Timothy Olyphant · Fyre Fest · Bite Marks

Plus: The stupidest true-crime auction yet

Timothy Olyphant is joining his Justified co-star in true-crime podcast infamy. I was listening to a panel with some animation folks the other day, and one of the participants said that we should expect to hear a lot of big names in cartoons in the coming months, as the COVID era makes in-person shoots impossible but dialogue recording a breeze.

Who knows if that’s why Olyphant is lending his vocal talents to Billionaire Boys Club, a podcast about the infamous investment club turned Ponzi scheme turned kidnapping and homicide ring. But that’s what he’s doing, co-hosting the six part show with Dating Game Killer co-host Tracy Pattin. Folks who have a paid Wondery subscription can listen to the whole podcast now, the rest of us will have to wait until April 18 to listen to its weekly-dropping episodes.

The trailer is sadly Olyphant-free (you can listen to it here), so I can’t offer you advice on if its worth it on the basis of Deadwood (or, perhaps most importantly, Go) fandom. But if you’re still in the mood for a Justified-related podcast, don’t forget about Deep Cover: The Drug Wars, in which Olyphant’s nemesis Goggins plays a fed. That one, you can listen to here. — EB

Less star-studded but still of note: Unfinished: Deep South is a podcast from journalist and documentarian Taylor Hom and Nick Shea, partners in life and in podcast who have spent “the past several years” (per Shea’s website) on the show.

The podcast, which dropped last month, investigates the death of Isadore Banks, a wealthy African American farmer who was lynched on the Arkansas Delta in 1954. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette says the crime “almost slipped through the cracks of history, hushed by the fear of retaliation, with constant reminders often strung up in trees or from utility poles that white supremacy was still the rule of law.”

In an interview, Shea tells the paper that as the pair worked on the podcast, “We did meet a lot of resistance. A number of people shut doors in our faces, or hung up on us, or agreed to meet with us only to cancel at the last minute with no explanation. Occasionally people told us to be careful -- told us that we were looking into a story that was still dangerous. And we felt that fear in others, especially older people.” You can catch up on Unfinished: Deep South here. — EB

Wrongful Conviction has a new spinoff about bad forensics. You of course are familiar with Wrongful Conviction, the Jason Flom/Innocence Project podcast about, you guessed it, wrongful convictions. Now, the multi-season show is launching Wrongful Conviction: Junk Science, a podcast that poses the question, “But what happens when one claims to be an expert — in a discipline that isn’t based in science at all?”

(Obviously, the answer here is that one becomes president of the United States of America! OK, whaaaat never mind. You come here to escape all that, I know! I just couldn’t resist.)

Jury consultant Josh Durbin is your host on this junk journey, a guy who (per his business website) claims that he “is regarded as perhaps the most preeminent trial strategy and jury consultant in the nation,” so, apparently, a pretty big deal. He’s found time to podcast as well, and in his first episode (which was released on Sunday) looks at bite-mark evidence, which he says “does not benefit crime victims or their loved one.”

As years of fictional procedurals have convinced me otherwise, I am already excited to hear Durbin’s debunk on this and other alleged nonsense. (Here’s hoping he does evidence dogs; I have a big beef with that whole thing.) You can subscribe to WC: JS here, and check out a trailer here. [“Or check out Netflix’s Exhibit A, which Jeb Lund and I talked about back in June; the show takes on a bunch of the same ‘sciences.’” — SDB] — EB

Now, here’s a longread about a podcast! I’m not even making this up: so, back in March of 2019, Al Jazeera released the results of a three-year investigation into the (oft allegedly illegal) efforts the U.S. gun lobby made to crack the Australian firearm market — a set of podcasts, docufootage, and text content called How To Sell A Massacre.

You can read the whole project here, and now, a year later, the Australian newspaper has a great inside-true-crime-baseball look at how the whole package came together. Here’s a snip:

I had hired Rodger a few months earlier as part of an elaborate effort to infiltrate America’s gun lobby. We’d first met in 2001, when I was working as executive producer of the ABC’s ­Lateline program, and had got to know each other through mutual friends in Sydney. In ­October 2015 I was heading up Al Jazeera’s North American Investigative Unit when I called Rodger from my ­Washington office. He answered on the first ring. “G’day, Pete.” When I made the offer that so many had rejected, the response was typical of a man who thrived on living on the edge. “Love to, mate! You’ve caught me just at the right time. I’m between businesses just now, so I’ve got a bit of time to spare.”

The mission I gave him was simple enough, but it had the potential to cause Rodger enormous complications at home: he was to adopt a new persona – that of a gun-loving Aussie who wanted a softening of Australia’s strict gun control laws. At the NRA’s Louisville convention, he was to spread the message that he’d formed the group Gun Rights Australia specifically to lobby for the reform of firearms laws Down Under. He was to engage with the NRA’s senior leadership, and to wear concealed cameras to secretly film conversations inside the group. Apart from my bosses and a small team from Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit that I had assembled for this assignment, nobody knew that Rodger’s pro-gun persona was a ruse – not even his closest friends and family.

RIGHT? This is some good, juicy stuff. I’m going to give you the link to the full story in the next line, but before you click you should know that the Australian has a very strict paywall that will only allow you one read before it clamps down, tight. So, prepare to pony up for a subscription or only click on the link when you’re ready for the entire 15-20 minute read. Here you go. — EB

Need a t-shirt to attach your Wegman’s pin to? The U.S. Marshals service — yes, the same organization Raylan “Timothy Olyphant” Givens worked for on Justified; it all comes full circle, friends — is currently holding an online auction of swag from the infamous Fyre Festival scam/con. It’s kind of fantastic.

The auction page is here, and includes merch like a baseball cap (as of this writing, at $350), a hoodie (at $395 as of Monday night), and single, stupid tokens for (at writing) $50. There’s six pages of the stuff, all bid to a ridiculously inflated price.

The whole thing raises the question of where this con fully ends — was it with the incarceration of COVID-19 victim Billy McFarland, whose six-year sentence was not shortened by a virus-related pandemic release, the New York Post reported last month? Or is it with this extremely silly sale of dubious quality apparel, all at vastly inflated prices due to their brush with infamy? You tell me. — EB

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Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s The Blotter Presents Episode 153, with guest Kevin Flynn on Ann Rule's Sleeping With Danger, and (FINALLY!) The Last Narc with Jessica Liese

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