Monthly Archives: December 2016

So what are the best TV shows of 2016?

Though it’s tempting to burn 2016 in effigy, the bright spot this year was television. Where else could a weary nation — its throats raw from arguing and its fingers exhausted from trading social-media insults — collapse on the collective sofa and find such reprieve?

I’ve never had a more difficult time trying to narrow my yearly picks down to just 10. For as long as it lasts, here’s to “peak TV” and its seemingly limitless offerings.

1. “O.J.: Made in America” (ESPN) A remarkable work of research and synthesis, Ezra Edelman’s 7 1/2-hour documentary is a powerfully persuasive essay on the subject of justice in America as it pertains to race. After 20 years of throwing up our hands at the mere mention of the O.J. Simpson trial and verdict (whether in exasperation or exultation), Edelman’s masterful handling of fact and

Read more at: http://www.uticaod.com/news/20161231/so-what-are-best-tv-shows-of-2016

A true crime story from the Civil War era sparked Susan Rivers’ new novel

Maybe, Susan Rivers said, the roots of “The Second Mrs. Hockaday,” her novel about a young wife whose Confederate husband was off at war, go back to her student days at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, Calif.

A true crime story from Civil

Read more at: http://www.greensboro.com/go_triad/arts/books/a-true-crime-story-from-the-civil-war-era-sparked/article_f1a44076-73d8-5c8a-b07d-ff9a5862bdc2.html

Interview with Graeme Macrae Burnet

His Bloody Project has had a strange relationship with truth in the real world. Even some of our most esteemed literary pages have mistaken it for a true story, despite the word “novel” emblazoned across the title page. It has been called “true crime” and “historical fiction”, both false appellations. Never underestimate the ignorance of critics or the gullibility of readers. “I’ve only got myself to blame,” he says, with a small, knowing smile. It’s true, in a way. Burnet constructs are very believable conceits, and he’s a thorough researcher. “One of the inspirations was a French case from the 19th century where a peasant called Pierre Riviere killed three members of his family then wrote an eloquent memoir about it … there is something fascinating about the apparent contradiction between these acts of violence and this articulate writing.” It brings to mind Humbert Humbert’s infamous utterance in

Read more at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/14996563.Angst_and_the_Man_Booker__Graeme_Macrae_Burnet_on_the_post_shortlisting_anxiety/

So what are the best TV shows of 2016?

Though it’s tempting to burn 2016 in effigy, the bright spot this year was television. Where else could a weary nation — its throats raw from arguing and its fingers exhausted from trading social-media insults — collapse on the collective sofa and find such reprieve?

I’ve never had a more difficult time trying to narrow my yearly picks down to just 10. For as long as it lasts, here’s to “peak TV” and its seemingly limitless offerings.

1. “O.J.: Made in America” (ESPN) A remarkable work of research and synthesis, Ezra Edelman’s 7 1/2-hour documentary is a powerfully persuasive essay on the subject of justice in America as it pertains to race. After 20 years of throwing up our hands at the mere mention of the O.J. Simpson trial and verdict (whether in exasperation or exultation), Edelman’s masterful handling of fact and context was the best thing on TV this year, notable

Read more at: http://www.timestelegram.com/news/20161231/so-what-are-best-tv-shows-of-2016

The New Reality TV

2016 was also a year that found true-crime documentaries continuing their cultural ascendence. In the footsteps of 2015’s Making a Murderer and The Jinx, there was Amanda Knox on Netflix, and The Witness, and Team Foxcatcher, and ESPN’s magisterial 30 for 30 documentary O.J.: Made in America. There was Ava DuVernay’s 13th. There was Weiner, which, after its run in theaters, aired on Showtime.

This all came at a moment that found American culture at large celebrating—reveling in—the real. The world of Facebook updates and “It Happened to Me”-style essays and #confessyourunpopularopinion is also a world that, when asked how it’s doing, might give a more honest answer than the traditional “Fine, and you?” The age of social media, allowing people such unprecedented access to the details of each others’ lives, also encourages them to shed the polite niceties that can so often can double as light lies. Why bother

Read more at: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/12/the-new-reality-tv/511907/

‘Zodiologists’ gather at Lake Herman Road to mark grizzly anniversary



Sandy Betts says she’s convinced she escaped the infamous Zodiac killer nearly 50 years ago, and has been obsessed with bringing him to justice ever since.

Jerry Johnson, on the other hand, has been hooked on the case since a law enforcement officer came to him in his capacity as a federal agent in the late 1960s, with a story of a Zodiac encounter.

A group of some half-dozen “Zodiologists” gathered Tuesday night at the Lake Herman Road site — at the Benicia/Vallejo border — of the still unknown killer’s first murders. They met at 11 p.m. Dec. 20 to mark the exact time of the

Read more at: http://www.thereporter.com/general-news/20161230/zodiologists-gather-at-lake-herman-road-to-mark-grizzly-anniversary

Cops Say Uber Driver Saved Passenger, 16, from Sex Trafficking: ‘I Knew What Was Happening’

It started out like any other Uber transaction.

Keith Avila, a photographer who also drives for the ridesharing company, picked up two women and a girl at a home in Sacramento, California on Monday. As they got into the car, Avila noticed the girl looked young.

“She looked like she was about 12,” he tells PEOPLE, “but she was wearing a short skirt that showed off her legs.”

Almost immediately, Avila says, the conversation began to raise red flags. “The lady in the back started getting really upset,” he recalls. “She was yelling at the girl, ‘You need to get your priorities straight. We need to make this money.’ ”

As he drove, Avila says he tried to process what was happening. “I was thinking, ‘What does she mean by money? Is she selling drugs?’ ”

He says the situation soon became more clear: “The woman in the back started coaching the girl. She said, ‘before you

Read more at: http://people.com/crime/uber-driver-saves-teenage-passenger-sex-trafficking/

People Magazine Investigates: Brian Radel’s Primise in Lauri …

Brian Radel placed loyalty and his bond above all else.

As he explains  in Monday night’s episode of People Magazine Investigates, on Investigation Discovery, he didn’t kill Lauri Waterman in 2004, in a small Alaska town, because he wanted to kill her.

Radel killed Waterman because a trusted mutual friend asked him to do it.

“If I said I’m going to come kill you, I was going to kill you,” Brian says in Monday’s episode. “I never broke my word.”

He adds: “Whatever I said I was going to do, everybody who knew me knew that I would follow through with it whether I liked it or not.”

Waterman, 48, was killed after Radel kidnapped her from the family’s home in the tight-knit island town of Craig, Alaska, while her daughter, Rachelle, and husband were away.

He planned to stage a drunk-driving

Read more at: http://people.com/crime/brian-radel-explains-lauri-waterman-murder/

A Killer’s Twisted Promise: ‘If I Said I’m Going to Come Kill You, I Was Going to Kill You’

Brian Radel placed loyalty and his bond above all else.

As he explains  in Monday night’s episode of People Magazine Investigates, on Investigation Discovery, he didn’t kill Lauri Waterman in 2004, in a small Alaska town, because he wanted to kill her.

Radel killed Waterman because a trusted mutual friend asked him to do it.

“If I said I’m going to come kill you, I was going to kill you,” Brian says in Monday’s episode. “I never broke my word.”

He adds: “Whatever I said I was going to do, everybody who knew me knew that I would follow through with it whether I liked it or not.”

Waterman, 48, was killed after Radel kidnapped her from the family’s home in the tight-knit island town of Craig, Alaska, while her daughter, Rachelle, and husband were away.

He planned to stage a drunk-driving

Read more at: http://people.com/crime/brian-radel-explains-lauri-waterman-murder/

Brittanee Drexel’s Mom Starts Foundation to Help Other Parents of …

Dawn Drexel remembers how fearful and overwhelmed she felt in the days after her 17-year-old daughter, Brittanee Drexel, disappeared during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2009.

It’s the experience she endured afterward — the emotional and financial drain — that inspired her to start a new foundation to support other families in their search for loved ones.

“You can’t imagine your child is missing,” Dawn tells PEOPLE. “It’s surreal. You just can’t believe it’s happening to you.”

As Brittanee remained gone, and the days turned into years, Dawn was forced to grapple with the agony of wondering where her daughter was, if she was trying somehow to get home — or if she was dead.

“You’re just numb for the first few years,” Dawn says.

Like other parents of missing children, she had no idea about the costs associated with the

Read more at: http://people.com/crime/brittanee-drexels-2016-mother-dawn-interview/