The next true crime story I write won’t be about the Robert Durst saga. I’m sure there are books about him in the works right now, even though he murdered the last person who tried to write one. In fact, at this very moment competent authors are struggling to write something about Durst that isn’t a yawn. It’s not their fault that all the dramatic stuff has been dribbling out piecemeal for years. If I’m not mistaken there have also been some well-written, carefully researched feature articles about Durst since he started murdering people, decades ago. The cable media vultures ripped the articles off to produce Entertainment Channel-level crap long before HBO aired their feature, in which Durst confessed to killings that everyone knew he committed, dating back to 1982. So despite the recent headlines, Durst is yesterday’s news.
Don’t try to write a book or even a magazine-length true crime story if all you can do to ramp up the drama is put a lot of blood and guts on display, that’s my advice. TV has the advantage there because it’s a graphic medium. Anyway, I see unmistakable signs of Durst-fatigue setting in.
Here’s what I’d like to write:
I had the opportunity to spend to couple of days in the company of two Las Vegas mobsters in 2013. I’m still trying to figure out how to use what I learned. Not because I’m afraid of what they’d do. They don’t care what I write. The problem is, no crime was committed. They got some money from a friend of mine’s chump brother, but he turned it over willingly and received value for dollar as far as he was concerned. They tried but failed to get my friend’s money when he and I went to Las Vegas to straighten out his brother’s affairs, but they quickly saw that their scheme wouldn’t work and there didn’t seem to be any hard feelings. They even showed us around the city.
The MO they used on my friend’s brother revealed how loan sharking and prostitution have evolved. I suppose I could write what I found out straight 1st person. It wouldn’t be the dread “memoir” because it wouldn’t be about me. It would be about the convoluted way that both crimes, if that’s what you want to call them, have turned into something unpredictable. My friend’s brother, for example, never paid for sex, but he fell victim to a prostitution-based racket anyway.
Maybe that will be my next true crime story. – Here is a link to an anthology of earlier true crime stories, The Family That Couldn’t Sleep at Night.