Editor's Blog

When Sexual Assault Justice Becomes Personal (Week 62)

Team Crime Story:This was an extremely busy week for us at CrimeStory.com. Here is a recap of the events of the last seven days. We began the week with Amanda Knox's interview with Ayelet Waldman, an author and prison abolitionist. In their conversation, they discuss Ayelet’s recent piece for The Atlantic entitled “Should I Help Incarcerate the Man Who Tried to Sexually Assault Me? October 6, 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This series and its spinoffs...

Interview: Andrew Weissmann, on His Experiences as a Lead Prosecutor in the Mueller Investigation...

Andrew Weissmann served as a lead prosecutor in Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office. His new book Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation gives the only such inside account and explores the prosecutors' key decisions and hurdles, their successes and their failures. According to press notes for the book, "No other account has done that or is in the works." Through a mutual friend, I was able to arrange an interview with Andrew to speak about the book. In an effort to give the conversation maximum exposure, I reached out to Josh Marshall, and...

20th Anniversary of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

October 6, 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This series and its spinoffs CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI CYBER were enormously successful. But beyond their commercial success, these series have had an impact on the American criminal legal process. Within a few years of the series premiere, a phenomenon emerged among criminal trial juries that came to be known as “the CSI effect.” The journalist and blogger Michael Roberts has defined this as a “belief that forensic science television dramas influence American jurors to want more...

Interview: Carol Mendelsohn, Founding Showrunner of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Part 2

On today’s podcast, we present part 2 of my two-part interview with Carol Mendelsohn, the founding showrunner of the juggernaut CBS crime procedural, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. (You can find part 1 of the interview here.) In this part of the conversation, we discuss the show’s characters, we take a deep dive into one of the iconic episodes of CSI which was directed by Quentin Tarantino, we look at the impact of the show on America’s criminal justice system and Carol reflects on the enormous success of the show and it’s spinoffs. 

Interview: Carol Mendelsohn, Founding Showrunner of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Part 1

On today’s podcast, we present part 1 of my two-part interview with Carol Mendelsohn, the founding showrunner of the juggernaut CBS crime procedural, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In this part of the conversation, Carol and I discuss the forces that shaped her values and influenced her as a storyteller, her entree into the world of television, the evolution of her career, the beginnings of CSI and how the core creative team discovered the show’s identity. One last podcast note, last Tuesday, October 6 marked the 20th Anniversary of the series'...

Paul Butler Discusses the Grand Jury Decisions in the Killing of Breonna Taylor (Week...

Welcome to your weekly opportunity to catch up the week's activity at CrimeStory.com. Last Saturday was the 25th anniversary of the stunning verdict in the Trial of O. J. Simpson. Back in January, around the anniversary of the beginning of that trial, Crime Story published a series of interviews with individuals, each of whom has a unique perspective on the narrative of how that case played out. On Monday, we marked the anniversary by reprising those pieces. We offered our interviews with the creators of the...

Interview: Paul Butler on the Killing of Breonna Taylor

Kary Antholis: On today’s podcast my guest is, once again, Georgetown Law Professor, MSNBC Legal Analyst and Crime Story Consulting Editor, Paul Butler. In our conversation, Paul and I discuss the recent decision by a Kentucky grand jury to charge Louisville detective Brett Hankison with three felony counts of wanton endangerment and their decision not to charge him or the other officers involved with any accounts related to the death of Breonna Taylor. We also discuss the opening statement that Paul Butler would give if he was prosecuting the case...

O. J. Simpson Trial Verdict: 25th Anniversary – The Crime Story Interviews

This past Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the stunning verdict in the Trial of O. J. Simpson. Back in January, around the anniversary of the beginning of that trial, Crime Story published a series of interviews with individuals each of whom has a unique perspective on the collective narrative of how that case played out. Today we mark the anniversary by reprising those pieces. We offer our interviews with the creators of the two seminal popular culture narratives about the trial: Larry Karaszewski and Scott...

Can Universal Cash Stem Crime? (Week 60)

Welcome to your weekly opportunity to catch up on another busy week at CrimeStory.com. This week we offered new interviews by Amanda Knox, the Season 1 finale of our podcast series on the Robert Durst trial, and another installment in Sean Smith's series of pieces about COVID-19 in prison. On Monday, Amanda Knox interviewed activist journalists and prison abolitionists Victoria Law and Maya Schenwar, about the problematic subtext of so-called humane forms of punitive surveillance and about an alternative path towards decarceration and a just criminal legal process.

Durst Podcast Season Finale: Thank You For Your Time (Season Finale)

Links to all of CRIME STORY'S coverage of the Robert Durst trial are here. Episode 12: Thank You for Your Time (Season Finale) Episode Synopsis As David Chesnoff concludes the defense team's opening statement, it becomes clear that the jury will have to choose between two ways of interpreting evidence: Will they be guided by Chesnoff’s mantra that “no evidence is evidence” deciding that the lack of CSI-type forensic evidence leaves them with reasonable doubt of Durst’s guilt, or will...

Crime Story Named Top 10 Criminal Justice Podcast (Week 59)

Welcome to your weekly opportunity to catch up on another busy week at CrimeStory.com. This week we offered new interviews by Amanda Knox, the penultimate episode of Season 1 of our podcast series on the Robert Durst trial, another piece by Sean Smith about COVID-19 in prison, and a reprise of a Paul Butler presentation. But first, in some recent news, The Crime Story Podcast was recently ranked as the no. 10 Criminal Justice Podcast by the "Content Reader" company Feedspot.And last week, I had the chance to be a guest on the two...

New Durst Podcast: No Evidence is Evidence

Links to all of CRIME STORY'S coverage of the Robert Durst trial are here. Episode 11: No Evidence is Evidence Episode Synopsis In the penultimate episode of Season 1, David Chesnoff takes over the defense team’s opening statement and establishes his mantra for the day: “No evidence is evidence.” By this he suggests that the jurors should lean into their desire for forensic evidence in assessing Robert Durst’s culpability, and if they find such evidence lacking, they should consider that...

After Indictment of One Police Officer, CRIME STORY Reprises Paul Butler’s Opening Statement if...

With the news of the indictment of former Louisville detective Brett Hankison for three felony counts of wanton endangerment. We offer this reprise presentation of the opening statement that Crime Story Consulting Editor Paul Butler would give if he was prosecuting the case. While officers Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly were not indicted, Butler makes the case for why they too should be facing trial.  On March 13, 2020, three plainclothes Louisville Metro Police Department officers entered Breonna Taylor's apartment. Minutes later, Taylor was dead, shot eight times by...

Feminism, Humanity and Law Enforcement (Week 58)

Welcome to your weekly opportunity to catch up on another busy week at CrimeStory.com. Read Monday's Amanda Knox interview with Aya Gruber, professor of law at the University of Colorado, on how feminist reliance on the criminal justice system has contributed to mass incarceration, and on strategies for decoupling opposition to gender violence from a reliance on law enforcement. You can also learn more about how Ms. Gruber's work has influenced and been influenced by the Prison Abolition Movement in my interview with Paul Butler in Episode 195 of the Crime Story Podcast.

New Durst Podcast: Let’s Talk About the Dismemberment

Links to all of CRIME STORY'S coverage of the Robert Durst trial are here. Episode 10: Let's Talk About the Dismemberment Episode Synopsis Dick DeGuerin continues his opening statement to the jury on behalf of Robert Durst by reprising his assertion from the trial in Texas that Durst killed Morris Black in self-defense and then - in a panic - dismembered Black's body. DeGuerin then tries to counter the prosecution's presentation of Durst's own incriminating interviews with the filmmaker's of...

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