WTF Wormwood? At least we still have Slow Burn...

WTF Wormwood? At least we still have Slow Burn...

"We are not crooks." This episode we'll circle back to Slate's excellent Watergate-based series, "Slow Burn." Look what happens when those who believe in conspiracies learn those conspiracies are actual conspiracies.

Speaking of conspiracies within conspiracies, we ponder Netflix's "Wormwood." The genre-blending documentary about a secret CIA LSD-induced suicide is only the first layer in a trippy, troubling tale from Oscar winner director Errol Morris. Points for using Hollywood actors Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker to dramatize the back story, but did this unconventional series deliver the goods?

Then in Crime of the Week, a little bit of pot goes a long way when deciding who to arrest.

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The Pope's Long Con and Done Disappeared finale! (And by the time you hear this we might all be dead.)

The Pope's Long Con and Done Disappeared finale! (And by the time you hear this we might all be dead.)

The Crime Writers might be from New Hampshire, but the shizz that's been going down with our weather has been BANANAS. Seriously, by the time you hear this, we might all be dead.

BUT - we're not dead yet, so we responded to some sassy listener emails, talked about OUTSTANDING finale of John David Booter's podcast Done Disappeared, and reviewed The Pope's Long Con, a pretty great podcast from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

Then, our Crime of the Week put's Rebecca in the spotlight. Yes, she IS a psychopath.

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A Godless Review, Adnan Syed's Witness, & A New Jinx Lead?

A Godless Review, Adnan Syed's Witness, & A New Jinx Lead?

In our last installment of 2017, we have an exclusive interview with Undisclosed’s Rabia Chaudry. She’ll be talking about a defense alibi witness for Adnan whose recent arrest may weaken his claim of being at the mosque when Hae Min Lee was buried in Leakin Park. Also, is there a new lead in the mystery of Robert Durst's missing wife?

Then we shoot it out about Netflix’s new limited series “Godless.” In an Old West town where the men have been killed in a mining accident, the women are left to fend for themselves. When an outlaw fleeing his former gang seeks refuge, you know trouble will follow. Do we think “Godless” lives up to its feminist premise?

TO MISS ANY "GODLESS" SPOILERS, FAST FORWARD TO TIME CODE 1:00:04.

Stick around for Crime of the Week. We’ve got an amateur Facebook Live “reporter” who solves an arson in the most hilarious, profane way.

 

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Dassey Hopes Dashed, Done Disappeared Does Us, and a Voyeur Review

Dassey Hopes Dashed, Done Disappeared Does Us, and a Voyeur Review

Well, lookie lookie here. We've got the latest disappointing news for Brendan Dassey's hopes of a new trial, get to spread some podcast love to both Amber Hunt and Bill Rankin, and take the hit from Done Disappeared's wicked send up, "Crime Writers Off." (Spoiler alert: Bobby Tall needs to count to ten and cool off).

Then we look through the peep hole at Netflix's "Voyeur." This odd tale pivots from its subject - a motel owner who spied on guests for years - to the famous journalist so enamored with the story he becomes blind to its many red flags. (Want to skip the discussion and just hear the thumbs up or down review? Go to 59:58.)

In the Crime of the Week, one bank robber learns why it's important to clear your browser history.

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Slow Burn Podcast Review, Making A Murderer Misstep & A Cow Named Lara

Slow Burn Podcast Review, Making A Murderer Misstep & A Cow Named Lara

The Crime Writers dig in to the problem with sending flowers to a judge, even when said judge has just ruled the way you wanted her to in the Steven Avery case.

Also, a cow named Lara? Toby's daughter is a star? And only Rebecca swears too much?

Then, we respond to some ire around our mixed review of the Netflix show Alias Grace.

Finally, a review of the (spoiler alert) OUTSTANDING new podcast from Slate about Watergate. It's called Slow Burn, and if you want to hear our spoiler-free recommendation, you'll want to skip to the 55:44 mark.

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Done Disappeared, Alias Grace on Netflix and More

Done Disappeared, Alias Grace on Netflix and More

OMG - We can't get enough of Done Disappeared, the amazing parody true crime podcast by the unparalleled talent that IS John David Booter. We review that show and try to figure out the mystery of just what happened to missing 1987 woman Clara Pockets.

Then, a more earnest review of the Netflix series Alias Grace. Based on a Margaret Atwood novel, does this show resonate? Or does it's less-than-Handmaid's Tale production values take away from what could have been a compelling view of a fascinating true crime?

Finally, the Crime of the Week tackles a whole lot of nudity and a whole lot of kidnapping.

LISTEN:

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Manson, Long Shot, & Our Must-Listen Podcast Recommendations

Manson, Long Shot, and Our Must-Listen Podcast Recommendations 

It's our 100th episode and we're celebrating by...doing what we always do.

We'll look at the times and crimes of the late Charles Manson. The panel offers holiday travelers some recommendations of podcasts and TV shows that will make Thanksgiving bearable.

The crime writers dig into "Long Shot," the new Netflix documentary. It tells the story of how an innocent man stayed off of death row because of the Los Angeles Dodgers and HBO's Larry David comedy of manners, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

FOR THOSE LOOKING TO AVOID SPOILERS, JUMP PAST THE DISCUSSION TO THE 59-MINUTE MARK.

In Crime of the Week, it's Father Christmas vs. Santa Claus.

CRIME WRITERS' RECOMMENDATIONS

Toby: Polybius Conspiracy from Showcase; The DollupOpen Floor from SI

Lara: Deadly Manners

Rebecca: Done DisappearedPowerline

Kevin: More PerfectCrazy Ex-girlfriend

LISTEN:

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A CWO Gameshow! Some Up and Vanished News, and Elizabeth Smart on A&E

A CWO Gameshow! Some Up and Vanished News, and Elizabeth Smart on A&E

Watch out - this episode is punchy! The Crime Writers settle a beef, play a couple of games, and yes, talk about Payne Lindsey's new TV deal AND his YouTube music video alter ego.

Then, a look at the Elizabeth Smart case through the lens of the new A&E 2-part documentary, the super confusingly named Biography Presents: Elizabeth Smart Autoiography.

Plus, our Crime of the Week cuts the cheese!

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Stranger Things 2 Reviewed, Maura Murray Disputed, Bowe Bergdahl Sentenced

Stranger Things 2 Reviewed, Maura Murray Disputed, Bowe Bergdahl Sentenced

The Crime Writers complain about Rebecca's jet lag and a certain crappy airline, and Lara is about to LITERALLY become a crazy cat lady. Plus, Toby's book is classy AF in French!

Then, a trio of True Crime Updates: Bowe Bergdahl's been sentenced! That Maura Murray TV show made a crazy claim! And Making a Murderer's Steven Avery still has a filing-happy lawyer who seems to love accusing every single one of his relatives of something.

The panel does a deep dive review of Stranger Things 2 - and gives a pretty great explanation of why episode 7 is the most disappointing thing to ever happen in history of forever.

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Heaven's Gate, Toby's Cult of Personality, & Stranger Things 2 First Impressions

Heaven's Gate, Toby's Cult of Personality, & Stranger Things 2 First Impressions

Check out the email we got kicking us off the Amazon Associates program!

No more Amazon list??? Yup, the behemoth site kicked us out of their affiliate program, so we'll have to find something else for Toby to do... 

The Crime Writers open up the hit podcast Heaven's Gate, and, KNOWLEDGE ALERT, one of the panel is kind of an expert on the cult phenomenon.

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Plus, the panel will dive into Stranger Things 2 in full next week, but isn't shy about sharing first impressions. And no, Toby STILL hasn't seen Goonies! Also, an update from the courtroom in the Serial Season 2 subject Bowe Bergdahl's sentencing, and our Crime of the Week climbs to 30,000 feet for some felonious hanky panky.

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Mindhunter from Netflix, Making a Murderer's Paper Trail, and an Ode to Stampy

Mindhunter from Netflix, Making a Murderer's Paper Trail, and an Ode to Stampy

The Crime Writers dive in to Mindhunter - a series from Netflix about FBI profilers that even Rebecca can get behind. And newly-minted Broadway Siri Patrick Hinds makes a cameo with a little Groffsauce primer you won't want to miss!

Plus, Stampy died! Lara does a little PSA every pet lover should listen to.

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And, yet another filing in the never-ending paper trail for Making a Murderer's Steven Avery. Is his lawyer Kathleen Zellner a genius? Or is she a little cuckoo?

Finally, our Crime of the Week asks a critical question...what would *you* do if you came home from the thrift shop with a dead person in your purchase?

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    Accused Season 2 and BIG Serial and S-Town legal news

    Accused Season 2 and BIG Serial and S-Town legal news

    The Crime Writers review the second season of Rebecca's favorite true crime podcast from last year, Accused by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Will the story of the unsolved murder of Retha Welch stand up to the success of season one? (Spoiler alert: one of us has issues!)

    In a pair of true crime podcast updates, we talk about the surprising plea deal made by S-Town subject Tyler Goodson, as well as the maybe-surprising plea in Bowe Bergdahl's case.

    Our Crime of the Week will make you high...especially if donuts are your drug of choice.

      Listen to the episode:

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      Dirty John (and Debra!), a Sarah Koenig encounter, and a (maybe) deal for Serial's Bowe Bergdhal

      Dirty John (and Debra!), a Sarah Koenig encounter, and a (maybe) deal for Serial's Bowe Bergdhal

      Rebecca met Sarah Koenig! And it was only 75% awkward.

      What's the latest with Serial season two subject Bowe Bergdahl? Seems he's made some kind of deal with the government. We invite back retired USMC Lt Col James Weirick of the Military Justice podcast to explain why he thinks some of the early media reports are wrong and what a plea for a lighter sentence might look like.

      Then the panel digs into the new hit podcast from the LA Times, Dirty John.

      TO SKIP PAST THE SPOILERS AND JUST HEAR THE RECOMMENDATIONS, GO TO TIME CODE: 1:03:25

      This six-part true crime profile looks at grifter John Meehan and the trouble he wreaked on Debra Newell and her family. Judging by your Twitter and Facebook questions, you seemed just as amazed by Debra's willingness to forgive the gold digger as you are in Dirty John's evil designs.

      In Crime of the Week, how many Facebook likes would you need before your turned yourself into the police?

        Listen to the episode:

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        Law & Order does the Menendez Brothers, Scott Peterson's guilt in question, Steven Avery gets dealt a blow

        Law & Order does the Menendez Brothers, Scott Peterson's guilt in question, Steven Avery gets dealt a blow

        Law & Order does the Menendez Brothers, Scott Peterson's guilt is in question, Steven Avery gets dealt a blow

        The Crime Writers review the totally not Law & Order take on a famous case: Law & Order: The Menendez murders. Plus, a big setback for Stephen Avery has the panel revisiting our opinions on the Making a Murderer protagonist's guilt. Also in question...the guilt of Scott Peterson. Yeah, we know.

        In the Crime of the Week, things go wrong when a school administrator tries to pull a silly prank.

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        American Vandal, The Confession Tapes, and a Making a Murderer update

        American Vandal, The Confession Tapes, and a Making a Murderer update

        Did Brendan Dassey's dubious confession on "Making a Murderer" make your skin crawl? The Chief Circuit Judge in his ongoing appeal said it did. But the other two federal judges may be leaning the other way.

        In podcast news: "Accused" will roll out a new season next month. Also, the teams behind HowStuffWorks and Up & Vanished are getting together to re-investigate a series of child murders in Atlanta that were solved in 1981.

        This week's podcast focuses on two very different series from Netflix. "The Confession Tapes" shows a series of cases in which the police used questionable techniques to get suspects to confess. Were they falsely given? Were they merely aggressive or provocative ways to get a killer to admit to their crimes?

        Next, the unexpectedly savvy satire of everything we love about true crime. "American Vandal" may start as a lowbrow take-off on "Serial" or "Making a Murder," but the comedy is surprisingly meta, embracing all tropes of the podcasts and documentaries which have become ubiquitous. In the end, we still want to know, "Who drew the dicks?"

        In the Crime of the Week - the FBI really shouldn't tell the Internet to ask them anything.

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        The Deuce review, updates on Slenderman, S-Town and Unabomber and SO much more

        The Deuce review, updates on Slenderman, S-Town and Unabomber and SO much more

        The Crime Writers change the way we do business because someone told us to. We dive into a bunch of updates on cases surrounding the S-Town podcast and the super-creepy stabbing at the center of the HBO documentary "Beware the Slenderman," plus Kevin holds Rebecca hostage and forces her to watch the rest of that ridiculous Unabomber show.

        Speaking of being held hostage, will the team force Kevin to listen to even more Someone Knows Something? (Yeah, we hope get to do that!)

        We then dig in to The Deuce, the latest in prestige TV from HBO and David Simon, the creator of the show that white people LOVE to talk about loving, The Wire.

        In our crime of the week, a jogger takes a big ol' poop on someone's lawn. No, that really is a thing.

        Donate to Kevin's walk in high-heeled shoes to support victims of domestic violence.

        Find out more about seeing the Crime Writers live in Exeter NH on October 12th.

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        We review Hanging AND catch-up on Laci, Scientology, Slenderman & more!

        We review Hanging AND catch-up on Laci, Scientology, Slenderman & more!

        Weekly episodes have returned (no more goldbricking for Bricker - no more laying about for Lavoie)! The Crime Writers revisit some of the content they've recently discussed and give final verdicts on HomecomingThe Murder of Laci Peterson, and updates in the Slenderman case. Toby offers a preview of next week's topic: HBO's The Deuce. And the blow-back about the Payne Lyndsey - Up and Vanished controversy is deafening...not.

        The panel dives into the new podcast from the Mercury News, "Hanging: The mysterious case of the boy in the barn." While it gets high marks for transparency and journalistic sensibilities, is there any story worth pursuing in this investigation into a ten-year-old's suicide?

        In Crime of the Week, how much Liquid Plumber can we get to London?

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          That Laci Peterson series, a Bowe Bergdahl update, and a podcaster controversy

          That Laci Peterson series, a Bowe Bergdahl update, and a podcaster controversy

          Red-eyed and jet-lagged, Rebecca and Kevin are back from Podcast Movement in Anaheim with stories of their exploits with your (and their) favorite podcasters. They'll spill some tea over what caused some controversy a big name - "NOT a podcaster" Payne Lindsey from Up & Vanished - made an audacious, self-congratulatory presentation...and how some even bigger names in the room reacted.

          Plus, a true crime podcast update! A hungover R&K met up with old friend Lt Col James Weirick for an update on Bowe Bergdahl's court martial and the defense's move that could bode well for the disgraced former POW. (Audio of the full discussion can be found below - and beware, it's unedited and was literally recorded in a hotel hallway.)

          Back in the confines of Square Egg Studio, Lara & Toby chime in on A&E's new limited series, "The Murder of Laci Peterson." So far, the show seems to be playing the story down the middle, not sensationalizing its retrospective of the crime, and is of surprisingly high quality for a basic cable show.

          Then in Crime of the Week: our house is a very very very moldy house.

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            Can I Get a Show of Black Hands & Let's Binge on Ozark

            Casting Call, Black Hands & Ozark Binge

            We're ready for our close ups! Our listeners asked and answered the hypothetical question, "If there were a movie about the Crime Writers, who would be cast to play them?" The results are in from #crimewriterscasting. Let's say three out of the four of us are satisfied with the picks.

            We grapple with "Black Hands" (see the play on words there?) -  a true crime podcast about New Zealand's Bain family murders. Rather than a re-investigation or reexamination of the case, the ten-part series is a deep, DEEP dive into David Bain's second trial with narrator Martin van Beynen's ultimate argument that the jury got it wrong.

            Then we stream our way through Netflix's new series "Ozark." With its comparisons to "Breaking Bad," how does this normal-guy-caught-in-a-web-of-criminal-enterprise TV show stand on its own? Have we seen this before? Or is it a fresh take on the emerging genre?

            In the Crime of the Week: the suggestion box is stuffed with requests to do something about the dead people piling up in the break room.

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              • Beachbody on Demand - text CRIME to 303030

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              Manhunt: Unabomber, A Profiler Debate, & Homecoming Season 2 Review

              Manhunt: Unabomber, A Profiler Debate, & Homecoming Season 2 Review

              The Crime Writers tackle a pair of hot media properties this week with a look at the Discovery Channel's latest foray into crime with Manhunt: The Unabomber. This leads to a heated debate about how FBI profilers are portrayed in crime drama...and Rebecca joins #TeamToby for the first time!

              Then, a review of the second season of Homecoming, the dramatized podcast with a stellar cast from Gimlet Media. Is the show in a second season slump? Will Rebecca ever stop calling David Schwimmer "Ross from Friends?" We'll answer those questions and a whole lot more.

              Finally, our Crime of the Week gives the panel a chance to relish Toby's response.

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