Join Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On...) as we dig into the real stories behind Netflix Original true crime series and films– how our filmmakers got access, what ended up on the cutting room floor, and even the impact a Netflix show can have on the real lives of its subjects.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at The Cecil Hotel
For nearly a century, the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has been linked to some of the city’s most notorious activity — from untimely deaths to housing serial killers. In 2013, college student Elisa Lam vanished while staying as a guest at the hotel. Her disappearance ignited a media frenzy that mobilized a global community of internet sleuths eager to solve the case.
In this episode, host Rebecca Lavoie speaks with Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger to discuss the first season of his new series “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at The Cecil Hotel.”
It was the late 1970s. A serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper cast a dark shadow over the lives of women across England. Over a span of five years, thirteen women were dead and the police seemed incapable of catching the murderer. No one felt safe – and every man was a suspect.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for A Serial Killer
The mid-1980s was a period of terror in Southern California. A series of random home invasions, sexual assaults, and brutal murders were happening across the region. Men, women, and children of all races and walks of life were victims. Stranger yet, the horrendous methods of killings fit no particular pattern. Some victims were strangled. Some were shot. Some were beaten to death.
Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer is the definitive portrait of one of the most disturbing and unpredictable serial killers in criminal history from the perspective of the two detectives leading the hunt to capture him. On the show this week, our host Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On...) speaks with Tiller Russell, the Night Stalker series director.
This episode contains spoilers. So make sure to watch the entire film and then, listen on.
Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy
In the early 1980s, the crack epidemic tore through America like a tsunami, ravaging all in its wake. And the destructive effects on people's lives, families, and communities are still deeply felt decades later. “Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy” examines the drug’s devastation, shadowy origins, and the ongoing criminalization of Black and Brown people in U.S. prison and healthcare systems.
Rebecca speaks with director Stanley Nelson. This episode contains spoilers. So make sure to watch the entire film and then, listen on.
Looking Back on 2020: You Can't Make This Up
Happy New Year! We are so ready to jump into 2021 but before we do, we want to take a look back at 2020. It really was a year of 'You Can’t Make This Up' moments, and the true-crime titles and conversations were no different.
Netflix filmmakers and documentarians consistently delivered original content that intrigued and surprised. They forced viewers to take a second look at crimes that we thought we knew all about from news reports and pop-culture.
We have much more engaging true crime and criminal justice stories coming your way in 2021. We'll continue to share important conversations with groundbreaking filmmakers who take us around the globe, so stick with us.
In this episode, Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On...) speaks with Trial 4's director Rémy Burkel. This episode contains spoilers so make sure to watch the whole series before listening or reading on.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our guest was not recorded in a studio. We appreciate your understanding of the change in audio quality.
Trial 4 is a timely, sweeping story about criminal justice, police power, and systemic racism in America. It documents the history of Sean Ellis, who faced three trials before he was found guilty of the 1993 murder of Boston police officer John Mulligan. He served 22 years in prison for the killing. It was a crime Sean says he never committed. In 2015, he was released on bail to await a fourth trial that would determine whether he would be proven innocent or sent back to prison for the rest of his life. A judge ruled that Sean was never given a fair trial. Prosecutors withheld information about a corruption scheme involving several detectives who were key players in his conviction.
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