Category Archives: True Crime

True Crime on Google Maps

I’m reading through Nicholas Pileggi’s 1986 non-fiction account of Henry Hill’s life Wiseguy, the basis for Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic Goodfellas. We’ll be talking about Goodfellas in the True Crime seminar next week, and I wanted to finally read the book that inspired the … Continue reading

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Charlie’s Angels: The Short Case

Truecrimers Sara Akbari, Meredith Fiero, Gloriana Smith, and Jack Harris did an excellent job on their second video assignment. Back in week 10 they did an excellent presentation on Jack Webb’s telling of one of the great unsolved cases of … Continue reading

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From Mansonism to Bundyism

The 1976 TV movie Helter Skelter ends on a fear-mongering tear about “the social compost heap” from which Charles Manson sprang that may lead to an even more “virulent strain” of “Mansonism.” [This usage of Mansonism pre-dates, and I imagine … Continue reading

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Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter Bogus Conspiracy Theory?

As my last post made all too clear, this week in True Crime we’re talking about the 1976 TV movie Helter Skelter. Last night, as a follow-up to the discussion of the film, we discussed the interview between Truman Capote … Continue reading

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Helter Skelter or, how I came to hate the dirty hippies

This weekend I watched the 1976 TV documdrama Helter Skelter for the first time since I was a young boy. And while watching it again I came to the stunning realization that this TV movie is the reason why I’ve hated … Continue reading

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A Curious Still Life

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things Paul and I are trying to do with blog posts, videos, etc. for the True Crime course is model some of what we want to see. The group that … Continue reading

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Torso: Biopsy

Torso:Biopsy from Jim Groom on Vimeo. Two weeks ago the True Crime course Paul Bond and I are running discussed the graphic novel Torso. We’ve adopted a new approach for teaching this Freshman seminar. On a weekly basis the course is run by rotating groups of three … Continue reading

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Jack Webb’s “The Black Dahlia”

Last night we had a pretty awesome True Crime class. The conversation was deftly led by Sara Akbari, Meredith Fiero, and Jack Harris; they did an awesome job with their presentation, research, and framing othe readings for the class as their … Continue reading

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Wanted: the Tri-State Gang

Last week in the most awesomest True Crime course ever taught anywhere we talked about H.L.Mencken’s 1934 article for The Baltimore Evening Sun “More and Better Psychopaths.” Mencken’s piece condemns the “New Penology” for being too soft on criminals, while chastising our … Continue reading

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Gallows Poll (Rough Cut)

Paul Bond and I collaborated on a fun segment for the first episode of the True Crime class video we’re working on. I’ll be polishing off and tightening up the final version of episode one this week, but I figured … Continue reading

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