This week I listened in to NOIR Not the Father, a crime investigation radio show. The show took the form of a mock trial, or live public investigation of the murder of a woman, Jackie Steel. The two suspects, or contestants in this case, are the the woman’s husband, Billy Steel, and her extramarital lover, Mick. The show consisted of of a moderator, Stella Vaughn, who asked each suspect questions regarding their relationships to the woman and their potential motive for killing her. Unbeknownst to either Billy or Mick, one of them was the father to Jackie’s unborn child.
Throughout the questioning, we learn that these two men were in a love triangle with Jackie, and that Billy’s marriage with her had all but collapsed years ago. He goes so far as to say that when he found her dead in their home, he made himself dinner before calling the police. Mick had fallen in love with Jackie recently and believed the child was his. It turns out that neither of the two men were the child’s father; it was a third man who impregnated Jackie. In the end, we learn through polygraph that it was Billy, Jackie’s husband, who murdered her. Billy was taken away by the guards, and Mick was free to leave.
The show was entertaining. It’s a classic noir formula: there’s a murder, an investigation, an affair, and perhaps Jackie acted the femme fatale in life. There was a twist in the formula in that the whole story is presented in the format of a game show-esk trial. As Stella Vaughn questions the men and presents evidence, an audience reacts to the revelations throughout the show, gasping, yelling, and cheering accordingly. In the end, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Billy was the guilty man of the two, since he did not try very hard to act like he cared his wife had been killed. It was quite the twist though that neither of the suspects were the father of Jackie’s child.
The commercials in between segments of the show were very entertaining. Many of them were morbidly funny takes on what was going on in the show. For example, there was a commercial for a cleaning service that would essentially help cover up murders. I got a good laugh out of those ads. Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. I liked how the narrative of a noir story was condensed into the trial of everyone who was involved after the fact, and presented as evidence. It was a cool way to tell the story.