RED! the breakthrough ‘zine editor, Jeffrey Hillard, recently interviewed best-selling author, Aphrodite Jones, who is also the producer and host of her current, highly-rated, true crime investigation show, “True Crime with Aphrodite Jones” on ID (Investigation Discovery channel). The show is in its second season, airing on Thursday from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. (est).
RED!: You’re coming off of a stellar first season of investigative stories. What plan did you come up with to decide on stories for the new Season Two?
APHRODITE: For Season Two, I wanted to be sure that my show, “True Crime…,” could branch out a bit further, and not only concentrate on murder. To that end, I chose to include stories about Anna Nicole Smith and also a twisted ponzi scheme (with a murder in the middle) to show my viewers that I have as much of an interest in social injustices and social issues as I do in helping crack murder cases.
RED!: Because you’re on a learning curve from the first season, what adjustments did you make in pursuing these new stories?
APHRODITE: The difference between Season One of “True Crime” and Season Two - well, it’s hard to distinguish. In Season One, I was able to cover O.J. Simpson, Chandra Levy, Scott Peterson, and other very high profile cases. In Season Two, while the high profile cases continued, with Jon Benet Ramsey, Anna Nicole Smith, and Betty Broderick, I would say that I decided that my audience seems to like to see me follow up on the lesser-known cases as much as anything in the front headlines. So, I chose certain stories that people may “know,” but that are not headline news everywhere, such as: the West Memphis Three and the Dating Game Killer.
RED!: You’re a gifted and seasoned best-selling writer of investigative true crime books. What have been some challenges in transitioning from writing books to producing a television series?
APHRODITE: It has been a great challenge to move from writing books to hosting and producing a TV show. But, of course, I have a great team behind me in TV; whereas, with a book, I am all on my own. I really do like the collaborative nature of television, and I have to give so much credit to my producing team at Discovery Studios, as well as to the top executives at ID, who have worked tirelessly to see that “True Crime…” is one of their best products. It’s really all of us working together — and I can hardly take the credit for the transition, because they made it easy for me!
RED!: In this second season of preparing new stories, have you encountered any information or made discoveries that really startled or intrigued you?
APHRODITE: In Season Two of “True Crime…,” I think I was most impacted by the details I learned regarding the botched Jon Benet Ramsey investigation. I must admit that, after having met with Mr. Ramsey in person, my heart felt broken, and I came home in tears, thinking about what he and his family have been put through for almost 15 years now. To think, not only are they innocent, but they are victims. Andyet, Mr. Ramsey and his son are still being treated - by the Boulder Police Department - like criminals. It’s appalling.
RED!: Are you finding that television is now a natural progression in which to showcase your work and vision, or will the book writing re-emerge at some point?
APHRODITE: Well, about TV vs. books…it just so happens that I am on my way to relocate to Orlando for the next two months to cover the Casey Anthony trial. While there, I will write a new book. And I feel that it’s about time!