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Hello Wonkers!


I am reporting to you this weekend LIVE(ish) from Nashville, Tennessee, where CRIMECON is taking place. It's a weekend long convention of TRUE CRIME, and it is fantastic.

The most immediately striking thing about the convention is that it's about 80% women. One of the first people I spoke to when I got to the hotel, when I told her what I did for a living, asked me "Why do you think true crime came to be such a thing for women?"

And it's not something I haven't thought about before. I have. It's definitely a thing. My answer that night was that I thought we liked seeing justice in action -- simply because we're more likely to be victims. That maybe it gives us a sense of control?

One thing I discovered here though, is that many (MANY) of the women attending are not just looking to watch justice in action, but to help it along themselves. I've met survivors, family and friends of missing people and murder victims, and lots of women who just -- in their spare time -- try to investigate cold cases themselves. There's very much a sense of "we're all in this together" that is very, very cool to see. I'm going to write something up later about this -- because yesterday I was able to go to the Golden State Killer panel, as well as an amazing talk by criminal behavioral analyst Laura Richards about the relation between domestic violence and stalking and other forms of violence.

Anyway! This IS your open thread, but I'm going to be updating it throughout the day with what is going on here. I'm about to go see MY ALL TIME FAVORITE HUMAN, Keith Morrison, at a panel on Dateline NBC... so will update throughout the day!

3:34: KEITH MORRISON IS SO GREAT. He is not leaning though.

Josh Mankiewicz is talking about how much easier it is to find photos now, because social media, instead of showing the same photo over and over again on the show. True story, we did not have any Sears Portrait Studio pictures in my family because they gave my mom the creeps, on account of that's what they showed on Dateline when you got murdered.

3:44 So now they're explaining how they disguise the jail and jail uniforms when they're interviewing them (so we can't tell they're the murderers too early on), and apparently it sometimes involves borrowing oil paintings from hotel rooms, borrowing Josh's blazer, or popping a collar to make the uniform look "high fashion." Keith says that if you see a guy wearing a pocket square, "He did it." You know, because Josh Mankiewicz loves loves pocket squares.

In case you were wondering, I am VERY good at telling when the person is, in fact, doing their interview in prison.

4:45: I tried and failed to make it into the Dateline Meet and Greet. The line was just too long, and as much as I love Keith (and eventually DID get to see him lean on something), I figured waiting in a line so I can make a giant dork out of myself was not the best idea.

SO, now I am at a talk on profiling serial killers from former profiler Jim Clemente and forensic neuro-psychologist John White.

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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