Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Summer Silly Season Stories 2023 – ‘The Steeple Times’ Is Back

Matthew Steeples highlights the stories he’s been following during the ‘silly season’ summer of 2023 – amongst them matters Ghislaine Maxwell and Rudy Giuliani and podcasts about ‘true crime’ as a genre

After a hiatus for the summer “silly season,” The Steeple Times is back and in the period of absence I share that I’ve begun a nightly YouTube channel. It has already attracted over 173,000 views, over 30,000 hours of watch time and over 3,700 subscribers in less than 15 days and I thank the wonderful people of The Magnet, Broadstairs for receiving the delightful packages sent to me of gin, books and even colourful socks that have come in from places as far flung as the Isle of Man and Australia. All have been greatly appreciated and the spirit in which they were sent is most humbling.


In the month, I’ve met viewers who’ve not only come from London and Essex, but also as far away as Zimbabwe and I also wish to thank friends who’ve joined in with the show for their generosity and participation with everything from quizzes to story ideas.


I begin today with a round-up of stories of the moment that I’ve missed covering and my thoughts about them.


‘Mucky Madam’ Maxwell conveniently turns to Judaism

Ghislaine Maxwell Jeffrey Epstein Mick Jagger

Of his definitely dodgy and devilishly degenerate sprog Ghislaine, Robert Maxwell once opined: “I have a beautiful daughter and she’s just like me.” I have repeatedly suggested that the adjective “beautiful” ought to have been replaced with the noun “deviant.”


Last month came further proof of my reasoning for such with news that the in-the-clink sidekick of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has rather conveniently started “identifying” as Jewish. Now, as a result, this wicked woman is able to take advantage of special treatment for Jewish prisoners while incarcerated in federal prison.


Encouraged by “Lubavitch Rebbe following” group ‘Reaching Out’ – whose very name is a toxic platitude in its very self that I truly cannot bear – sexual predator monster Maxwell now gets the privilege “better, costlier food” and “more time off work,” according to The Sun’s Alex Diaz.


Grubby groper Maxwell – who disgracefully still refuses to accept her guilt and who has still to cough up the names of the powerful people she trafficked her victims to – Diaz reports gets “access to a Rabbi and is excused work for 25 hours from sundown on Fridays to observe the Sabbath. She can also take a break from prison chores on Jewish holidays… [and] is also eligible for the associated wine or grape juice and breaking of bread.”


What will the croaked pension pot plunderer’s party loving pimp of a daughter want next? Krug on tap and caviar also?


Not so sexy chat with ex-Mayor of New York – Where’s E.T. when you need him? £45,000 “phone home” bill for Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani apartment interior 10W 45 East 66th Street New York
Rudy Giuliani apartment floor plan exterior 10W 45 East 66th Street New York

A once revered Mayor of York now turned an “unhinged” Donald Trump co-conspirator, Rudy Giuliani has been forced to place his ritzy Lenox Hill, New York co-op on the market for £5.1 million ($6.5 million) through “broker to the fallen stars” Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty.


According to The Guardian’s Martin Pengelley, Giuliani – who once dressed as a woman and had Trump nuzzling his ‘breasts’ – is supposedly selling his “place he went for respite” apartment, 10W at 45 East 66th Street, “amid a cash crunch due to ongoing legal problems.” Situated in a 33 unit, 10-storey Gothic style “monumentally exuberant edifice” constructed in 1908, the “stately” 3-bedroom complete with a “cheerful eat-in-kitchen” was recently raided by the FBI and also includes a library where Giuliani “gobsmacked” his now ex-third wife, Judith, by filming a pro-Trump podcast.


A lawyer for disgraced Giuliani – who “stood for a police mugshot at a bug-ridden jail in Atlanta” last week – shared: “[He’s] close to broke… There’s a lot of bills he’s not paying. From a £45,000 [$57,000] phone bill to significantly more.” Frankly, one has to ask: “Does Giuliani have an addiction to sex chatlines?”


As has proven the case of sales in the Fifth Avenue building where the curious-verging-on-creepy Jeffrey Epstein associates Glenn Dubin and his wife Eva Andersson-Dubin reside, the “Giuliani factor” isn’t likely to help get this pricey pad offloaded. Of it, realtor Dolly Lenz remarked: “It was like, it’s ‘America’s mayor,’ he chose this building – all very good things ascribed to him living in the same building… [Now I] would suspect it would be wildly different.”


Podcast of the moment – Crime World’s Nicola Tallant on ‘true crime’ as a genre; “why are we all so obsessed with true crime as entertainment?”

Nicola Tallant

I’m sure it has been said of this crusading columnist before, but I do think the Sunday World’s Nicola Tallant to be a truly talented and a truly tenacious journalist. I met her at the gathering of amateur sleuths that was CrimeCon in London in the summer of 2022 and subsequently recorded an episode with her about Ghislaine Maxwell also.


In a fascinating 51-minute podcast (episode 307 of her ‘Crime World’ series) titled: “Why are we all so obsessed with ‘true crime’ as entertainment?” Tallant chatted extensively about this subject with the author of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World, Sarah Weinman.


Exploring the non-fiction literary, podcast and film genre made globally popular most recently by Netflix’s Making a Murderer, the pair asked probing questions such as: “What is true crime?” and “How has it become entertainment?” They focused on the obsession of ‘fans’ – whom they highlighted as mostly being female – with “stories with X-Factor” rather than journalistic credibility” and pointed out that the topics covered are “sensationalist” rather than “really important.”


Tallant observed that she’d prefer to see the true crime ‘community’ explore stories about young men joining gangs and being shot dead over a drug debt than the regurgitation of stories. I completely agree and think that the focus on the likes of Jeffrey Dahma and the Kray twins in ways that don’t even include deep delving should now reach the end of the road.


As regional media declines due to a lack of funding – with Radio 4 just yesterday pointing out that there are now just five companies controlling the majority of local newspapers in the UK – the gritty, real stories of everyday abuse and everyday crime is being ignored. It is being ignored at the peril of us all and it is now time, as Tallant concludes, that true crime coverage reverts to being a little more thoughtful.


Radio show of the moment – How to Build Impossible Things by Mark Ellison

Abridged into five concurrent episodes of 14 minutes length each for BBC Radio 4, this audiobook features the stories of Mark Ellison, a man lauded as “the best carpenter in New York.”


Aside from gossiping about his work for his teenage hero” David Bowie –someone he referenced as being terrified of being shot a manner akin to John Lennon – Ellison references incidents that include algae eating snails ending up boiled to stench inducing escargot in a penthouse pond he worked upon.


Cheekily humorous, this self-professed “serial dropout’s” enthusiasm for “puzzles in the building world” that he could tackle concludes: “What matters is the doing.” He is an inspiration and his “workshop of wonders” is most definitely one worth exploring.


Editor’s note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples and watch his current nightly show on YouTube at 9pm daily.


A message from our editorial team – Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus and the cost-of-living crisis impacts our advertisers.


If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by supporting our work via Patreon.


How to Build Impossible Things by Mark Ellison Radio 4
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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