This HBO documentary goes in depth on a case that made headlines a year ago. An article on BuzzFeed was what first caught my attention. “Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered” is what the headline read and I had to read more. In all honesty, write the word MURDER on something and I’ll take the bait every time. But this article, written by Journalist Michelle Dean, did not disappoint. If this is the first time you are reading about Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blancharde, please take the time to read that article. It really gives you a solid timeline of the events that lead to Dee Dee’s murder. HBO released this documentary “Mommy Dead and Dearest” and I decided to watch. Even though I smugly thought I had already heard everything I needed to hear about this case. But I humored them, since they are HBO and I love all things true crime. Watch. This. Documentary. It not only has interviews with family members and friends of Dee Dee and Gypsy, they actually interview Gypsy Rose herself. We get to see footage of Gypsy and her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn being interrogated, home videos, crime scene photos…the list goes on. Watch it! And see if your perspective on this murder changes…because mine sure did.
If you are a BuzzFeed reader like myself, you are familiar with their not-so-serious approach to journalism. They have goofy quizes and silly posts mixed with actual resourceful articles. Their series, Unsolved: True Crime, is the perfect combination of silly and serious. For each episode, two BuzzFeed writers (I’m assuming) investigate an unsolved murder or disappearance. They give us all the known facts of the case and the popular theories. All while commenting with funny banter between the two hosts. Check it out if you need a quick laugh and also want to feed your inner arm chair detective!
From the first episode, all we know is someone was killed at a school fundraiser. So we know the what, where and when. As the show cuts back and forth through the events leading up to that night, we constantly search for clues to answer the who and the why. Meanwhile, getting to know these characters and their connections to one another. HBO puts together an amazing cast and a show based on a book of the same name by Liane Moriarty. The show touches on many sensitive subjects like; relationships between women, more specifically, relationships between mothers with different lifestyle choices and social classes. And it shows the affects of domestic violence and infidelity on families, to name a few. As heavy as the content can get, it is still an entertaining show to watch. With twist and turns to the very last episode, I can’t wait till season two!
“A podcast about a podcast” is how they describe themselves. Hosted by Rebecca Lavoie and features Kevin Flynn, Toby Ball, and Lara Bricker as regulars. Though they got their start talking about Serial, now they have a broader spectrum on what they discuss. From other podcasts, true crime, pop culture, to Lara’s cat. They cover anything they find interesting and always take suggestions from listeners. That is one of my favorite things about this podcast, they really read our tweets, emails, or comments. They even have a voicemail set up for listeners to leave messages and will sometimes play them during the podcast. Since they cover so many forms of entertainment, they usually let listeners know ahead of time what they will be talking about. That way we can all avoid the dreaded “spoiler.” Rebecca and Kevin are true crime writers (hence the name) and also happen to be married. Toby Ball is a fiction author and Lara Bricker is a Licensed P.I. So as you can imagine, the conversations are very interesting/entertaining to listen to. Check them out!
(Also, I’ll be posting about some of their true crime books on a later date.)
“Podcasts! There are a million of them and they’re all amazing!” -Tom Haverford, Parks and Recreation.
This book fills in the gaps between Serial and Undisclosed. Chaudry opens up about her life and her connection with Adnan. We get to see a Muslim perspective for the first time, which plays a bigger role than we are lead to believe in Serial. We get to read Adnan’s letters to family and Sara Koenig. After reading this book, I felt like I had a much better understanding of who Adnan is as a person. And a much better understanding of everything that he and his loved ones have been through because of his conviction. And of course it makes you wonder what things would be like if this case had been investigated thoroughly all those years ago, would Adnan even be in prison? Justice for Hae would most likely mean justice for Adnan. Chaudry offers some thoughts and theories about what actually happened. At the end of the day it is all speculation. But what I do believe is that the State would not be able to convict Adnan again. Not with the whole world watching and taking notes. That is the silver lining in all the wrongful convictions that seem to be coming to light in the recent years. People are finally paying attention.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -MLK Jr.
After Serial season one, you are left wondering about what actually happened on January 13, 1999. Did Adnan kill Hae? Well I can’t say for certain since only Hae and her killer know without a doubt. But the Undisclosed team (Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson) rip the State’s case to shreds. So much information is provided in this podcast, that it sometimes felt like I was in a lecture and should be taking notes for the exam. I mean that as a complement since this group of lawyers really dedicated their time and effort to Adnan’s case. So much so that Adnan has been granted a new trail as of June 30, 2016. You get to listen to the information they have on the case, their theories, and the long process of getting Adnan a new trial. They simplify complicated legal terms and make you feel like you are so smart and should consider a career in law. The team also takes on other cases like: The State V. Joey Watkins, The State V. Gary Mitchum Reeves, The killing of Freddie Grey, and The State V. Jamar Huggins. Overall, great podcast and educational as well. If Undisclosed still doesn’t satisfy your Adnan curiosity, you should read the book.
My Next recommendation… Adnan’s Story: The search for truth and justice after Serial.