The Traitor · Into The Deep · Money

Plus: John Walsh's IRL impact

The Traitor just racked up a solid review. The recently-released movie is about Tommaso Buscetta, a Sicilian Mafia member notorious for turning informant. This isn’t the first time Buscetta’s hit the screen: Last year, he was the subject of a Netflix doc called Our Godfather, which the New York Times said was a trick to pull off as at least 11 of Buschetta’s relatives have been killed in retribution for his flip.

Now there’s a dramatic take on the tale, from 80-year-old director Marco Bellocchio. According to Washington Post reviewer Pat Padua, the film “enriches the on-screen bloodshed with richly detailed performances and an unpredictable energy that lifts the period crime drama above a mere gangster flick,” which is high praise, indeed.

The Traitor doesn’t look to be the last take on the Buscetta story, either: Variety reported last fall that an eight-episode dramatic series adaptation called Don Masino is expected to start shooting (film) this May, and will reportedly depict in depth the journey of this controversial character whose two big dramas are his dilemma in becoming a turncoat, which he did in a spirit of revenge, and his face-off with Totò Riina,” who was also known as “The Boss of All Bosses.” It’s a Buscetta bonanza! — EB

Speaking of Netflix, its upcoming documentary on the slaying of journalist Kim Wall was well-received at the Sundance Film Festival. The film’s called Into The Deep, and it attempts to unravel how any why Danish inventor and amateur astronaut Peter Madsen killed Wall as the journalist was working on a story about Masdsen’s self-made submarine.

True crime wasn’t the goal of filmmaker Emma Sullivan when she began the movie — like Wall, she was working to document Madsen’s efforts to build a space-worthy rocket ship. What Sulivan ended up with, Decider reviewer Anna Menta says, is a mixed-quality offering, as “Wall is not a character in the film. Neither her friends nor family nor boyfriend are interviewed. We learn nothing about her as a person, other than the fact that she was a journalist.” But in the end, Menta says, Sullivan still “leaves us with no doubt that Wall’s murder was premeditated by a deeply disturbed individual with a false veneer of affability.” Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for Into The Deep yet, so stay tuned. — EB

If you haven’t yet, come chime in on our weekend open thread on which true-crime property should hire you as its PR agent. So far, it looks like everybody wants to rep Bad Blood’s audio version, which kind of makes me want to listen to it on my run today. Is that a bad idea? — EB

In Pursuit With John Walsh reportedly led to the capture of an alleged sexual predator. According to a press release from Investigation Discovery, Walsh’s January 29 show on William Stanson, who allegedly molested multiple teenagers at a 2015 party, prompted a tipster to contact the authorities.

The anonymous witness said that they’d spotted Stanson in Mexico, where he’d allegedly fled after he was named as a suspect in the decade-long molestation of his own daughter. He was extradited on February 5, ID says, and “is expected to face charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, and failure to appear for sentencing on the original charge of accosting a minor.” — EB

According to Forbes, My Favorite Murder hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the second-best-paid podcasters in America. The pair trails Joe Rogan, who made an estimated $30 million last year, and is estimated to have pulled in $15 million in 2019.

The same is not true of your friends here at Best Evidence and The Blotter Presents, so if you’re interested in helping us compete, why not give BE as a gift (if you’re a paid subscriber already) or sign up for a paid sub (if you’re not).

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The DNA testing industry is in a slump. So reports MSNBC, which says that there’s “a slowdown in demand across the entire DNA category” now that “most early adopters have entered the category.” Of course, the first thing I wondered is how this might impact the forensic genealogy industry, as that’s been touted as the future of crime-fighting. What do you think, is the decline of at-home spit testing going to slow down murder investigations, or has that horse already left the barn? — EB

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What’s your weekend without a couple longreads?

  • Are crime shows slowing justice reform? Here's the insidious storytelling bias miseducating viewers [Salon]

  • The murder that changed reality TV [Entertainment Weekly]

  • We Still Don't Know Where Joseph Mifsud Is. But His Lawyer Is Entangled In One Of The World’s Biggest Fraud Cases. [BuzzFeed]

Monday, on Best Evidence: Sarah has some great stuff, just you wait!

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