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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.






048: The Golden State Killer: It's Not Over And I'll Be Gone In The Dark

When Michelle McNamara passed away unexpectedly in 2016, Mike Dunn and I both made sure to pre-order the book she'd left unfinished -- I'll Be Gone In The Dark, on a prolific rapist turned serial killer operating in two areas of California in the late '70s and early '80s. The book showed up at our houses a couple weeks ago, so we decided to turn the pod into a book club for an episode and discuss it...and then Investigation Discovery dropped its two-night, four-part take on the case, The...


047: Unsolved And The Family

USA debuted yet another take on the still-open cases of the murders of Tupac Shakur and Christopher "Biggie" Wallace last week, this one featuring pretty much every procedural Hey, It's That Guy! you can think of (Brent Sexton, Jamie McShane) plus a couple top names (Black Mirror's Jimmi Simpson, Josh "Mr. Fergie" Duhamel, Dwayne Johnson) (...right? hey, the IMDb doesn't lie), and a great deal of table-setting exposition to locate us in three timelines. It's a little heavy-handed about...


046: Love And Hate Crime And A Murder On Orchard Street

The Huffs and I thought, based on the customary punnish titling of Love And Hate Crime, that we were in for predictable filler-y fare. We...were very much not, as a BBC-produced look at the murder of trans teen Mercedes Williamson by her much older Latin King boyfriend in rural Mississippi doesn't shy away from harsh crime-scene photos, even harsher language, and an unblinking look at the hypocrisy and denial of the community, not to mention Mercedes's killer. Fortunately, Allison...


045: Warren Jeffs: Prophet Of Evil, Plus A Mormon-Adjacent True-Crime Must List

[Note: Today's episode contains crackling that may annoy you. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working on ironing out the issue!] A&E leans into its sub-branding as a cult-studies destination with Warren Jeffs: Prophet Of Evil. Dan and I leaned into the Warren Jeffs topic by watching not just A&E's outing but the 2015 documentary from Showtime, and discussed the similarities between LDS fundies and Scientology; what reminded us of Trump about Jeffs; Mormon naming conventions;...


044: 48 Hours And Unsolved Mysteries

California law enforcement has former Hart To Hart star and current fossil Robert Wagner as a person of interest in the death of his then wife, Natalie Wood, in 1981. My valentine, Dan Patrick Brady, is back to talk about whether the 48 Hours on the case worth watching, or if phrases like "the Banging Dinghy Theory" sink the episode. And in our Cold Case segment, a vintage Unsolved Mysteries has an unexpected recent update of its own (and absolutely nothing new to say about Bigfoot). We...


043: The Trade And Alcatraz Revisited

Showtime enters an already tragically crowded field with The Trade, a comprehensive look at the business of heroin from poppy to police intervention -- and Eve Batey returns to the podcast to talk about the show's bleak effectiveness. If you've watched any combination of Live PD, Intervention, and any number of recent HBO documentaries, The Trade won't tell you anything new, but it's still a thought-provoking and well-built story about families, frustration, and how far the toxic effects...


042: Two Waco Projects And Marjoe

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound is approaching, and with it comes a veritable barrage of material on Waco, David Koresh, and how it all went pear-shaped. Toby Ball and I selected two of the higher-profile, A&E's documentary event Waco: Madman Or Messiah and the just-born Paramount Network's big-splash mini-series starring Taylor Kitsch, Waco. Does either project make sense of the tragedy that took place in Texas in 1993? Do you need to watch...


041: Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery And 1980s: The Deadliest Decade

As we approach the tenth anniversary of Travis Alexander's murder, Jodi Arias is back on our teevees in ID's Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery. It isn't really a mystery, and neither is the pervasive misogyny and black-and-white narrative manipulation that turned a confused and off-putting young girl into a scheming black widow, but returning guest Kevin Smokler and I found it very watchable, in the workmanlike way of this series. Later, we go back almost thirty years to the murder...


040: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story And The Chad Boushell Interview

American Crime Story returns after a triumphant first season with an all-new mid-nineties crime, and Tara Ariano returns to discuss it, and whether, after 20 years, we should accept that sometimes there is no "why." We'll also be discussing whether Sarah's the only one who thinks Édgar Ramirez as Versace looks AND sounds like Enrico Colantoni; if it's appropriate to covet a character's clothing if that character is a spree killer; and the question of The Nose in Penelope Cruz's portrayal...


039: Final Appeal And There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane

Oxygen starts 2018 with Final Appeal, which is basically MTV's Unlocking The Truth with different personnel and slower pacing. Did Patty Prewitt kill her husband? What's going on with the threatening phone calls? And was key evidence seriously just sitting in a sheriff's office storage locker for nearly 35 years? We had a lot of questions about the Prewitt case, but not nearly as many as we still have after we've each watched legendarily unsettling HBO doc There's Something Wrong With...


038: True Conviction And Bride Killa

Investigation Discovery kicked off 2018 with an afternoon of premieres, and returning guest/enduring spouse Dan Brady and I took a look at two of them. True Conviction has an interesting premise -- but doesn't stick to it closely enough, falling into some crime-tabloid structural cliches instead of focusing on prosecutors and their work, plus host Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi keeps, well, leading the witnesses in talking-head interviews. Dan thinks it's good enough to fall asleep to... ...but had...


037: The Best Of 2017 In TV True Crime

Looking to kill an afternoon with the fam -- or a whole holiday-hammock week with your crime-nut in-laws? Recs ahoy, as Sarah D. Bunting runs down her top tens for both movies and series that aired on TV in 2017. Strong showings as usual from Netflix (The Keepers; American Vandal) and HBO (Mommy Dead And Dearest), a comeback in progress for Investigation Discovery, the overlooked highlights from Showtime and Spike, and honorable-mention listener favorites, all in a special year-in-review...


036: The Family I Had And Killer Kids

At this time of year, thoughts turn to family...unfortunately. Kevin Flynn of Crime Writers On... and Law & Order pod These Are Their Stories joins Sarah D. Bunting for a discussion of the spare, bleak, thought-provoking documentary The Family I Had, a stripped-down look at the family destroyed, then rebuilt, by and around Charity Bennett after her 13-year-old son murdered her 4-year-old daughter. True, there's no mystery here, no whodunnit, but the ellipses left by the filmmakers, and by...


035: Final Vision And Murder In A College Town

I'd hoped to have John Ramos join me to talk about Final Vision, with Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald, since MacDonald is a fellow college alum and Felicity is a show we both are very fond of...but Time Warner Cable wasn't having it, so I took John's notes and forged ahead on my own. I didn't get any answers to questions like "Who is this movie for?" and "Why did they put that angry Brillo pad on the back of John Doman's head like a graduation mortar?", but that's the gig sometimes. I...


034: Homicide For The Holidays And Guilty Rich

It's the mooooost murderous tiiiiime of the yeeeeear -- and if you think that's crass, wait until you hear Homicide For The Holidays's episode-naming conventions. Stephanie Cangro pulls up a (polished) chair to talk about HFTH's second-season premiere, "Thanks-Killing," and how soon we guessed whodunnit without Googling the murders of Earl and Terry Robertson in 1997. I was a little creeped out that two suspects shared the names of my uncles... ...who went to school with our Cold Case...


033: Village Of The Damned And JFK: The Smoking Gun

Dan Brady's back for a look at yet another Investigation Discovery joint, Village Of The Damned, a limited series on the strange and deadly cluster of tragedies that struck Dryden, NY over the course of a decade. We discuss the re-enacting, the evocative soundtrack, and whether the stories of the Harris family, the disappearance of Aliza Bush, and others might be better suited to a podcast than to TV. Have a listen to find out whether we'll keep watching past the first couple of...


032: Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders And Mugshots

We're talking about another Joe Berlinger project, and we're talking with Mark Blankenship again about it: Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders, an investigation of the murders that made, and perhaps broke, our first non-fiction novelist, and rippled through a family and a town. Later, we discuss a Mugshots episode on Robert Blake, who starred in In Cold Blood. Did he kill his wife, con artist Bonny Bakley? What is going on with his erstwhile roomie John Solari? And why have we never...


031: The Hunt For The Zodiac Killer And American Horror Story: Cult

Eve Batey returns for yet another look at the Zodiac case, this one from History Channel -- is the much-ballyhooed new evidence and groundbreaking technology worth tuning in for? Or will the lack of context for certain "discoveries" frustrate viewers with any knowledge of the case? (And...all the other viewers?) Later, we discuss AHS's season-long remix of notorious cults and criminals, including a radical-feminist theory on the Zodiac, and make predictions -- which will be proven wrong by...


SJ: And Did You Ask God For Forgiveness?

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030: The Lost Wife Of Robert Durst And Crime Musicals

Is The Lost Wife Of Robert Durst -- or, as Sarah D. Bunting billed it to her guests, Smash meets The Jinx -- worth the two hours? Panel of Smash experts Tara Ariano, Adam Grosswirth, and Kevin O'Keeffe weigh in on the case narrative, bad wigs, worse accents, and who this movie is for. Later, the group pitted famous cases against each other in King Of "Notorious Crime: The Musical" Mountain. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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