3 Burst results for "Sarah Weinman"
"sarah weinman" Discussed on American Scandal
"Now, you personally have made your career out of thinking and writing about true crime. What is the draw for you? I think for me, it's always been that crime is a window into society. Into the ways that people operate in the ways that they behave in the ways that they can go from functioning normally in a society to crossing over this Gossamer thin line into criminality. It isn't that people are criminals, it's that they do criminal activity. It isn't that people are killers, it's that they kill people, sometimes more than once, or even several times. Crime is about showing us humanity, at its most extreme, and sometimes at its worst, but it's never that crime is an alien species. It's that crime is very much part of our contemporary fabric. So that whole that tension of it has fascinated me since I was a child, and I think it will fascinate me for the rest of my life. Well, tell us about your work. How about we'll start with your most recent books, scoundrel. That's about the case of Edgar Smith. Now, you wrote that that was a wrongful conviction in reverse. What'd you mean by that? Edgar Smith had been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a 15 year old girl Victoria zelensky in 1957. But until he figured out how to get the attention of William F. Buckley junior who was founder of the magazine national review and an architect of conservative thought, that friendship and his convincing Buckley that he did not kill Vicki zelensky. That led to a whole host of changes and behaviors and the publication of a book and eventually his getting out, so he was propped up Edgar Smith as the sort of literary celebrity by influential people, and that turned out to be a catastrophic mistake because only a few years after he was let out, he came close to killing another woman, and would spend the rest of his life in prison. And so scoundrel is less about who did it. I make it very clear that Edgar Smith killed Vicki zelensky and was responsible for several. Notorious crimes. It's much more about how did this happen and how were people who should have known better duped into thinking that he was anything but a convicted murderer. So he was quite successful in controlling his narrative. That is true. He was an excellent letter writer. He was a manipulator. I suppose you could say he was a seducer. He was certainly a con artist. And he was able to make people believe in his narratives, whether they were in letters, in book form, sometimes in real life, and it was very interesting to put my own narrative together and try to make it clear that even though he's the titular scoundrel, it was the people in his orbit and especially those that he harmed and then one instance murdered in another instance got very close, that their stories and their lives mattered much more. You also wrote the real Lolita. It's a book that looks at the 1948 abduction of Sally Horner, which inspired the classic novel Lolita. What was your thesis in this book? Mostly I pursued this project because when I learned that Lolita had a direct reference to the kidnapping of Sally Horner, I wanted to know why that story had not been fully told. So I set out to do that. And when I did that, I realized that what the real Lolita ended up being about was what responsibility do artists have to real life trauma and pain. Like what did Vladimir Nabokov, what was his responsibility in terms of accurately reflecting Sally Horner's very short life? You've mentioned several times throughout our conversation that you have very high standards for the genre. And it's probably because of the high cost of when the genre goes bad. Now, of course, true crimes not going anywhere. It's only seeming to grow. So do you have any prescription for the genre? Is there a better way to explore and tell these stories? All I can do is offer a model with my own work. To kind of rework what we think of when we think of true crime. I think that as a genre, it's quite expansive. It encompasses all sorts of questions and subjects that we might not have considered, even just a few short years ago. So if true crime has been traditionally thought of as a murder happened an investigation ensues, it may get solved, in other words, for a long time true crime has been about finding answers and more and more what's interesting about the genre as it is now and where it's going is that it keeps asking questions. So I think as long as we remain open minded and curious and see that this genre is less about individual stories and more about systemic wrongs that can possibly be righted, then we may have a chance of making even greater good with it. Now, that's a call to the purveyors of true crime. But what about the consumers? That's a tough call because it depends on what your impetus is for consuming these narratives. And I think what I land on is we can all do better by listening more. And so if family members of victims are saying a particular documentary or scripted series or podcast is causing harm to them. I think it's important to listen to what they're saying and take that into account. And if we listen more, then we might challenge our own assumptions. So I think just taking a step back and going, who is this for who could potentially be harmed, what am I really getting out of this? These are all important questions to ask. So again, it comes down to true crime as a genre of questions and less about answers. Sarah Wyman, thank you for coming on American scandal. Thank you. This was such a pleasure. That was my conversation with Sarah weinman, a journalist, author, and crime writer. Her latest book is scoundrel. From wondering, this is episode 5 of the kidnapping of Patty Hearst from American scandal. In our next series, we're airing an encore of our story about oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, Rockefeller's company, Standard Oil, was a monopoly unlike any in American history, and made Rockefeller the richest man in the world, but Standard Oil had a dark secret, one that a tenacious journalist would soon expose as she worked to take down the corporate giant. Hey, prime members, you can listen to American scandal ad free on Amazon music, download the Amazon music app today, or you can listen ad free with one plus an Apple podcasts. Before you go, tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at one rate dot
"sarah weinman" Discussed on American Scandal
"In 1974, the nation was captivated by a new story that seems stranger than fiction. Patricia Hearst, the granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, had been kidnapped from her home in Berkeley by a group of radical political activists. The group called itself the symbionese Liberation Army, and although her kidnappers threatened her life and kept her trapped in a dark closet for weeks, Hearst would soon agree to become a member of the SLA. Hearst went on to take part in bank robberies. She trained to be a guerrilla fighter, and after she issued scathing condemnations of her family and their worldview, it appeared that hers to become a different person, a convert to a radical cause. As the saga unfolded, it stirred debate about wealth, politics, and even the nature of free will. But for many, the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst was a story about the media, and the public's appetite for shocking and sensational news coverage. It's a discussion that reemerged decades later, with the rise of true crime, a genre that's forced conversations about the media's responsibilities when telling stories about criminals and their victims. My guest today is journalist and author Sarah weinman, who writes the crime column for The New York Times book review. She's the author of the Rio Lolita. Her latest book is scoundrel, which tells the story of a convicted murderer who grew famous in was set free, only to attempt murder once again. We'll discuss how the coverage of Patricia Hearst was part of a longer lineage of true crime. We'll look at what explains the enduring appeal of the genre. And how true crime can be both a force for good and ill. Our conversation is next. American scandal is sponsored by a new limited series on Hulu, welcome to chippendales. Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Murray Bartlett, annaleigh Ashford, and Juliette Lewis. It's inspired by the dark true events behind the founding of the chippendales male strip club empire and how it all took a sinister turn with multiple murders. There's so much more to this story than just a male strip club. There is partying, there's greed, and then there's murder. And it's all inspired by true events down to the nitty Gritty call to the FBI murder plot. So if you need a new show to get into, this is the one. Welcome to chippendales, has it all. Be sure to check out welcome to chippendales, now streaming only on Hulu. American scandal is sponsored by audible. If you're like most adults, you have chores to do. Commutes to make, waiting rooms to wait in, and time to yourself, you crave. I do too, but I make the most of all of them by listening with audible. Titles like confidence man by Maggie haberman, and like all audible members, I get one credit every month, good for any one of the many classics, bestsellers, and new releases regardless of price to keep forever. Let audible help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired or be entertained. New members can try it free for 30 days, visit audible dot com slash AS or text AS to 505 hundred. That's audible dot com slash AS or text AS to 505 hundred to try audible free for 30 days. Audible dot com slash
"sarah weinman" Discussed on The Argument
"But here's my deep dark secret. I'm a true crime fanatic. I've always been. Other kids snuck episodes of 9 O two one O and Sex and the City. I snuck episodes of dateline. My happy place is binging a new grizzly podcast or documentary show. And I've never had so many options. There's crime show and crime junkies and serial killers and doctor death and the dating game killer and the jinx and conversations with the killer and my favorite murder in medical murders in morbid type. Sorry. Fell down a rabbit hole there. Sure, there's good true crime and bad true crime, but at the end of the day, the genre itself is driven by telling the real stories of horrifying events that ruined or even ended the lives of real people. Sometimes, when I'm listening to a true crime podcast, I feel like I'm crashing a funeral. But the genre is only growing. What is this cultural obsession about? I brought in two people today who can help us think this through. Robbie is Chaudhry thinks the obsession with true crime is a great thing. She's a lawyer, whose podcast undisclosed, investigates and seeks to exonerate people who are wrongfully convicted. It's a great podcast, but even if you haven't heard it yet, you might recognize her voice as the advocate who brought Sarah Conan's attention to adnan say, it's case in the first season of cereal. On the other side of the debate is Sarah weinman. Sarah is a true crime writer of books like the real Lolita and the upcoming scoundrel. Sarah argues that true crime has always been ethically thorny. And that's a good thing. But we need to be aware of the thorns before we go into making and consuming the genre. If true crime is this giant genre, what are its conventions? What is something that true crime has to have? What do you think rabia? I mean, true crime has to have a reporting of at least the bare minimum facts of the case that are publicly available. You know, there's a victim. There's an identified perpetrator or suspect or somebody at large. So there's some mystery involved. There's a reason that some particular crimes are more interesting than others and that could involve the kind of victim, the kind of perp, the kind of crime itself, you always start with the body, right? Like the facts of the crime itself. And then you expand out. Yeah, and if it's not just the facts of the case and starting the opening with the body, it's also trying to figure out who the people were who were involved. So if it's victim oriented story, then one tries to build a character study of the person and the life they lived and why they're often murder is so traumatic, not just in general, but to the family members and other people who knew them and why the impact of the crime deserves to be written about. Why do you think that true crime, especially over the last ten, 15 years has become just an obsession for so many people, including me? I think first of all, there's a bit of a skewed perspective on this issue to begin with. And I think that's because those of us who love true crime or crime fiction, we live in our bubbles where we think everybody in the world loves this stuff. Right. Serial put podcasting on the map, I think even beyond true crime podcasting, I think it just opened the doors to what is a podcast for so many people. There's never not been an interest in this kind of stuff. Penny dreadfuls, you know, hundreds of years ago, preachers that would give sermons under different kinds of crimes and their elements and how to save your souls and all of that. That was like a moral lesson. But it's always been around. The difference now is number one, the access is fast, easy, cheap. Number two, we are social creatures. We are able to share stuff easily and comment on it. We're able to respond to the content that exists like immediately. Everything's happening in real time, so we feel like we're part of the story. But at the same time, I'm going to say I know it feels like it's everywhere, but I can tell you of my own experience in my social struggle and I have a fairly large social circle. I have a large family if I asked one of them. What do you think about the latest whatever true crime podcast happens to be the top of the charts? They have no idea what I'm talking about. Right. Most of the people in my personal space don't even listen to podcasts much less true crime podcasts. So we're just kind of in our own little echo chamber and then we're having to constantly defend ourselves for enjoying for whatever reason. We are drawn to it, the genre. You are very correct in saying that most people are not into true crime. I am married to someone who, when we first started dating, I was like, you can never know that I'm interested in true crime. I was hoping that they'd find out about that around our 15th anniversary, but obviously they found out sooner because it is for me. You do find yourself defending it to other people, but you define yourself defending it to yourself in some ways. And Sarah, I'm curious why those of us who are very, very interested in true crime. Why do you think that that popularity has grown, especially in podcasts and documentaries? To pick up on a point that would be a made, I was kind of conflating true crime subculture with other sort of extremely online subcultures, especially when you're the extremely online person and say your spouse or partner is not, and you have to explain the latest Twitter drama. And they are just not getting it and frankly, you don't even want them to get it. I always use something called the mom test. I'm like, how would I explain this to my mother and the answer is always, I wouldn't. Exactly. But I think that also speaks to how true crime really attracts very fervent fandom, and especially since the vast majority of global populations have gone online and spent a lot more time on the Internet and then the proliferation of social media that it's not just that you're getting invested in a case. It's like you're feeling like you are actively participating. And it's now been 7 years, there are about since the first season of serial. And since then, social media has only grown and mutated and people really feel that fandom element. And certainly in the unknown syed case, there were people on Reddit who felt like they needed to become part of the case. And we're visiting and engaging in behavior that might have seemed unthinkable even 5 or ten years before because they just didn't have the access or feel like, well, I'm in this amateur sleuth mode. I want to do something. I want to feel like I'm part of it. And to some degree, I think that's also speaking to increasing distrust in government and society and law enforcement feeling like people can do an end run around it and come up with solutions and answers that make more sense than the often frustrating lack of information that law enforcement provides. A lot of which I find somewhat troubling, right? There is a piece in The Guardian by Emilia Tate and she wrote that in some ways true crime can offer a sense of informal justice. You may not get a conviction in court, but you get people who are riveted by this case or are really focused on it and want to talk about it. But true comes to my favorite genre of content. If I'm not watching a Ken burns documentary or becoming an amateur immigration attorney or something in preparation for an episode of this show, I am probably listening to a true crime podcast. I was listening to the true crime podcast before this. I will be probably listening to one after this. I've been engrossed in true crime for decades. I've always just been very interested in whatever the darkest worst thing people have been doing. And that is something that I wish weren't true about myself. I feel like it goes against my moral code of being a good person who wants good things to happen for other people. To be so interested in other people getting murdered or encrypted or having something else terrible happen to them. I'd.