What True-Crime Property Helped You Understand Crime?

I have a confession to make. Though I had decades to get around to understanding the FBI’s Abscam sting operations, it wasn’t until I watched American Hustle that I actually understood how the federally-funded fishing operation from the fictional “Abdul Enterprises” worked.

Call it Schoolhouse Rock for grownups, the pill of education wrapped in the flash and fun of music, big Hollywood names, and (in American Hustle’s case) some really great interior design. But, hey, it works in a way that reading straightforward news coverage, however well-written, doesn’t.

So, let’s share the wisdom. What’s a true crime property (narrative journalism, TV series, film, podcast, whatever) that helped you “get” a crime the way other news coverage of it didn’t? Maybe if we get enough, we can come up with a whole true crime syllabus and have a post-collegiate party. — EB