Golden State Killer · Insecure · Harvey Weinstein
Also: Court rules against "A Thousand Cuts" star
|Best Evidence||Jun 16, 2020||2||1|
Resolution seems near in the Golden State Killer case. Sacramento Bee reporters Sam Stanton and Darrell Smith were the first to report that Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the former police officer believed to have sexually assaulted and killed scores of women across California in the 1970s and 1980s, will plead guilty to 88 charges including murder and rape in a July 29 hearing in Sacramento.
According to their report, the agreement has yet to be formalized, but would assure DeAngelo Jr. (who is 74 years old) life in prison as opposed to the death penalty — something that prosecutors said they were pursuing, though California Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended executions in the state over a year ago.
Sacramento County Supervising Assistant Public Defender Joseph Cress, who is representing DeAngelo Jr., says that the plea deal is “a just resolution of this case” and “provides some finality and closure for the victims.” However, the Bee reports that the plan could still “be thrown off by DeAngelo’s unpredictable nature,” so don’t start planning that trip to Sacramento to watch him admit it all quite yet.
Speaking of making a trip to Sacramento (which, I have to admit, I had considered earlier this year as plans for the eventual trial unfolded), the pandemic makes for an additional wrinkle. According to the Bee, hundreds of spectators are expected at the next hearing for the case — even more if the next hearing is to be one of its last. “Officials are looking for a setting large enough to allow for social distancing because of COVID-19 concerns,” the Bee reports. “The venue is not expected to be in any of the Sacramento Superior Court courtrooms because there are none large enough for such a hearing. Instead, officials are focusing on large public buildings in Sacramento that may be used.” Hmm, if I’m too worried about the coronavirus to eat a meal at an outdoor restaurant, avoiding a Sacramento courtroom is probably also a wise move. — EB
Maria Ressa, the journalist at the center of Frontline’s A Thousand Cuts, was found guilty of cyber libel in a Philippine court room Monday. The movie about Ressa’s fight for press freedom was a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival, and screened just weeks before film festivals (and everything else) shut down across the U.S. in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Just last week, PBS announced that it had acquired the film, with a plan, Deadline reports, to distribute it theatrically in August then broadcast it in November. It looks like filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz might need to take one more run at the subject before then, as CNN reports that Ressa was found guilty in what’s widely been called out as a politically-motivated attempt to squelch press freedoms in the Philippines.
The verdict was "not unexpected,” Ressa said Monday, and "we will keep fighting. We are going to stand up against any kind of attacks against press freedom." — EB
A imaginary true-crime podcast that was featured throughout this season of Insecure has dropped for real. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight back in April, Insecure creator/star Issa Rae said that the fictional podcast, Looking for LaToya, was intended to parallel a storyline within the latest season of the show, but grew beyond that.
"In the writers room, we were obsessing about our own different true crime shows. Like, I was obsessed with To Live and Die in LA... and we also started talking about the metaphor of Molly and Issa's friendship of asking the 'whodunnit' question like, 'Who killed the friendship?'" Rae told ET.
Eventually, it also became a comment on an ongoing issue with true crime: its focus on white women. "One of the things a lot of these true crime podcasts and true crime shows in general have in common is that they're always looking for missing white girls," Rae told ET. "[Looking for LaToya exposes] the idea that none of these are centered around black girls, and what it would look like if it were -- and finding the dark humor in that."
Now the show — well, technically, a one-off episode — is available to listeners, with musician SZA playing the titular LaToya Thompson. The podcast, which dropped on Sunday, even has a true-crime podcast-looking website with additional details on the pretend case. You can listen to the full episode of Looking For LaToya here. — EB
You might not want to spend any more of your life on Harvey Weinstein, but maybe you should. Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair was arguably one of Weinstein’s the biggest boosters, with stars of Miramax’s films garnering an outsized share of the magazine’s attention. That’s, perhaps, what makes an exhaustive, three-part series on Carter’s newsletter, Air Mail, all the more interesting.
The first part of writer Phoebe Eaton’s series (an alleged 19-minute read) was sent out Saturday, and has already made headlines for its explication of specific genital deformities of Weinstein’s that were mentioned in his sexual assault trial. Part two is expected this coming Saturday, and so on. When you have 19 minutes of attention to spare, it’s definitely worth a read. — EB
Is your dad the Zodiac? It’s a running The Blotter Presents/Best Evidence joke that the police sketch of the suspected Zodiac killer looks like pretty any white-person-of-a-certain-age’s father. Assuming your pop isn’t the Zodiac — and even, perhaps, if her is — perhaps he might enjoy a subscription to Best Evidence this Father’s Day. Dads love true crime, and getting emails, right? It’s a match made in heaven.
Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s The Blotter Presents Episode 147!
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