Notable Crimes and People

Let’s draw some comparisons…

Although they really may not need some explaining…

Like our notable reporter Mary Sunshine, Nancy Grace has spent decades in the spotlight as a sensational anchor and crime commentator. After getting her degree, she served under the D.A. in Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia. A case she was working on got thrown out because the judge thought she lacked an understanding and respect for the judicial system. She never went back to prosecution again because the district attorney she worked for quit and did not strive for re-election. After, she went to what would become truTV to host a show, and then she had a show on HLN for a decade, and now she is the co-author of her biography (which was questioned for plagiarism) and two fiction books as well as being a regular commentator on news networks, especially CNN and Good Morning America. She repeatedly gets heated with the people she interviews and is known for her large personality and brash sense of judgement. Often, the stone-hard stances she takes on popular cases are not in-line with the jury’s decision and she refuses to own up to it, even refusing to announce the verdict on her own shows. Grace has been subject to scandal and a love-hate relationship from the public, but she retains high viewership for her sensationalism and melodrama.

Mary Sunshine is much the same as Grace. She reports on the wellbeing and emotional states of women who are on trial, everything from their hair to their shoes. Billy Flynn explains to Roxie that Mary will take whatever bait they give her, as long as she has something to publish and keep the public wanting more. Mary is just as flashy, even more so, than the women she reports on and keeps up her own image in wake of a sensational scandal. In the circumstances of Chicago, it is more fun for Mary and other reporters to go along with the information that they are given. However, in today’s world of 24-hour news, it makes sense that Nancy Grace should take the opposite approach and vehemently take an opposing stance on most of the opinions floating around news sources. 

The character of Mary Sunshine is probably based off of Maurine Watkins’s colleague, Genevieve Forbes. Forbes was the more senior reporter out of the two, and she had a reputation for composing salacious articles. Her coverage of Sabella Nitti’s trial was ruthless, describing her as a “dirty animal” among other derogatory comments. Forbes focused on the weaknesses of the women on Murderess Row whereas Watkins brought a more satirical, sarcastic tone to her coverage of the Murderesses. After this trend, Forbes persuaded the editors at the Tribune to let her go undercover in Ireland and write an expose on the process of immigration to America as a third-class passenger. After the last article was released, officials of the immigration office were fired and reform was underway. Forbes even testified in the House of Representatives. Forbes became an active political and socio-political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. To read an article detailing the process of Forbes’s immigration project, click here.

Ortiz, Jen. “WHO IS NANCY GRACE? A Closer Look At The Woman Who Dominated The Casey Anthony Trial.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 06 July 2011. Web. 18 July 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/nancy-grace-hln-casey-anthony-2011-7?op=1&gt;.
Lucchesi, Emilie Le Beau. “The ‘girl Reporter’ Who Exposed Terrors of Immigration.” Chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune, 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-genevieve-forbes-ellis-island-immigration-flashback-perspec-0417-jm-20160414-story.html&gt;.