Marsh, Tom F and Graham study the evidence for and against true crime dramas and documentaries. Join us in the accusing parlour as we interrogate The Staircase (both documentary and drama), Sophie: A Murder In West Cork, The Unsolved Murder Of Beverly Lynn Smith, The Investigation and The Murders At Starved Rock. We consider the ethics of making and watching stories about real tragedies, discuss whether it’s OK to draw conclusions from true crime media, and solve justice once and for all. Spoilers throughout.

  • The first season of the podcast Serial feels like the progenitor of a modern wave of true crime.
  • Making A Murderer popularised true crime on Netflix, though we have issues with it.
  • Errol Morris’s 1988 film The Thin Blue Line is a true crime documentary that served to exonerate an innocent man.
  • The Staircase is a French-produced documentary, originally released in 2004 and updated with new episodes in 2013 and 2018, about the trial of Michael Peterson for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. It’s now available to stream on Netflix US and UK.
  • The Staircase is also the name of a 2022 HBO miniseries about the same events, starring Colin Firth and Toni Collette. It’s streaming on HBO Max and Sky Atlantic.
  • Sophie: A Murder In West Cork is a 2021 Netflix documentary about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
  • The Unsolved Murder Of Beverly Lynn Smith is an Amazon Prime documentary about a 1974 murder and the Mr. Big police sting used 40 years later as part of a cold case investigation.
  • The Investigation is a 2020 Danish drama about the murder of Kim Wall, currently streaming on HBO Max.
  • The Murders At Starved Rock is an HBO documentary about the 1961 murder of three women, the conviction of Chester Weger, and the unanswered questions which remain.

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Our intro music is by The Mandibles from their track Clambake. Many of the band members now tour as Count Bobo And The Bullion.

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