’90s TV, cold cases, and Charles Manson’s son

Fran Fine's dress sense

Here are the features I have written in 2018 for news.com.au, The Guardian, and SBS

The pair of orange socks that link two grisly murders

How Magic Johnson forever changed the public perception of HIV

Daniel Johns: His darkest days

Jessica Small: The unsolved Bathurst hitch-hiker murder

David Koresh and the Waco siege: 25 years on

Cold Case: Who abducted Cindy Song?

REVIEW: Bohemian Rhapsody is an enjoyable piece of fictional film-making

What happened to missing newsreader Jodi Huisentruit?

Sarah Fox murder: Her ritualistic slaying, and a psychic suspect who formed his own religion

The McDonald’s murders: unsolved, thirty years later

Robin Graham disappearance: A chilling Hollywood mystery  Involving a suspect from the Manson Family who may be the Zodiac Killer

Hollywood’s most fascinating kids: Jaden and Willow Smith  The future is in good hands.

Non-union conditions, homophobia, low pay, and near-death experiences: On the set of the Power Rangers in the ’90s

The Colonel who piloted the Queen – and was also a murderous night-stalker

The Village Voice journalist who took on a strip club ring, then disappeared

The OC: How Mischa Barton killed herself off

The rise and fall and rise and fall of Justin Bieber

The unsolved murder of 87-year-old Frank Newbery: the gentleman grocer

Who is the Somerton Man? The clues that could provide an answer to Australia’s most baffled cold case

How Fran Drescher’s stalker ordeal forever changed how sitcoms are made. 

Friends is still insanely popular: How Gen Y are nostalgic for an era they didn’t experience.

Cold case: Family’s anguish over bungled investigation of baffling murder. About Tony Jones, who disappeared in 1982 while backpacking in QLD. The cops kept bungling the case.

Dark days on the set of That 70s Show

The serial killer that won a TV dating show during his murder spree. Here is the tale of Rodney Alcala, who is one of California’s most notorious serial killers. During his murder spree, he managed to take time out to appear on (and win!) a TV dating game show.

Twenty-six-years later, SA girl Rhianna Barreau remains missing. A really depressing cold case I wrote about for news.com.au.

Doctor Sneha Ann Philip is officially a hero. A spooky 9/11 story about a doctor with a dark double life who most likely used the Twin Towers attacks as an excuse to disappear. I’ve been obsessed with this story for years, so it was good to write about it.

Manson’s son and his unlikely connection to Charles’ right-hand man. The second piece I wrote about Matthew Roberts, Charlie’s estranged son.

Who is the mystery man found in the Hawkesbury, tied to a crucifix?

A snapshot of how Brisbane’s music scene is thriving (for The Guardian.)


And here are the features I wrote in 2016/2017, for news.com.au, SBS, NYPost, and Junkee. (my archive of writing for THE BRAG in 2017/2018 can be found here)

How I found out my dad is Charles Manson: In which I became pals with Manson’s estranged son.

How an eccentric heiress and Australia’s most notorious mass killer forged an unlikely friendship: Martin Bryant, an old lady, and a house filled with animals.

The Weather Underground: I interviewed genius Bill Ayers about the current U.S. election, his revolutionary days with The Weather Underground, and all number of other things.

Talking to Heaven’s Gate survivors about matching Nikes and everlasting life

Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm? One of the weirdest dead body mysteries in history.

Baker-Miller Pink: the shade of pink that can reduce anxiety, appetite and aggression. 

20 years on, is Happy Gilmore still a good film? (Spoiler: It is). Also about Sandler’s legacy

The QLD man who thinks he is Jesus (Spoiler: he probably isn’t)

Inside the Aetherius Society: An interview with the leaders of my favourite UFO cult

Somebody knows what happened to Gordana

Catching up with the ’90s cast of Home and Away

Which show spawned more Hollywood stars, Neighbours or Home and Away? A scientific analysis.

Reefer Madness: Laughing at the old marijuana propaganda films.

How drugs drive musical movements

In praise of the Daria soundtrack

Gotta CAPTCHA them all. How those annoying things are helping to digitalise historical texts

Daniel Amalm – how being on Home and Away in the ’90s was rough on him.

Interview with Harvey from Sabrina. (What a dude)

Heartbreak High stars – where are they now? (I tracked a bunch of them down for your reading pleasure)

Meet Ellie, the robot therapist treating soldiers with PTSD

The sweeter side of South Park. (It’s not all dick jokes)

Checking in with the experts: How close are we to marijuana being legal in Australia?

An interview with Asia McClain, about how the ‘Serial’ podcast blowing up made her fear for her safety.

About how our environment completely tricks us into eating more. Spoke to an interesting scientist from Cornell University over the phone and his enthusiasm was infectious.

About Edward Wayne Edwards, who was probably America’s worst serial killer, with links to the West Memphis Three, Jon Benet Ramsey, Teresa Halbach… oh, and he may have been the Zodiac Killer!

An interview with Christine Elise – who played Emily Valentine on 90210 – about dealing with mental fans, and mental co-stars.

Storylines from ‘Friends’ that would be the subject of a million angry opinion pieces the next day in the current super P.C. climate.

About the NFL and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and the murky legal, social and moral questions it throws up.

About the sad passing of Prince, and his lack of concern regarding the rules.

Another Prince article, this time detailing what Prince’s songs were really about.

Jean Spangler: A Hollywood murder mystery

About how it’s in a lot of people’s best interests for Sydney Kings to be a winning team next season.

About Finland’s plan to introduce a basic universal living wage. It’s the future.

Father Yod and the Source Family: a ’70s cult (or group of people living commune-style in Hollywood Hills) who had a house band that put out records, ran a hip, hugely-successful health-food restaurant (Yoko and John were customers) and then moved en masse to Hawaii.  – NY Post |

Charles Manson was house-buddies with Dennis Wilson, recording with Brian and Carl Wilson, and how badly that all turned out. – news.com.au

The Kardashian Kurse – a study of the highly-functional people who are dragged into the Kardashian vortex and fall apart. Also about ‘The Life Of Pablo’. – news.com.au

On the miserable conversion rate when it comes to successful actors attempting to parlay this success into a music career. Contains the only positive review of Brian Austin Green‘s album to date and the only negative thing I’ll ever write about Lindsay Lohan. Also a list article. – news.com.au

Michael Jordan summer-trained his way to an NBA record season (1996 Bulls: 72-10) and a championship on the set of Space Jam –thanks to the custom-built ‘Jordan Dome’, a training facility which cost $10,000 a week just to air-condition. Also, George Clooney would drop by for pickup games because that’s just the kind of thing you’re dealing with on the set of Space Jam. – news.com.au

Was ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ merely an elaborate, expensive way for Stanley Kubrick to toy with Tom Cruise?

Where experts, naysayers and everyone else saw the internet heading in the ’90s

Forget everything you thought you knew about Jesus

The AIDS hysteria of the ’80s

 

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