Nicolas Cage · Gary Busey · Waco

Also: How Prince Charles was scammer by a forger

Finally, a mention of freedom that isn’t non-socially-distant. We’re keeping Best Evidence free this week, and we’ll be keeping the True Crime A To Z project free no matter what, so if you haven’t checked that out yet, here’s where to start!

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Today in Tiger King news: There’s so much stuff out there on Tiger King that this could honestly become a Tiger King newsletter and I still wouldn’t get it all. Most is (god bless ’em) clickbait, but here are three things that are actually a little bit interesting:


Gary Busey will be a judge on an Amazon version of the standard daytime courtroom show, but with pets. As I noted to Sarah in the Best Evidence/Blotter Presents Slack, the premise of Gary Busey: Pet Judge sounds an awful lot like a recent SNL sketch (see above), but weirder, given the Busey factor. Rolling Stone reports that the six-episode show will drop on Prime on May 25th (that’s Memorial Day, do with that detail what you will), and in it Busey will mediate between angry guardians of animals including “monkeys, goats, birds, dogs, meerkats, turtles, robot raccoons and more” WAIT WHAT ABOUT CATS.

“Is Gary Busey a real judge? Absolutely not. Does he know anything about pet law? Probably not. Can he look into your soul and suss out your spirit animal while delivering a verdict with a trademark Buseyism? You bet your sweet ass (the donkey kind),” reads the slightly-too-sassy-for-my taste press release from Amazon. The provided clip makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m intended to be snickering at someone who is maybe not doing so well? Watch it below and let me know what you think. — EB


If you’re debating about watching the dramatic adaptation of the Branch Davidian case that recently dropped on Netflix, The Blotter Presents had you covered in 2018. That’s when Waco aired on — get this — The Paramount Network, but it just dropped on Netflix last month.

As NBC claimed in a 1990s-era summer programming promo, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you,” so here we are, and people are talking about the “liberty taking,” Taylor Kitsch-starring, six-episode show. Sarah and Toby Ball took a look at the show back in January of 2018, so if you’re contemplating a Waco watch — or just want to know what the new fuss is about — that episode might be worth a re-listen. — EB


A new podcast takes on the potential skullduggery behind a 1990 hair metal classic. “Winds of Change” isn’t just an international smash by West German band Scorpions, it’s the name of a new podcast from New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, Deadline reports. The idea Winds of Change (the podcast) explores is that “Winds of Change” (the song) was a CIA-planted piece of propaganda, a story that Keefe says he’s been investigating for the past decade. Here’s a trailer for the podcast, which will be released on May 11. — EB


Like Sarah, I’ve been trying to lull myself into a sense of accomplishment by plowing through back issues of my magazines. “Cancel New Yorker” is something I’ve had on my mental health to-do list, but I haven’t gotten to it quite yet. In the meantime, here are three great stories I read this weekend that you might like, too.

  • “Prince Charles was thrilled when a fast-talking hustler named James Stunt loaned 17 masterpieces to his celebrated art collection. But what happens when a Picasso isn't a Picasso,” asks Vanity Fair.

  • Indian-born chef and restaurant owner Garima Kothar owned an innovative Jersey City restaurant called Nukkad. She was killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the hands of her partner, Man Mohan Mall, on April 26 — but her slaying barely made waves in the food world, perhaps because her restaurant didn’t make headlines in life, due to, writer Mayukh Sen says, “the inherent bias of a food media whose narrative gaze skews towards white, materially advantaged, cis male chefs, who also tend to have aggressive public relations teams that help to guarantee media saturation.”

  • Tom Hagen, one of Norway's richest men, was arrested for murder 18 months after his wife disappeared. I don’t know why I’ve been obsessed with this case; it’s not like the world has a shortage of rich (and middle class, and poor) guys who allegedly killed their wives. Maybe because it’s Norway, where crimes like that are fairly unusual? Or maybe because it was first believed to be a kidnapping for ransom, and now the cops say it wasn’t. CNN has the latest.


Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s The Blotter Presents Episode 142, with guest Piper Weiss, plus Kevin Smokler interviews Criminal’s Phoebe Judge. Some show notes for your delectation:


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