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Spellbinding Tale of Murder, Love, Deceit, and Redemption

When New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo, who has taken on Finkel’s identity, his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. True Story weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, deceit, and redemption, following Finkel’s relentless pursuit of the shocking truth.

In February 2002, New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel received a startling piece of news: a young man named Christian Longo, wanted for killing his entire family, had been captured in Mexico, where he’d taken on a new identity: Michael Finkel of the New York Times.

The next day, on page A-3 of the Times, came another troubling item: a note from the editors explaining that Finkel, having falsified parts of an investigative article, had been fired. Nonetheless, the only journalist Longo would speak with was the real Michael Finkel, and so Finkel placed a call to Oregon’s Lincoln County jail, intent on getting the true story. So began a bizarre and intense relationship, ending up as a reporting job that eventually morphed into a shrewd game of cat-and-mouse. Part mystery, part memoir, part mea culpa, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth.

True Story was made into a movie starring Jonah Hill & James Franco.

 

The True Crime Documentaries You Need To See This Year At Sydney Film Festival

True crime stories are taking over. Seemingly every other week a new one pops up on our streaming services, phones or kindles. And if that weren’t enough, we’re currently living through the sort of true crime story that will be fodder for storytellers for centuries to come (yes, I mean Donald Trump).

But while it’s all very easy to binge six episodes of Wild Wild Country while scrolling through Instagram or rewatch The Staircase from your sunken rut on the couch, there is something to be said about watching the evils, horrors and redemptions of these narratives unfold surrounded by a crowd of onlookers equally as aghast as you.

Luckily, the upcoming Sydney Film Festival has several titles for the morbidly-inclined to choose from. Here are five of the best.


Truman Capote’s 1966 non-fiction novel In Cold Blood is one of the most important books of the 20th century for its detailing of the Clutter family

Read more at: http://junkee.com/true-crime-sydney-film-festival/160061

Pregnant Pastor’s Wife Killed in Home Invasion: Second Suspect Flips in a Plea Deal

A second man has accepted a plea deal from prosecutors for his role in a deadly burglary in 2015 that killed pregnant Indiana mother Amanda Blackburn, PEOPLE confirms.

Amanda, the 28-year-old wife of Indianapolis pastor Davey Blackburn, was shot in the head on Nov. 10, 2015, during a botched home invasion, according to authorities.

The couple’s toddler son was in the house at the time but was unharmed.

On Wednesday, 26-year-old Diano Gordon, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and one count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, court records confirm.

Under the terms of the deal, the other charges Gordon was facing, including murder and theft, will be dropped.

Gordon is one of three men arrested on charges related to Amanda’s death.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial

Read more at: https://people.com/crime/pastor-wife-amanda-blackburn-murder-second-suspect-pleads-guilty/

Ala. Woman Who Tortured and Killed Teen — Injecting Her with Drain Cleaner — Is Denied Parole

A convicted murderer sentenced to life in prison must remain behind bars at least until 2023 for the abduction and murder of a 13-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped, injected by syringe with drain cleaner, shot, and then thrown into a canyon.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles debated for about a minute before voting Wednesday to deny release for Judith Ann Neelley, reports AL. com.

The decision came two days after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a letter that also opposed parole for Neelley and decried the “unspeakable brutality” of her crimes.

Neelley, whose original death sentence was commuted to life in prison by a previous governor, should not be paroled “not now, and not ever,” Ivey wrote in a letter to the board. “[H]er character includes a disturbing tendency to manipulate others toward her own, violent ends. These things alone should prevent Ms. Neelley from ever

Read more at: https://people.com/crime/alabama-woman-tortured-teen-injected-her-drain-cleaner-denied-parole/

Days Before Her Wedding Anniversary Vacation, Officer Allegedly Run Over by Teen in Stolen Jeep

Authorities say a 16-year-old boy will be prosecuted as an adult for murder in Maryland, where, according to charging documents, he has been accused of fatally running down a 29-year-old policewoman who confronted him during a burglary investigation. Police say he was driving a stolen Jeep.

Amy Caprio, who had been a Baltimore County police officer for nearly four years, was killed on Monday afternoon. She had been attempting to stop a group of teenagers in Nottingham in connection with a 911 call about a residential break-in.

Caprio first responded to the area after a neighbor called 911 to report a suspicious vehicle, “adding that the subjects had broken into a home and that a black Jeep Wrangler appeared to be involved,” Baltimore County police said in a statement.

Police allege that the Jeep in question was stolen out of Baltimore city, with stolen tags affixed to it.

At the scene in Nottingham, Caprio followed

Read more at: https://people.com/crime/maryland-teenager-runs-officer-baltimore-county-police-officer/

Missing NH Mom is Found Stabbed to Death — and Her Son Is Person of Interest

A New Hampshire man has been arrested in Virginia in connection to the fatal stabbing of his mother, who was found dead after being reported missing days earlier, according to multiple reports.

Phillip Nash, 21, was arrested Monday by Virginia State Police after New Hampshire authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Nash was said to be wanted for the alleged theft of his mother’s car after she was found dead in Canterbury, New Hampshire, Monday, WMUR reports.

Frances Nash, 51, was reported missing on May 17 and found dead Monday, according to WMUR. Phillip Nash is considered a person of interest in his mother’s death, according to the Leader.

He was arrested Monday afternoon by Virginia State Police outside Emporia, CBS News reports.

Read more at: https://people.com/crime/missing-new-hampshire-mom-stabbed-death-virginia-son-person-of-interest/

Breaking Homicide Reveals New Evidence on Cold Cases

Tessio, played by the late Abe Vigoda in The Godfather, was wrong. Murder is personal. Families of victims suffer the same grief as anyone who loses a loved one, but without a sense of closure. This is especially true in murders that go unsolved. Investigation Discovery’s cold case series Breaking Homicide uncovers new evidence on long-buried victims. Produced by the same team that put together Is O.J. Innocent? The Missing Evidence, the true crime series takes on the problems of real people. Former Rhode Island Police Sergeant Derrick Levasseur and Forensic Psychologist Kris Mohandie mix detective work with therapeutic diagnosis to track scenarios back to the source. But they also mix their professional expertise with personal stake. The crimes they solve come from viewers, and both Levasseur and Mohandie handled cases that hit home.

Breaking Homicide’s premiered opened with a case in Levasseur’s hometown in Rhode Island. Seven-year-old Michelle Norris

Read more at: http://www.denofgeek.com/us/culture/true-crime/273719/breaking-homicide-reveals-new-evidence-on-cold-cases

Geiger’s Culture Counter: Lightning in a bottle

From books, to shows, to podcasts, lots of stories want to be serialized nowadays. Even movies (I’m looking at you Marvel and your recent season finale of “Avengers: Infinity War”) wish to be in on the action. Yet sometimes a tale with distinct acts that wraps up nicely without a cliffhanger can be just as pleasing.

I prefer television shows to have narrative arcs and I find episodic procedurals that focus on the monster or criminal of the week to be dull and repetitive. But there’s a third option that’s a perfect compromise. This middle ground is the anthology series.

Anthologies have existed since the dawn of television when weekly or monthly programs adapted stage plays for the screen. But I’m not talking about those, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” and “The Twilight Zone,” or newer shows like “Electric Dreams” and “Room 104” where each episode is

Read more at: https://alamosanews.com/article/geigers-culture-counter-lightning-in-a-bottle

‘Evil Genius’ Is a True Crime Show About the Strangest Bank … – GQ

Netflix’s new four-part documentary is a perfect binge for the long weekend.

True crime is everywhere these days. From podcasts like Serial to documentary series like The Jinx and Wild Wild Country to, well, the daily news, criminal cases are one of America’s favorite cultural obsessions. It might be because streaming TV shows and podcasts provide the space to dive deeply into criminal cases, or it might be because social media makes everyone want to join in debates. Maybe it’s because American politics seems to be one big series of criminal conspiracies. Whatever the reason, Netflix has a new documentary series looking to capture the cultural conversation called Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist. And it investigates one of the most insane bank robberies of all time.

In 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania, a pizza delivery driver named Brian Wells walked

Read more at: https://www.gq.com/story/evil-genius-netflix

Evil Genius Is a True Crime Show About the Strangest Bank Robbery Ever

Netflix’s new four-part documentary is a perfect binge for the long weekend.

True crime is everywhere these days. From podcasts like Serial to documentary series like The Jinx and Wild Wild Country to, well, the daily news, criminal cases are one of America’s favorite cultural obsessions. It might be because streaming TV shows and podcasts provide the space to dive deeply into criminal cases, or it might be because social media makes everyone want to join in debates. Maybe it’s because American politics seems to be one big series of criminal conspiracies. Whatever the reason, Netflix has a new documentary series looking to capture the cultural conversation called Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist. And it investigates one of the most insane bank robberies of all time.

In 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania, a pizza delivery driver named Brian Wells walked

Read more at: https://www.gq.com/story/evil-genius-netflix

‘The Staircase’ on Netflix Could Be Your Next True Crime Binge …

In December 2001 novelist and newspaper columnist Michael Peterson discovered his wife, executive Kathleen Peterson, dead at the bottom of a staircase. Did he push her down the stairs? Was her death the result of some bizarre encounter with an owl trapped in the house?

The mysteries surrounding how Kathleen Peterson died are at the heart of The Staircase, an upcoming Netflix true crime documentary about her death and the subsequent conviction of her husband Michael for her murder.

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson in The Staircase