Stephen Usery interviews authors of mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction.

This episode of Mysterypod is a bit different, as the true crime book in question, Murder in Mississippi, isn't available in the USA yet. However, I'm a huge fan of Australian author John Safran's (not to be confused with American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer)radio and television work, and the murder in question took place in Mississippi, just a couple hundred miles down the road from my current home in Memphis.

Richard Barrett was a notorious white supremacist from Rankin county, Mississippi who was murdered in 2010. The previous year, John Safran had interviewed and pranked him for his television mini-series John Safran's Race Relations on ABC1 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation television). Hearing of Barrett's death, allegedly at the hands of a young African-American man named Vincent McGee, Safran came to Mississippi to research what he thought would be a rather straight-forward story of a black man killing a virulent racist. What he found was a lot of contradictions in each of the men's lives.

We talk about Safran's growing up as a secular Jew in Australia, his satirical documentaries, and paint the broadest of strokes about his insightful and often funny book dealing with the lives and a death which were way more complex than outsiders could even imagine.

You can listen to his current radio program here:
Sunday Night Safran

And here is his recent radio mini-series interviewing true crime writers:
John Safran's True Crime

The book Trailer for Murder in Mississippi:

John Safran's Murder in Mississippi from PenguinAustralia on Vimeo.

An excellent sketch from John Safran Vs. God where he acts an atheist missionary in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Direct download: CASE42-JOHNSAFRAN.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 9:22am EDT