Welcome to our weekly review of the events at crimestory.com.
Crime Story hit the ground running this first full week of the new year. We continued our coverage of two ongoing Los Angeles stories: the pre-trial developments in the People vs. Robert Durst, and the debate of the issues in the upcoming election for LA District Attorney.
We began the week with Tim Kontje’s piece contemplating the way a jury processes the limited information that gets through the admissibility screening process. In Rose Colored Glasses in the Litter Box and Other Admissible Evidence, Tim tells the story of a 40 year old rape/murder mystery, where DNA evidence led to the identification of a suspect, but the limitations on evidence admissibility, forces the prosecution to come up with a novel theory to support their case.
On Tuesday we presented the 3rd episode of Jury Duty, our lively, up-to-the-moment and free-ranging forum for the discussion of crime and justice storytelling, news and narrative analysis. On the episode Paul Butler discussed: his essay on Queen & Slim, Attorney General Barr’s Instrumentalist view of law enforcement and then Molly Miller and I offered a preview of the stories we will be covering in 2020.
On Wednesday, in Robert Durst: You Can’t Unring the Bell, Sean Smith explored the efforts of Judge Mark Windham to maintain order and progress in the proceedings leading up to the trial of Robert Durst.
On Thursday, we published the first installment of a three-part series on The First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate by Molly Miller.
As we previously reported, only two candidates appeared at the event: Former San Francisco DA George Gascón, and former federal and county Public Defender and former US Senate aide, Rachel Rossi. LA Deputy DA, Richard Ceballos, dropped out of the race the previous night, and Current District Attorney, Jackie Lacey did not appear.
In this part, Molly presents the candidates positions on so called ”gang enhancements” to criminal prosecution.
And finally, yesterday we published a Crime Story scoop: Robert Durst Admits “Killed Them All” Recording is “True and Accurate.”
Last week, Crime Story reported on Durst’s sudden acknowledgement that he was the author of the so-called “cadaver note and envelope” that led to the discovery of murder victim Susan Berman.
Now our reporting reveals that Durst has stipulated that all of the recordings made by the producers of The Jinx that have been entered into evidence by the prosecutors are “true and accurate.” These recordings including the statement, “Killed them all, of course,” that Durst made to himself in a bathroom when he was unaware that he was being recorded. This is a stunning development and deepens the mystery of how Durst’s legal team will craft a narrative for his defense.
For those of you wondering how you can catch up on previous Crime Story newsletters, just click on the red box below and your question shall be answered.
We close this week, as is our habit, with Hannah Teich’s curated selection of some of the more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily over the past week.
Hannah, who edits this Daily section, groups the aggregation into four general topic areas: criminal justice policy reporting; muckraking/watchdog reporting; complex crime storytelling; and stories that examine the impact of criminal justice and true-crime in the culture.
Click on the red box below to go to Hannah’s weekly essay.
Thanks for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story