(Content warning for suicide and addiction issues.)
Alex Segura somehow made time amongst his new babies -- a human AND a just-published last book in his Pete Fernandez series -- to talk about Leah Carroll's 2017 Down City, her memoir of her childhood after her mother's murder when Carroll was just four years old. The subject matter, which also includes her alcoholic father's decline, is rough going, but the storytelling is flawless. Alex and I talk about the poetry in austere prose, transitions that are harder than they look, "the repeated thing," and when an author's entrance into a crime story makes it a better story.
The FBI Files take on Yahweh ben Yahweh in S03.E10 isn't nearly as successful, as a story that spanned decades, multiple states, and a variety of RICO-predicate offenses needs a different approach from TFF's dry, linear narrative method. And while it's good at some things, like concise overviews, it's not good at giving context to, say, how many cult hitmen keep their dirty machetes between the couch cushions. One story we couldn't stop thinking about, another we almost couldn't get through, in The Blotter Presents, Episode 108.
- Down City by Leah Carroll: https://amzn.to/2H6HGBA
- True-crime memoirs at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/true-crime-memoir
- Alex Segura and Carolyn Murnick on the "dead-girl trope" at CrimeReads: https://crimereads.com/inverting-and-avoiding-the-dead-girl-trope/
- The FBI Files S03.E10: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B00T2FM5D4/ref=stream\_3p\_sd\_ep?autoplay=1&t=0
- Alex Segura's Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alex-Segura/e/B0078EELSI