Gillian Flynn’s book Dark Places is my current recommendation. It’s a mystery novel, and you might recognize the author from her most mainstream book Gone Girl. Flynn’s recipe for a good mystery seems to be something familiar from the headlines, in this case the satanic panic in the 1980s, with an unexpected twist. Dark places follows a now grown up survivor of a horrible family murder, while she looks back at the events that happened and the people involved. Her older brother was convicted of the murders and she had always accepted the picture that was painted for her by investigators and the media. But as she starts looking, she starts to question what she knows… For those who are wondering, yes there is a movie and it is also called Dark Places. It has a great cast but I’ll always recommend reading the book first. The books are just a different experience and better somehow.
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!