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ARE TRUE CRIME DOCUMENTARIES ACTUALLY TRUE? (888) 481-1333 | www.joneshilllaw.com DECEMBER 2018 ‘MAKING A MURDERER’ AND ‘THE STAIRCASE’ GO UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
America has a secretly popular TV genre. On the surface, many people enjoy watching sports, comedies, and dramas. Some viewers might even push the boundaries with shows that are a little racy or mirror real-life situations, just to spice it up a bit. Many talk about these shows with their friends and families, but deep down, they hide an obsession that they can’t shake: watching true crime. The popularity of programs like Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” and “The Staircase” shows just how much Americans love learning about alleged criminals. Fictional TV is terrific because studies show that people enjoy watching characters they relate with and can learn from, but in a connected, digital world, viewers tend to seek out more personal and intimate forms of entertainment. Older generations crave the 7 p.m. prime-time showing of their favorite fiction that takes them to a different place for an hour, but millennials are shifting the entertainment pendulum more toward actual occurrences. Producers have taken notice of this, and somewhere between fiction and real-life drama resides the new wave of true crime. “OLDER GENERATIONS CRAVE THE 7 P.M. PRIME-TIME SHOWING OF THEIR FAVORITE FICTION THAT TAKES THEM TO A DIFFERENT PLACE FOR AN HOUR, BUT MILLENNIALS ARE SHIFTING THE ENTERTAINMENT PENDULUM MORE TOWARD ACTUAL OCCURRENCES.” As the trend gains popularity, more and more programs tell the stories of convicted criminals. You can learn about the trial of Steven Avery in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in “Making a Murderer” and the grueling 16-year case of Michael Peterson in “The Staircase.” Commentaries on the justice system abound throughout these dialogues; they raise questions and guide audiences to certain conclusions. It makes for wonderful television, but watching these programs forces you to question the legitimacy of the filmmakers’ interpretations.
In the case of “Making a Murderer,” certain facts and opinions intentionally shape your point of view. The directors may withhold certain details in order to throw you for a loop or to sensationalize the story. One episode might have you convinced Avery is a stone- cold killer and the next that the justice system put an innocent man behind bars. This storytelling tactic should make one wonder about the actual proceedings of the criminal trial. While facts are facts, they can certainly be framed in a way that draws a particular conclusion, and if that conclusion is slanted, or even potentially inaccurate, is what you’re watching actually true? “The Staircase” is similar. The facts are framed through a specific lens, and other members outside of Michael Peterson’s team are portrayed as incompetent, liars, or blinded by rage. You might accept this perception as fact and move on, but you should ask, “Who is telling the story?” The production was conceived by Michael Peterson when he was first arrested with the intention of documenting the proceedings, meaning every happening in the series is told from his perspective. It’s almost as if the audience is a jury, but they only hear one side of the argument, which leads to the most significant complication of these shows. Both programs have one critical flaw that should make you question whether or not you are watching something true or a fictionalized version of reality: Both filmmakers leave out facts. In “Making a Murderer,” it’s never mentioned that Steven Avery repeatedly called Teresa Halbach to his house and often answered in just a towel or the nude. In “The Staircase,” the footprints on the back of Kathleen Peterson’s pants are never explained, and in the trial, it’s believed that they would coincide with where Michael Peterson would’ve stood during the killing. Convenient holes and suspect framing should make you cautious when interpreting shows like these, but at the same time, the commentaries open up a meaningful dialogue on what justice really is. Whether they are true or not, we’ll leave that for you to decide — but “true” crime makes for good TV regardless.
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There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply-decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered. Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this GET AWAY AND BE FESTIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON Christmas Tours
holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.
3 HUNTING DOGS YOU’D WANT BY YOUR SIDE DID YOUR BREED MAKE THE LIST?
Setter Like most hunting dogs, you never know what you’re going to get with a setter. You might have a resilient tracker who will go through hell and back with you; on the other hand, you might get a total couch potato. It all depends on the breeding and the dog’s personality, but when you find a good setter, they’ll spoil you more than any other dog.
The only thing better than heading out to hunt is the company you keep while doing it. Most people love to go in groups for safety purposes and to forge relationships. But as you grow older, relationships change, family dynamics adjust, and your priorities shift, but amid all of life’s transformations, there’s always one hunting companion you can count on: your dog. Here are three of the best hunting dogs out there. German Wirehaired Pointer Tough, protective, and versatile, these dogs are undeniably great for bird hunting. One unique aspect of this breed is that they track scent with their heads up rather than looking toward the ground. Some breeds may require training to be around children, but as a retriever, they are relentless. Brittany The Brittany is a beautiful breed that will stay close to you and not chase potential targets. But when you’re at home, they’ll stay even closer. This breed is smart, caring, and also more compact than most hunting dogs.
If you’re anything like us, you’re ready to argue why your dog deserves to be on this list. Heck, turn to the front page, and you’ll see a gorgeous chocolate lab, and they’re also great hunting companions. These three breeds, however, deserve their recognition. If you want to let us know why your dog is the best to take on hunting trips, give us a call.
Employees need to be protected while working on job sites; otherwise, they can be severely injured while executing even the simplest of tasks. No one should have to show up to work concerned about their safety. In rare instances, some businesses will create hostile work environments and ignore the security of their workers. That’s where we come in. Situations where employers are negligent toward the well-being of their people make workers’ comp claims a severe matter. However, these issues of negligence aren’t always so extreme. Here are three fun examples. Bubble Trouble A remote employee filed a claim because she slipped and fell while taking a bubble bath. Because of the nature of the incident, the insurance company tried to dismiss the accident, but after closer examination, the worker had been speaking with a client on the phone while bathing. The story was confirmed, and the claim was paid. But after the employee received the funds, news reached her company, and her termination came shortly after. Stress Drinking An insurance company received a claim from someone in a highly stressful work situation. The person asserted that her supervisor was so rude and belittling that it forced her to drink on the job to calm her nerves. Who Said Workers’ Comp Had to Be Stressful? 3 CLAIMS YOU WON’T BELIEVE
The only issue was she wasn’t drinking ingestible alcohol but hand sanitizer. Thus, the claim was denied. Do You Like My Costume? Dressing up at the office can be an exciting time for employees. It’s rare, though, that any would expect a hazardous situation to arise out of wearing costumes to work, but you never know with some parties. In this case, an injury occurred not due to a prop but because of something equally as dangerous: bunny ears. A woman who dressed up as a Playboy Bunny bent over to pick something up. When she came back up, one of her ears poked a coworker in the eye. The insurance company was forced to issue the claim, but not without warning about the harm that some costumes can cause. At Jones and Hill, we deal with workers’ comp claims all the time. While they may not be as entertaining as these, we are here to help no matter the situation. Contact us today if you’ve been in a work-related accident, and let us help you get the most out of your claim.
TAKE A BREAK
Holiday Roast Prime Rib
Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.
• • • •
1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds) 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine 4 cups beef stock
1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.
Inspired by Food Network
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Jones & Hill Injury Lawyers 131 Highway 165 South Oakdale, LA 71463
UGLY SWEATER PARTIES A FUN TREND YOU CAN EASILY FOLLOW
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly- sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind. Your Very Own Ugly Sweater Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. What Exactly Is an Ugly Sweater Party? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty
of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater- themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
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