This week we talk about Anna’s hen party and Hannah has the worst commute of her life. In true crime news, we talk about an update in the case covered by Serial’s first series and a mother who can’t produce her children to the authorities. We review Man in the Window and The Stranger. We finish up with a box of sex toys. Not literally.
Man in the Window
A new Wondery/LA Times podcast – the synopsis reads “Paige St Johns, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reported has uncovered never before details about the man who would eventually become one of California’s most deadly serial killers. This new series traces his path of devastation through his victims eyes.” There are so many details in this podcast and this case in general and we will only be scratching the surface whilst reviewing it.
The Man in the Window follows the crimes of a man with many names – the Visalia Ransacker, the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker – as the police believed one man couldn’t be responsible for all of the incidents associated with him and believed there to be numerous perpetrators. It wasn’t until 2013, crime writer Michelle McNamara coined the name the Golden State Killer (GSK) which tied all of these crimes to one person. Whatever the name, the GSK committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries all around California from 1974 to 1986. The crimes suddenly stop at this point and anyone who has an interest in this case or is into true crime firmly believed that he would never be caught.
Paige St John does a really good job of aligning the story chronologically which is incredibly difficult when considering the sheer scopes of his crimes. She really focusses on the victims, the impact these crimes has on them and even interviews them in a way that is not exploitative. The interviews are difficult to listen to as whilst we might know about the case, we feel removed from them as they happened so long ago. Hearing directly from the victims was also perspective we haven’t encountered in this case either.
The podcast does go into depth about his crimes and this could be upsetting for some people. Further, they play some of the audio recordings from when he would call up his victims after he committed heinous acts towards them and taunt them.
After hearing from the victims and setting out a detailed timeline, we then hear about Joseph de Angelo – his life, his history and his eventual capture through DNA and genealogy research.
Infuriatingly, de Angelo cannot be charged with the rapes or burglaries because the statute of limitations has expired for these offences. He has however been charged with 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of kidnapping. He faces life without parole or death if convicted. He was arraigned in 2018 and in 2019 prosecutors announced that they would seek the death penalty. The judge even ruled that they may allow cameras in the court room. He is currently 74 years of age and looking frail. There is little information as to if and when a trial will commence so we are anxiously waiting for an update.
The eight part Netflix show based on the book by the same name by New York author Harlan Coben. #fictionnotnonfiction
Unlike Coben’s book which is set in New Jersey, the adaptation starts by painting a picturesque image of a middle class family living in the suburbs in northern England. Lawyer, Adam Price and has two boys with his wife, Corinne. Whilst Corinne is away at a teacher conference, a mysterious woman approaches Adam and drops a life-destroying secret on him. He confronts his wife and she disappears the next day. The show then follows Adam’s desperate hunt for his Corrine whilst his oldest son questions his involvement in the discovery of a decapitated llama, an unconscious classmate found naked in the woods and another classmate perpetual suffering from a mystery illness. Whilst the police are trying to see if there is a link between the llama and the unconscious kid, they are fighting their own battles after a shocking murder occurs. The stranger herself then appears a number of different times. Sometimes to reveal secrets to families and sometimes to extort money out of people.
Like most Harlan Coben novels, there are threads left right and centre that seemingly flutter in the breeze and whilst you are left dangling on some of them, only most are tied together at the end. You can make some really educated guesses about what is what and who is who but its still a good watch. The cast is also really good with Jennifer Saunders, Anthony Head, Dervla Kirwan, Stephen Rea, Lily Loveless and Paul Kaye. According to IMDB, Harlan Coben himself is in episode two, as a detective sitting at one of the computers.
Daily Mail – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8007305/New-DNA-evidence-links-man-named-Serial-podcast-1990s-murder.html
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_State_Killer#Joseph_James_DeAngelo
IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9698480/
Metro – https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/03/woman-gave-box-sex-toys-neighbour-containing-partners-severed-head-10858706/amp/
NY Post – https://nypost.com/2019/10/04/woman-gave-neighbor-box-of-sex-toys-and-a-severed-head/amp/