Will Pierre Romain, romain free?
If you’re into true crime pods, then you have to listen to Murder Book Podcast, where bestselling crime fiction author Michael Connelly tries his hand at hosting a true crime pod!
The first season of ‘Murder Book: The Tell-tale Bullet’ is a 14 part deep dive into a case of a 1987 LA carjacking gone wrong, resulting in the death of a 21 year old, and the lingering unresolved justice for over 30 years! The tale and the nature of the crime isn’t unique, i.e. black-on-black killing with gang undertones, but the delays and the lead-time to justice is unique though.
The podcast provides us, the listener, access to interviews and commentary with the police and prosecutors involved in the case; real-life audio recordings from the court; wiretap recordings of the accused; and answers to some listener questions to help you further understand the case – all riveting stuff!
The series might be deemed as being long and somewhat drawn-out, however the 10 hour ordeal is still worthwhile to sit through, when at the end of the day you’re guaranteed closure when the jury hands in its verdict to a case which has been open for more than 30 years.
The highlight of the experience for me was actually hearing Michael Connelly’s voice for the first time. After listening to his Harry Bosch and Micky Haller books across a span of almost 20 years, I was surprised to actually hear the man speak (talk about a gravelly voice?). But after a while Michael’s hoarse tones became a welcome sound in my ears, as he translated the legal and police jargon, and summarised and interpreted the court and wiretap recordings, to ensure that you’re able to follow the case and the sometimes unexpected turns it takes.
Meanwhile, the negatives against the podcast experience were the poor audio quality of courtroom recordings (which Michael apologises profusely for), and the unpolished and sometimes hard to follow courtroom arguments….. Not to mention how uneventful much of the courtroom activity actually is? I guess from listening to Michael’s books and when watching fictional courtroom dramas on TV, you’re spoon-fed perfectly delivered and crafted arguments from the lawyers and perfectly clear responses from witnesses. However in reality, what I found was that courtroom proceedings was actually quite boring, that it required quite a bit of concentration to follow and absorb lawyer’s arguments and witness testimonies, and it wasn’t until halfway through the court case did I understand that if an objection was ‘sustained’ by the judge, was the question allowed to be answered or not by the person on the stand. Therefore we greatly welcomed Michael’s interruptions into the court proceedings, to explain what we were listening to, and why the lawyers were presenting elements when they were.
But for one who isn’t really into true crime pods, I enjoyed it; and this was the first podcast series my wife listened to from start to finish, and she really enjoyed it as well! So yeah, check out Murder book if you haven’t already – it’s an intriguing listen.