It’s our last Friday discussion thread until 2021 (…!). Readers, lurkers, Best Evidentiary friends old and new, thanks for helping me and Eve get through 2020. Thinking about the true crime that’s worth your time helped, too.
So it’s time for ye olde best-of list: the best of the year in true crime, whether online longread, podcast, book, film and TV (those last two kind of got blurred together thanks to COVID). Highlights from my year in true-crime consumption:
My favorite books from 2020 included Notes on a Vanishing, The Third Rainbow Girl, The Cold Vanish, and works from two of my esteemed guests, Bob Kolker and Marcia Chatelain.
Films: American Murder: The Family Next Door, the Roy Cohn doc, Class Action Park, Miracle Fishing, Belly of the Beast, The Painter and the Thief, and Bad Education.
TV: So much to choose from here, so I’ll try to stick to properties everyone wasn’t talking about, or at least not as much, including Murder on Middle Beach, City So Real, Outcry, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, and Fear City. (Honorable mentions to the Unsolved Mysteries reboot; Dirty John: Amanda Peet 2024; and Love Fraud.) — SDB
Eve here! 2020 was a year in which my attention and time were limited and I rarely exercised. So, books and podcast consumption? Nothing to shout about. But I still found time for these projects:
Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country / Paid subscribers know from Sarah’s review of this book what Sierra Crane Murdoch’s North Dakota-set book is all about. She admits that she should have read it instead of listening to the audiobook version, but I think you’d be fine either way.
This was a great year for satanic-panic podcasts, and I can’t decide if I enjoyed Season 2 of Conviction, subtitled American Panic or Season 8 of Uncover, ALSO subtitled Satanic Panic, more. So they both win!
Onscreen, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez gave me the backstory I needed on this troubling case, and McMillions — while it could have been trimmed a bit — is such good, low-stakes fun, perfect for days when “real crime” feels like too much to bear. OK, back to Sarah! — EB
We encourage you to rummage around the archives for reviews and interviews related to all these titles, but first, tell us YOUR bests of the year — all the stuff we need to marinate in over the holiday break! (Up/down votes on recent Netflix releases would help me out a lot, I’m way behind.) — SDB
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