Skip Hollandsworth's New Pod · Dog The Bounty Hunter · Molotov Lawyers

Plus a hip-hop feud on Starz, and Mary J. Blige!

Nothing saves the ol’ inbox like an email with the subject line “Introducing a True Crime Podcast by Skip Hollandsworth.” I mean, if I’m being honest, “Introducing a Sea Monkeys Pyramid Scheme by Skip Hollandsworth, Spanish Prisoner” would get an immediate like/subscribe from me, because: Hollandsworth, but this is legit good news for the true-crime listener. From Texas Monthly’s circular:

As you may recall, a popular teenager disappeared in the tiny Panhandle community of Canadian, Texas, in 2016. Two years later, his remains were discovered beneath a tree outside of town. But to this day, no arrests have been made, and nearly everyone involved in the case has fallen under suspicion.

The first ep drops September 29; there’s a trailer right here. It’s only a minute long, but Hollandsworth’s speaking voice is pleasing, and even if he sounded like Sam Kinison, I would be in, because: Hollandsworth. You guys as excited as I am? — SDB

Okay, I’ve avoided unpacking this Dog The Bounty Hunter bulletin long enough. It seems Duane “Dog” Chapman has a new series in the works called Dog Unleashed. Per Deadline and popculture., Chapman “will be tracking down the worst criminals in the nation, including rapists, murderers and child molesters. In these new cases, families from all over the U.S. reached out to Chapman for help with crimes against them.” Sounds a lot like Chapman’s series from last year, Dog’s Most Wanted, which aired a season on WGN:


All caps-ing and punctuation most decidedly [sic].

Chapman product is not my jam; I’ve never seen an entire episode of anything he’s done, and I’m unlikely to start with Dog Unleashed. Neither, evidently, are some Deadline commenters, who are incensed that he’s already engaged so soon after the death of his wife, Beth, although that isn’t the foremost reason to hard-pass the Dog brand IMO, BUT ANYWAY what caught my eye is where we’ll find Chapman’s new show: “Unleashed!, a new service that will allow fans of crime and justice entertainment, cutting-edge docudramas and reality TV viewers a 24-hour-a-day platform to stream their favorite shows and new exclusive content.” The new net’s headed up by chief business development officer Ivo Fischer, formerly of WME, and set to debut January 1; Deadline’s piece also mentions a vague social-network aspect to the proceedings, but liiiiike what is it? Is it Quibi, but for copaganda? Is it Hulu, but just for Court TV overflow? I didn’t really want to sign up to find out more, but I did, and was confronted with this hilarity:

That’s fifty bucks A MONTH for: cast “extras” people seldom care about, for a single show; blog extras, for, again, a single show; and five minutes on Zoom with Chapman. What is the member-only content? Is there any content besides Chapman? Shouldn’t the app be built if it’s launching in 14 weeks? Can we stop putting goddamn punctuation marks in network names?

Let’s make a bet, shall we? I will be very surprised if this launches at all, never mind on time on the first of the year. If anything, the show will get picked up by HLN or whoever else is airing badge-humper programming like Nancy Grace’s shows, and the app will die quietly. But if I’m wrong, and it launches anytime before February 1st of 2021, I will watch two full episodes of Dog Unleashed and report back. Deal? — SDB

A paid sub to Best Evidence is a literal tiny fraction of what Unleashed! LLC is charging — and you get all kinds of different shows (reviewed), plus books, longform pieces, and podcasts. And we pretty much guarantee you WON’T have to Zoom with Duane Chapman.

A free signup gets you most of what we publish, it’s true — but if you’d like to help subsidize, for instance, Margaret’s upcoming review of Des, your sub dollars are a key assist there.

But whatever you feel like paying, we’ll still feel like writing, so thanks for reading. — SDB

Starz is putting a true-crime-adjacent anthology series from 50 Cent into development. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s G-Unit Film & Television, which also produces Starz’s Power, is exec producing Moment in Time: The Massacre, which the press release notes that this is a working title, and: good, because I would not get anything about the topic from that. But evidently, the series

will explore the true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind-the-scenes. Season one reveals how tension between 50 Cent and The Game led to an all-out street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman, resulting in a murder-for-hire plot and Henchman serving a life sentence in prison.

So, kind of like ReMastered, but over a whole season…? Or is it more like Unsolved, a bio-pic/Ryan Murphy feel versus straight documentary? Whatever the genre, I’m in for at least a few episodes, because 1) 50 vs. The Game feels like a really long time ago, and it’ll seem fresh to me; and 2) Starz is really bringing it lately (P-Valley, Hightown). — SDB

Mary J. Blige might give upcoming doc Belly Of The Beast a boost in visibility. I reviewed the film earlier this year when I saw it at the Human Rights Film Festival; it’s headed to virtual cinemas on October 20, and I recommend it — and it’s particularly relevant given recent horrifying headlines regarding hysterectomies performed on ICE detainees (and other recent horrifying headlines regarding COVID apathy in jails and prisons). Difficult and enraging, but worthwhile.

Blige’s team announced a few days ago that she’s planning to submit her song from BOTB for Best Original Song consideration at the 93rd Oscars next spring. I admit that I don’t recall the song, but maybe that’s because it’s only now “joining” the documentary? From what I can tell, “See What You’ve Done” hasn’t gotten released yet — but you can hear a snippet in the new trailer for the doc, here:

Whatever the track’s timeline, Blige’s association with the film will likely raise its profile, which is a good thing. …Can you believe it was only two years ago that Blige became the first Black woman to get multiple Oscar noms in the same year? 2018 seems to belong to the age of daguerrotypes at this point. One of these days I’ll stop pointing that shit out on here, but it’s not today. — SDB

If you haven’t burned through your free New York Mag/Vulture reads for the month yet, spend one on Lisa Miller’s fantastic piece on the two lawyers — Urooj Rahman and Colin Mattis — arrested in NYC in late May for hucking a DIY Bud Light Molotov cocktail into an (unoccupied) NYPD vehicle. “The Making of a Molotov Cocktail” opens in classic provocative NYMag style:

It’s an audacious choice to pause in front of an Applebee’s restaurant on Flatbush Avenue and grant an impromptu interview to a video journalist shortly before you allegedly throw a Molotov cocktail into a police car.

Some pieces for New York don’t quite succeed in getting out of the way of the house-style resigned archness, and Miller tries to do a little too much in a couple of places (we need a moratorium on comparing hand gestures to fluttering birds, not for nothing), but mostly it’s an efficient, well-paced backgrounder on the two accused “bombers” (eye-roll in direction of the Post), how and why they got to that intersection with those incendiary materials on that night, what the city felt like around them then and for years before, and the various legal and adversarial arguments in play in their case. Rahman lives in my neighborhood; Mattis went to my university (loooong after me, obvs); I feel like I know them both, but because of Miller’s piece. — SDB

Thursday on Best Evidence: A Big Brother cop-tech roundup, The Devil’s Harvest, and more from Eve’s desk!

What is this thing? This should help. Follow Best Evidence @bestevidencefyi on Twitter and Instagram. You can also call or text us any time at 919-75-CRIME.