Murder, America, Boston Red Sox discussed on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory


Weekdays at six AM to play nine seventy WFL a. Bill James works for the vises. The Boston Red Sox. And. So it is that he spends a lot of his time in the sports world leaders is talking before the top of the hour, but the difference between being in that sort of positive place with very positive energy around people involved doing positive community things and writing the man from the train because he likes to write about crime. So do you want to finish that? You're you're fading out. The and I was not able to hear a lot of them. I'm fading out. No can have that. I was just saying that you were presenting a dichotomy of. Working in the sports world it by day and writing crime at night. The guy was saying that crime stories are fascinating too. Because they they come from the parts of ourselves. So we don't like to talk about don't normally talk about in the specific case of the man the train. I didn't make a deliberate and thoughtful entry into the subject, I just got hooked like a fish. I was I was I saw documentary about the murders in blue sky called living with a mystery. It's an extremely well done documentary and far above the levels of crime documentary. I was interested in it. And it was clear that there was a part of the story that was missing which is that it's relatively obvious that the bliscoll murders are apart of a series. So I started just going to put an hour into into trying to learn more about the series. But the the our became we can the week eventually became. Five or six years. They I didn't I didn't decide to get into it. I just wandered into. It shows you. You can do you consider this a true crime book? Sure. Yes. It is. Yeah. And that's the interesting piece too. Is that true crime? The tradition for true crime is I discovered in my research goes all the way back to execution sermons. Right. Sort of shares a similar DNA with American journalism. Except that in the case of true crime. It was the it was the preachers. It was the circuit riding preachers ministers. That would come to these towns in on the day of somebody's execution, and they would do a sermon just before the execution that would try to provide the context for why this person was being executed in why the community overall would benefit from his or her death, and it became an important part of trying to understand executions in America. And and this is where when the preachers decided there they used to just print up their sermons and people would snap them up. And then he thought well heck this to sell it for a nickel. And so they started to sell their execution sermons, and then they would get passed around and these became some of the early best selling true crime narratives, it it fulfils the same function is what you're doing in in the man from the train. You're trying to bring in even though. Which a hundred plus years later, in some cases, you're trying to bring a kind of a kind of healing. Anyway, not that anybody's still alive that was directly involved, but for these communities, maybe this this lingering sense of some tragedy that had happened. Maybe some closure. An exactly what happened to their town. And how their town was involved or not involved in the deaths of of somebody that at one point. You know, we're popular members of the community. The. There was an interesting that happened just a few weeks ago. I actually got a letter from a man in London England who was a a his great great and had been was one of the victims of the crime interesting. He had always believed that the man who was accused of her murder and was locked up without any evidence for two years before he was released as he always believed that he had gotten away with it. And he said that reading it in my book that and our book that it wasn't. That was not actually what had happened was just a tremendous relief to him. That was a shock to me. I hadn't thought about. But it was it was a shot. He said he was tremendously relieved to realize that it was just a random crime. And that this man hadn't actually that madman hadn't actually gotten away with it was this other fellow, and I don't know why it was important to him. Well, I understand. Understanding the sense. It was important to to know what had happened. But you know, one guy getting away with it or another guy getting away with it. I'm punished I've I've I don't know that there's a lot of difference. But he's still did have that reaction to it. Yeah. Go ahead. No, no, please. No book book is about is is all all books. All good books. Our search for understanding a lot of the book is is trying to get people to understand the America in which crimes occurred. Baker two hundred years ago and. I grew up in a small town very much like the crimes that these that these murders occurred in and I grew up in fifty sixty years ago. So it's sorta equidistant from me and them, and that's one reason that the story was powerful to me. But I am trying to get people to understand what what the criminal Justice system is like how fantastically primitive. It was. What the what how people lived? They lived rich meaningful lies. People in urban areas today think of people who lived in small towns one hundred years ago or often think of people who lived in spot has a hundred years ago living these boring lives in which nothing ever happened. All of the things that happened to you and me and people in our lives happen to people in small towns. I mean, they they got married they fell in love and got married, and they got divorced, and they started careers and got promoted and got fired they moved and they went on long trips and brought back souvenirs, they they had entertainment. So they went to literally every night all of the things that that happened to happen to us happened to them, and I was trying to create a a picture. Unfortunately, it is a picture of their death. So that's a terrible picture because they died terrible deaths. But also is trying to create a picture of how they live and and and give the reader. An understanding of what it was like to be an American in a small town Andre years ago. I think you did that very effectively. In fact, I think that's one of the interesting things about true crime in general is that the the focus can be on things which Rian Vert the inverted pyramid of journalism. And you can spend a lot more time on the things which are less important to telling the story in proper journalism. You can spend a lot more time talking about the atmosphere of a town or the the things that people eight or the way that houses were constructed or communities were laid out you can you can do that. And it brings a fresh context to these murders. You know, as opposed to the traditional way that that crimes are covered in in straight storytelling in journalism context. That's what I really like what you were doing especially when you're getting into the fabric of of these communities. What is it that always sticks with me that the point you were just making that has to do with the the taco in the cases soccer? Invent zeti? One of them. I think it was Sako. Had an alibi for the time of one of the crimes what are the crimes committed on December twenty fourth of I think nineteen nineteen nine hundred eighteen and he had a. He had witnesses who said that on that particular date. He was delivering a to his neighbors in Italian community a pickle deals because pickled eels were a delicacy that were eating on Christmas day. And there were there was. But there was conflicting testimony that said, no, no, no that couldn't have been done on December twenty four th because you never.

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