Lost Girl · Island Crime · Death Row (Records)
Plus: a true crime writing gig!
|Best Evidence||May 28, 2020||3||2|
Police say they’ve identified the remains of “Jane Doe #6,” who they say was a victim of the Long Island Serial Killer. In a Facebook post published Friday, the Suffolk County Police Department announced that they had IDed “Manorville Jane Doe” with the help of the FBI, and would be announcing her name on the website they created for the crimes.
As of publication time, no new information had been posted to their site, but here’s what we know based on Lost Girls, Robert Kolker’s book on the case: The remains in question were found ten years and almost 40 miles apart: in 2000, a body missing its head, hands, and right foot was found in the Long Island city of Manorville, and in 2011, the same person’s head, hands, and foot were discovered near Gilgo Beach. According to the police, the victim was believed to be a sex worker, stood 5’2”, and was between 18-35 years old.
Newsday notes that “a department spokeswoman could not immediately say” when the victim’s name would be released, and police say that the identification was made using genetic genealogy, a technology that is not without its own set of problems. — EB
This day in Best Evidence History: What were we talking about on May 28, 2019? Let’s look!
Sarah took a look at ABC's historical docuseries, 1969, and famed it with a faint “…fine!”
Columbia Journalism Review podcast The Kicker dropped one of its best episodes, on “The impossible task of covering the NYPD.”
Oh, Mercy, a French movie about a Roubaix homicide, got a lukewarm reception by reviewers.
Dean Strang confessed that he didn’t enjoy the second season of Making a Murderer.
You can read the whole thing here, and if you want to celebrate our year-plus of bringing you true crime that’s worth your time, I have an idea…
A new podcast seeks to separate urban legend from fact in an 18-year-old missing persons case. Canadian journalist Laura Palmer (yes, I’m sure she’s heard all the jokes) launched a podcast called Island Crime last week, a show that looks into the case of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young, who was last seen leaving a house party in June of 2002 “with a young man from a prominent family.” According to the Vancouver Island Free Daily, the show quickly became “one of iTunes’s Top 10 true crime podcasts in Canada,” much to Palmer’s surprise.
“I was surprised that a podcast created off the side of my desk, in my hatchback, in my closet, would do as well as it did,” Palmer says. “But I think that speaks to the strength of Lisa’s story and the advocates who have been out there pushing this on social media and doing whatever they can to raise awareness.” She’s hopeful that the podcast will help solve the case, and bring closure to Young’s family. “People who live in Lisa's hometown believe they know who is responsible for her disappearance,” the podcast’s first episode says, which suggests that the truth might be just out of reach without an additional nudge. You can listen to Island Crime’s first three episodes here. — EB
It’s time to pick the book I review for June! The miscreants of the Eastern elite took an early lead yesterday but we’ve got a couple other tomes gaining; pick me a good one! — SDB
A prominent player in the crime-riddled foundation of music label Death Row Records has reportedly contracted CODIV-19 while in jail. Michael “Harry-O” Harris, the convicted drug trafficker who co-founded Death Row with Suge Knight (who many believe had a hand in the slaying of Tupac Shakur), is currently serving a 19-year sentence in Lompoc Federal Prison. Harris filed a request for compassionate release in February of this year, with letters supporting his release from folks like Van Jones, California State Senator Nancy Skinner, and other local officials. His request was denied.
Now, his attorneys say, Harris has fallen ill with the new coronavirus, the East Bay Times reports, a matter complicated by an autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which Harris has lived with for years. In court filings this week, his attorneys say that “Due to the outbreak, Mr. Harris and the rest of the inmate population were confined under complete 24-hour lockdown, without access to telephones, email, or any other means to contact their attorneys.” That’s probably true — about 80 percent of the inmates at Lompoc have tested positive for the virus, as have at least 25 staff workers. It’s likely that the prison is exceedingly short-staffed, as employees fall ill and the healthy ones avoid the prison out of (well-founded) fears of infections.
Now his lawyers are again arguing for his release to save his health, the East Bay Times reports, but the U.S. Attorney’s office seems poised to fight it, saying that Harris’ attorneys are “downplaying his crimes to make him sound more sympathetic.” — EB
Aspiring true-crime writers take note. London-based author Mitzi Szereto says that she’s seeking submissions for her latest anthology, The Best New True Crime Stories: Well-mannered Crooks, Rogues & Criminals. She’s previously published The Best New True Crime Stories: Serial Killers and The Best New True Crime Stories: Small Towns, and suggests that candidates check them out to see what she’s looking for.
Now, I haven’t read these books, don’t know Szereto, and the pay isn’t wildly great: $130 for 4,000-7,000 words, plus two copies of the book. But, who knows? This could always lead to something great. If you’re intrigued, here’s the full call for submissions. — EB
Friday on Best Evidence: Got the goods on a favorite non-Dr.-Oz nemesis, Nextdoor dot com!
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