Well, then, I’m in! Just kidding, I’m not, as the seller is asking $48,000 PLUS $8.25 for shipping. Sarah noted this as “Think a Lizzie Borden curio that's selling for 48K on eBay merits better than 10 bucks shipping? Think again,” but I’m of the opposite opinion: I’ve been offered free shipping on bulky shit like $20 vintage overalls, so it really seems like if you’re pocketing more than my parents paid for the house I grew up in, the seller could cover the costs to ship this UNVERIFIED PIECE OF PAPER. — EB

And with that, I’m done until June. That’s right, folks, Sarah is running the show all next week while I head to Palm Springs with my dogs and husband. I’m turning 50 on Monday and wanted to go somewhere I could still feel like one of the younger folks in the room, what can I say? We’ll be back to our regular publication schedule on Monday May 31, and we thank you in advance for your patience if we’re a little light next week. [“I’ve got Moderna Shot #2 on Saturday night because I know how to party, so things could get weird!” — SDB] But, folks, I only turn 50 once and I want to do NOTHING for a few days, if that’s OK with you. — EB

Friday on Best Evidence: The whys of true-crime zeitgeist.

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