People Who Eat Darkness · Slow Burn

Plus: Do we all have sympathy for the devil?

An out-of-print true crime book from 2011 was just the subject of a “vigorous” adaptation auction. It’s perhaps a barometer of the hunger for crime-based properties that People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up, a book by Times Of London Tokyo editor Richard Lloyd Parry, was just sold at “an unusually vigorous” auction, Deadline reports.

The book’s about the death of Lucie Blackman, a (per the book’s marketing) “tall, blond, twenty-one years old” bar hostess in Toyko’s Roppingi district whose dismembered remains were discovered in a seaside cave. Investigators say that the man convicted of the crime, Joji Obara, had been drugging and raping women for years.

The auction winner, wiip, is an indie studio that’s recently made the news for its deal to adapt a scripted Gimlet podcast, among other projects. It says that its planning a limited “high end TV” series for the book, but hasn’t specified if the adaptation will be dramatic or documentary in nature. -- EB


Slow Burn is back. The Slate podcast’s third season, which is titled “Biggie and Tupac,” kicked things off this week. “How is it that two of the most famous performers in the world were murdered within a year of each other—and their killings were never solved?” the pod asks in its marketing materials. I’m doubtful that we’ll get a definitive answer, but if this season is similar to the podcast’s first and second seasons, the ride could still be pretty fun. You can listen to Season three’s first episode here. -- EB


I haven’t watched The Politician yet, should I? My DVR is so backlogged from my road trip that I feel overwhelmed, and my husband just left the country for a week, so our “shared” shows will stagnate until he gets back. So maybe I should dive into Ryan Murphy’s scripted Netflix series about some rich white boy who wants to be president (or maybe not).

The savvy content marketers at Oxygen have glommed onto the show, with the angle that it contains loads of true-crime references. The network’s blog arm sees Easter eggs that reference the Menendez Brothers, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, and even the college admissions scandal. Politician viewers, is Oxygen dead on, or are they making an SEO stretch? Here’s their post for your appraisal. -- EB

Here’s some more casting news for Gilded Rage. The dramatic adaptation of Benjamin Wallace’s “A Gilded Rage,” his 2015 report on the shooting death of hedge fund manager Thomas Gilbert Sr. (allegedly by his son Tommy) has added Christoph Waltz to its cast, reportedly as the senior Gilbert. Bill Skarsgard will play his son, and Lily Collins will play…well, no one knows, Collider says, but here’s betting whoever it is flunks the Bechdel test. Production on the film is slated to begin in the spring of 2020. -- EB


Ugh I can’t believe I fell for this clickbait (and now I’m pushing it on you). Newsweek, a publication that CJR recently eviscerated for its lack of reason to exist, reported yesterday that a new survey claims that 28 percent of true crime fans are rooting for the killer to succeed. The study is from an outfit called SuperSummary, so shrug emoji. It also says that “forty-seven percent of the 1,000 adults polled claimed they had a ‘favorite criminal,’ while only 40 percent had a ‘favorite member of law enforcement.’” This seems more like an indictment of the marketing challenges police have made for themselves in recent years that an implication that true crime fans are beasts, but I’m hardly unbiased. -- EB


It’s November 1, which means the holiday messaging has begun. And here’s our pitch: Best Evidence makes a great gift! If there’s anyone in your life you regularly forward or mention this newsletter to, not only can you give them the gift of daily true crime coverage, you’ll be giving us the gift of payment for our efforts. And, remember, if we get to 2000 paid subscribers by August of 2020, we’ll cover the Theranos trial in person. That’s a gift that will keep on giving!

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Monday on Best Evidence: A whole slew of locally-focused podcasts. Have a great weekend, everyone!


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