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The Blotter Presents


The Blotter Presents is devoted to discussing (and/or despairing of) the best and worst of TV true crime: present-day shows, vintage gems, and everything in between. Hosted by Sarah D. Bunting.

The Blotter Presents is devoted to discussing (and/or despairing of) the best and worst of TV true crime: present-day shows, vintage gems, and everything in between. Hosted by Sarah D. Bunting.
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The Blotter Presents is devoted to discussing (and/or despairing of) the best and worst of TV true crime: present-day shows, vintage gems, and everything in between. Hosted by Sarah D. Bunting.






072: The Sentence And This American Life

Toby Ball on Rudy Valdez's personal and affecting The Sentence, and a 19-year-old This American Life that in many ways could have been recorded last week -- plus parallels to the current season of Serial, how many crappy congressfolk keep haunting stories of the war on drugs, and how the tiniest of possession charges can, if you'll forgive the pun, snowball. The personal is political in The Blotter Presents Episode 72. Support the pod/site on Patreon (!...


Blotter Brief 2: Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez And Football Inc.

The Boston Globe's spotlight team turns its attention to the crimes of -- and the crimes that made -- Aaron Hernandez (


Blotter Brief 1: Last Seen

Introducing Blotter Briefs (tee hee, "briefs"): capsule reviews of all the stuff I don't get to on the main podcast. Today's topic is art-heist pod Last Seen ( from WBUR and the Boston Globe.


071: Lifetime Movies Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill And Believe Me: The Lisa McVey Story

Eve Batey joins me to take on a Lifetime true-story two-fer. We tackled two recent Lifetime films, the first about the notorious and crassly named "texting suicide" case, and the second a 34-year-old kidnapping whose escaped victim helped police catch a serial killer...once someone finally believed her story. Is either movie worth 90 minutes of your time? Is Bella Thorne almost TOO good as Michelle Carter? What's with the Veronica Mars mini-reunion in C&M? And why isn't Believe Me on the...


070: Serial's Third Season And Bad Blood

You probably haven't heard anything about this, but: Serial is back for Season 3. Stephanie Green is also back to discuss the first two episodes; the heralded podcast's less appealing qualities; and versions of S3's stories This American Life may have done better in the Most Wanted section. As our Cold Case, we're looking at the rise and rise and fall of Theranos via John Carreyrou's outstanding bestseller, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. What's with Elizabeth...


069: American Vandal And The Doodler Murders

American Vandal Season...Number Two (tee hee) dropped (its brown friends by the lake, tee hee) last Friday, and Jeb Lund joins me for an...exposition dump? Tee hee. We're discussion the show's compassion for its characters, what it says about other crimes sand crime properties, and whether we liked S1 better. Later, we'll talk about the Doodler murders, and why it's remained mostly overlooked as a major case. Should a Ryan Murphy or a Nick Broomfield take it on? And if not, why not? Put down...


068: Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers And The RFK Tapes

Toby Ball FINALLY returns to his dedicated spot on the Blotter HQ sofa to talk about the latest limited series from Joe Berlinger for Oxygen, Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers. It's better than we expected, but we're still waiting for it to address certain issues teased in the opener -- inconsistent racism; the classism we're not sure we're supposed to note, or object to; the Heisenberging of the case by the internet -- and wondering whether the occasional meta moment is...


067: The Documentary Podcast And Crime In Sports

Did either of the podcasts we considered in this week's tennis-crime-centric podcast ace their topics? Alas, we got bageled, as Week 2 of the U.S. Open finds me and the COURT-eous Dan Patrick Brady considering alleged match-fixing in tennis in a The Documentary Podcast from early '16, plus a seventies star who found himself down a break at being a grown-up on Crime In Sports. Do these puns deserve even...BACKHANDED compliments? No, but serve yourself up some The Blotter Presents, Episode 67....


066: Crime + Punishment And Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story

Anna Beth Chao returns to look at Hulu's original documentary on quota policing in New York City, Crime + Punishment. It's a bit too filler-y, but does it need to be shorter -- or to divide itself into the two, or maybe three, documentaries fighting for space within it? Later, we talk about Paramount's Rest In Power, and how recent the murder of Trayvon Martin still seems after six years; why Sanford PD didn't just call-block George Zimmerman; and learning movement leadership on the job....


065: Pamela Smart: An American Murder Mystery And Captivated: The Trials Of Pamela Smart

Eve Batey is back to assess which of these Pam Smart properties is worth your time; whether the old-school newsmag model of true crime needs to be retired in 2018; how the Heisenberg principle relates to Smart's ability to get a fair trial; and why cops interviewed on TV can't just say "smoking weed" like everyone else in America. Don't traumatize the dog or anything, but this The Blotter Presents is pretty metal. SHOW NOTES Full episodes of An American Murder Mystery...


064: Slow Burn And Patty Has A Gun

Last week, the Slow Burn podcast turned its attention to the pettily tawdry period in American politics known as "the Bill Clinton Impeachment," and Canadian Alex Collins has politely agreed to turn HER attention to the Slate podcast's second season. Do we think differently about Clinton's "high crimes" -- and their victims -- than we did back then? And how will Slow Burn tell us something new about a time those of us who lived through it thought we'd never want to hear about again? Later,...


063: Golden State Killer: Main Suspect And A Trillin True-Crime Reader

In Episode 048, Mike Dunn and I talked about Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone In The Dark and the adjacent TV special, Golden State Killer: It's Not Over. It's...over now! Well, until the trial (and the HBO documentary series, which Mike will no doubt return for also). Authorities took Joseph D'Angelo into custody six weeks after we recorded; last Saturday, Oxygen aired its update special, Golden State Killer: Main Suspect, and Mike and I convened the Carol Daly Appreciation Society's...


062: You Must Remember This And Cocaine & Rhinestones

It's a new season of Old-Hollywood podcast You Must Remember This, and Kevin Smokler joins me to unpack Karina Longworth's captivating take on the unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, with a look back at 2015's "Charles Manson's Hollywood" season. Later, we get a chuckle out of Ernest Tubb's bunny slippers (note: he wasn't really wearing bunny slippers) in the Cold Case section as we talk about a couple of episodes -- one funny, one harrowing -- of Tyler Mahan Coe's Cocaine &...


The Summer Of Scam

More has dubbed it The Summer Of Scam, and with a handful of sisters very much doing it for themselves, I've got your essential longform long-cons reading list. Later, we'll take a trip through's archives with fake Rockefellers, French nationals in over their heads, and other grifty tramps and thieves in the Cold Case section. Lock down those last fours of your Socials: it's an all-new The Blotter Presents. Support the pod/site on Patreon...


18 July 2018

A look back into the archives, and some reading recommendations. SHOW NOTES Find The Blotter on Twitter ( and Facebook ( Find me on Goodreads ( "Threeway Two Ways" ( on The Blotter


Episode 68: 061: The Last Defense

Produced by, among others, national treasure Viola Davis, The Last Defense is the latest limited series to focus on death-row inmates who may have cases for new trials. The show hasn't gotten to Julius Jones yet, but based on its approach to the Darlie Routier investigation and trial, Dan Patrick Brady and I are looking forward to keeping up with the show during our vacation: there's some over-arty slo-mo, but there's also insightful talking-head interviews with one of my favorite Texas...


Episode 67: 060: Drinks, Crime And Prohibition And Ken Burns's Prohibition

The Smithsonian Channel premiered a documentary special on Prohibition last week, and while my guest Toby Ball and I learned a lot of new cocktail recipes, we also kind of couldn't figure out who the show is for -- heritage-drinks fans? history buffs? the collectibles market? It's a serviceable show, but superfluous, because... ...we also watched Ken Burns's 2011 three-parter, Prohibition, which in addition to a firmer grasp of its brief and of building a historical narrative also features...


Episode 66: 059: The Staircase And Forensic Files

De Lestrade and his team return once more with three new episodes of prestige-true-crime forerunner The Staircase, and Stephanie Early Green returns to discuss the end of the story. Did it need three more episodes? Does it do what it thinks it does in terms of casting Michael Peterson and his family as sympathetic, and Kathleen Peterson's sisters as obsessed harpies -- or the opposite? One of our theories of the case has changed somewhat since the last time we contemplated this twisty case,...


Episode 65: 058: Wrong Man And Behind Mansion Walls

Joe Berlinger returns with another limited series, this one -- Wrong Man, on Starz -- looking into possible wrongful convictions; Eve Batey returns to The Blotter Presents to talk about the all-star team assembled to look into these cases. Which attorney do we predict will go on to host her own show? Is Ron Kuby getting soft(er) in his old age? Would we watch a show that just ran footage of investigators Joe and Ira on stake-outs? And what is with that detective's pajama pants? Later,...


Episode 64: 057: Dead North And Dark Angel

Dan Patrick Brady's back for a look at ID's latest miniseries, Dead North, which follows Upper Peninsula police chief Laura Frizzo in the search for a missing man, through a bizarre love quadrangle, to a gruesome discovery while filming in the woods...and a possible woman serial killer. It's not your average true-crime fare, and might have worked better as a podcast, but Dan and Sarah are in for Dead South should it become a thing. We're decidedly LESS eager to eat barbecued foods we didn't...