I think I found him,” I said, a little punchy from lack of sleep. My husband, a professional comedian, didn’t have to ask who “him” was. While we live in Los Feliz with our young daughter, my online life has been taken over by unsolved murders—and with maybe someday solving one of them—on a Web site I launched in 2006 called True Crime Diary. By day I’m a 42-year-old stay-at-home mom with a sensible haircut and Goldfish crackers lining my purse. In the evening, however, I’m something of a DIY detective. — Michelle McNamara’s “In the Footsteps of a Killer” (Los Angeles Magazine, 2013)
Kidnapping Grandma Braun -
An 88-year-old woman is taken from her Wisconsin farmhouse. Inside the investigation to find her.AP | Mar 2004|
Amy was a good, good girl. We lived a decent life,” Judy told me. “All I know is what happened. I was there.” She looked at me intently, her eyes glazed with tears. “I was there,” she repeated. “I was there.” She held her stare, unblinking, until, eventually, I grew uncomfortable and looked away. — Patrick Radden Keefe’s “A Loaded Gun,” on Amy Bishop, who killed three people during a faculty meeting in 2010 — and her brother, allegedly by accident, decades earlier. (The New Yorker, 2013)
As investigators continue to assess the full scope of the damage she has done, the question that hovers over it all is why. Part of the answer seems simple: to make herself seem more important. A petite 4 feet 11 inches and a native of Trinidad, Dookhan appeared determined even as a young immigrant girl to outrun expectations and the perceived anonymity of her circumstances. Notably intelligent, “Little Annie” Dookhan was going to make sure that she would never be overlooked. — Sally Jacobs’ “Annie Dookhan Pursued Renown Along a Path of Lies,” on the woman behind the Massachusetts drug lab scandal. (February 2013)
For Nicole, knowing that so many men have witnessed and taken pleasure from her abuse has been excruciating. “You have an image of yourself as a person, but here is this other image,” she told me. “You know it’s not true, but all those other people will believe that it’s you — that this is who you really are. — Emily Bazelon’s “The Price of a Stolen Childhood” (The New York Times Magazine, January 2013)
James Bond and the Killer Bag Lady -
In November 1985, a woman who appeared to be a homeless drifter staked out the offices of 80-year-old banker Nicholas Deak, waited until he returned from lunch, then executed Deak and his secretary. As police wrestled her to the floor, she said “Don’t hurt me. He told me I could carry the gun.”Salon | Dec 2012|
Maisie Crow is probably my favorite multimedia storyteller out there today. Her latest, from the Atavist and in collaboration with Alissa Quart, on Mississippi’s last abortion clinic.
Sarah Jaffe: Trickle-Down Feminism -
It’s time to not just to pay lip service to “the end of men,” but to place real value on women’s work.
Dissent Magazine || Winter 2013
But if you haven’t been following the case (or if you haven’t read Juliet Macur and Nate Schweiber’s lengthy article about it in The New York Times, which you should), take a read through The Atlantic Wire’s explainer/timeline.
(Of note is crime blogger Alexandria Goddard’s influence on the case; it vaguely reminds me of the Stephanie Lazarus trial, and the detail-stuffed takedown of Mark Bowden’s Vanity Fair feature on the case by blogger Betsy A. Ross. If you’re interested in the Lazarus case, skip Bowden and read Matthew McGough’s Atlantic feature.)