This week we began to cover a new high-profile L.A. celebrity criminal prosecution, just as we concluded another Crime Story article and podcast series. Welcome to our summary of the week’s events at CrimeStory.com and The Crime Story Podcast. (One quick request: If you like what we are doing on the podcast, please rate, review, follow and share us at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where ever you get your podcasts.)
On Monday, we began a series of articles and podcast episodes examining the criminal legal issues raised by the rape allegations against That 70s Show star, Danny Masterson. In this first piece Projecting Respect: Danny Masterson and the Media, Chasey Ridgley examines Masterson’s first court appearance on a criminal indictment for allegedly raping three women in 2001 and 2003. On a related note, I have made two appearances on Court TV (which you can find here and here) to discuss some of these issues.
On Wednesday, we continued our exclusive new Crime Story series Mongol: The Trial of David Martinez, written and read by Molly Miller, that tells the story of the tragic killing of a police officer and the complex search for truth and justice in the aftermath of his death.
In this fifth installment we presented Part 8 — recounting how the prosecution built their case against Martinez, and the compelling testimony that they presented, including testimony from SWAT Paramedic Jim Moss, who described in horrific detail fatal injuries sustained by Officer Shaun Diamond.
On Thursday we published Parts 9 & 10 of Mongol: The Trial of David Martinez which describes defense attorney Brady Sullivan’s final strategic gambits in the case, and recounts David Martinez’s testimony as he takes the witness stand in his own defense. An epilogue offers the jury’s verdict in the case.
On Friday, we published all of the chapters in this series (and Molly’s podcast reading of the story) in its entirety.
Below we present Hannah Teich’s condensed curation of the week’s more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily. (Read Hannah’s full essay including links to the mentioned articles.)
On the criminal justice policy front: A piece from The Marshall Project examines the future of criminal justice under President Joe Biden. Pieces from the New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab explore the impacts of this summer’s social unrest on the election, while a piece from the New Yorker focuses on the race for Los Angeles County DA.
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from The Marshall Project focuses on state judicial elections, where, even after a summer of mass protests about racism in the criminal justice system, “law and order” still reigns supreme. And Vice goes inside New Jersey’s FCI Fort Dix, ground zero of the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the federal BOP.
In complex crime storytelling: ESPN revisits the still-unsolved 2006 murder of Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Bryan Pata. And HuffPost recounts “the tortured life and tragic crime” of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row.
And in culture/true crime: The New Yorker highlights “Why Would I Dare: The Trial of Crystal Mason,” a virtual reenactment of the real-life 2018 trial of a Black woman convicted of voter fraud. NPR reviews We Keep the Dead Close, journalist Becky Cooper’s true-crime account of a 1969 murder at Harvard. The Wall Street Journal reviews “Trial 4,” the latest true-crime docuseries from Netflix. And The Ringer interviews Drakeo the Ruler, the South LA rapper who was just released last week after nearly three years in jail.
Again, you can read Hannah’s full weekly essay and find links to each of the mentioned articles.
And finally, here is your opportunity to catch up on previous Crime Story Newsletters.
Thanks again for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story