We began our second year at crimestory.com by continuing to explore people and stories that illuminate the relationship between justice and narrative. Amanda Knox interviewed a criminal justice advocate and a poet who took a deep dive into the story of a spree killer from her neighborhood. We continued our series on the media coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on America’s prisons and jails. I represented Crime Story on an new I Heart Radio podcast, and we continued our podcast series on the Robert Durst trial.
On Monday, we presented a conversation between Amanda Knox and Emily Galvin-Almanza, a former public defender who now works on helping vulnerable defendants and their attorneys get resources to improve the quality of their criminal defense. Galvin-Almanza also works with organizations seeking to end mass incarceration.
Also on Monday, I appeared on The John Roa Show podcast, where we discussed my career, my mission in starting Crime Story, and our coverage of the Robert Durst trial.
In the episode entitled The Killing of Morris Black, Deputy DA John Lewin takes us back to early 2001. In the aftermath of Susan Berman’s murder, Robert Durst is living disguised as a mute woman in a boarding house in Galveston, Texas, and is befriended by a new neighbor named Morris Black. Deputy DA John Lewin, using interview clips of Durst and others, chronicles the events that would lead to the killing of Morris Black in September of that year.
You can listen now by clicking on your preferred platform below.
On Tuesday, Sean Smith continued his week by week analysis of the news stories aggregated in Crime Story Daily related to COVID-19 and our carceral system. In this installment, Sean looked at stories from the week of May 24.
On Wednesday, Amanda Knox interviewed writer Maria DiLorenzo about why she took a deep dive into the story of a man from her Brooklyn neighborhood who went on a knife wielding spree in broad daylight, stabbing at least 9 people and killing four.
As is our custom, we present a summary of Hannah Teich’s curated selection of some of the more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily over the past week. (In order to get to the full essay and the story links, please click through this link to Hannah’s piece at crimestory.com.)
On the criminal justice policy front: Pieces from Newsweek and the New York Times outline “top cop” Kamala Harris’s record on criminal justice. A piece from The New Yorker focuses on Minneapolis, the epicenter of the mass protest movement, where the future of police reform remains unclear.
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from The Marshall Project focuses on the US Marshals Service and its role in spreading COVID-19 through the federal prison system. And a piece from Mother Jones focuses on Lexipol, the company that writes the policies protecting cops against misconduct lawsuits.
In complex crime storytelling: The New York Times profiles Susan Burton, an advocate for formerly incarcerated women, as she races against the clock to shelter those freed early during the pandemic. And a piece from The Counter follows inmates at the Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan as they plan and prepare a celebratory feast honoring the life of George Floyd.
And in culture/true crime: The New Yorker follows currently and formerly incarcerated members of the Rikers Debate Project as they prepare to argue over one of the most critical topics of the day: defunding the police. The Texas Observer presents the winners of the 2020 Insider Prize, an annual essay contest for incarcerated writers in Texas. And The Nation interviews writers Victoria Law and Maya Schenwar, co-authors of the new book Prison by Any Other Name.
Again, you can click here to go to Hannah’s weekly essay and find links to those articles.
For those of you wondering how you can catch up on previous Crime Story newsletters, just click here and your question shall be answered.
Thanks again for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story