As you may remember, I posted a blog item here last August about a quick trip I made to Southern California. There I taped an interview for a new true crime streaming and cable series. It’s called Blood & Money, and it’s from Dick Wolf Entertainment, the creators of the iconic Law & Order franchise https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/16/cnbc-presents-new-docu-series-blood-money-from-wolf-entertainment-universal-television-alternative-studio-and-alfred-street-industries-premiering-tuesday-march-7-at-10pm-et/pt.html).
The show’s focus is on wealthy people accused of murder, motivated by greed on a grand scale. One of those cases involved a slick, Newport Beach developer named Jim Hood, whose murder trial I covered for the Los Angeles Times in 1992 (https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-11-02-mn-1185-story.html). Hood was accused of murdering a drug-dealing, San Bernardino biker he used for shady errands, a man who Hood may have hired to kill his wife and her lover.
Everything went well with last summer’s taping, but as I have learned from years of interviews with true crime tabloid television shows and radio podcasts, you can never be sure if your interview will survive the final edit and make it to air.
I’ve now been informed by one of the producers that I did survive the edit – in some form, anyway – and that the episode will air Tuesday, April 25 at 10 p.m. Eastern time/7 p.m. Pacific time on CNBC, and on Saturday April 29, at 9 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Central time on Oxygen. (Best to check local IP and cable listings, just in case)
What I find interesting about Blood & Money is that this true crime show has been constructed exactly like the popular, fictional, Law & Order series. As the show’s press release puts it: “The all-new ripped from the headlines unscripted series features real stories, real people and real investigations of greed and murder, told through Wolf’s unique lens. Utilizing signature franchise elements, including the distinctive narrator and iconic ‘Dun-Dun,’ each of the ten, one-hour episodes spotlights the detectives and prosecutors as they follow the money and pursue justice.”
Each episode of Blood & Money opens with a narrator intoning a slightly altered introduction: “In the criminal justice system, detectives and prosecutors face daunting challenges. When money is the motive for murder, these men and women dedicate their lives to law and order. These are their true stories.” Dun-Dun.
Just as in previous Law & Order episodes, the first half of each Blood & Money episode deals with the police investigation, and the second half deals with the trial. There is even the familiar logo with the distinctive Law & Order font: white letters on a black field, with blue and red highlights.
This narrative template is not without irony. Over the years, regular viewers of the various Law & Order franchises could often recognize the elements of real cases on which the episodes were based, despite the claim that the stories were fictional.
Earlier episodes of the Blood & Money series, which launched March 7, featured billionaire Robert Durst, the Menendez brothers, and notorious mother-son grifters Sante and Kenneth Kimes Jr.
As more details of the Hood episode become available, I will share them with you.