Crime Writers On...

American Vandal, The Confession Tapes, and a Making a Murderer update

Sept. 29, 2017

Did Brendan Dassey's dubious confession on "Making a Murderer" make your skin crawl? The Chief Circuit Judge in his ongoing appeal said it did. But the other two federal judges may be leaning the other way.

In podcast news: "Accused" will roll out a new season next month. Also, the teams behind HowStuffWorks and Up & Vanished are getting together to re-investigate a series of child murders in Atlanta that were solved in 1981.

This week's podcast focuses on two very different series from Netflix. "The Confession Tapes" shows a series of cases in which the police used questionable techniques to get suspects to confess. Were they falsely given? Were they merely aggressive or provocative ways to get a killer to admit to their crimes?

Next, the unexpectedly savvy satire of everything we love about true crime. "American Vandal" may start as a lowbrow take-off on "Serial" or "Making a Murder," but the comedy is surprisingly meta, embracing all tropes of the podcasts and documentaries which have become ubiquitous. In the end, we still want to know, "Who drew the dicks?"

In the Crime of the Week - the FBI really shouldn't tell the Internet to ask them anything.

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