Nancy Grace, notorious crime-fighter and American hero, was found dead in her home, possibly under suspicious circumstances. Born Esmerelda Gonzales, she took the name Nancy Grace in 1981 to avoid being confused with the people she was going to be sending to jail as part of an over-eager southern justice system. By the time she was 30-years-old, Nancy had prosecuted and incarcerated thousands of people, sometimes with next to no evidence on her side. She was truly remarkable at her job.
In the 1990s, Nancy moved into prosecuting people in the court of public opinion. Her first big break was the Jonbenet Ramsay case, which she spent more than three years investigating. In all that time, she had no actual evidence, but managed to convince millions of Americans that it was Jonbenet’s own parents who were guilty of the crime. They weren’t, but that’s somewhat irrelevant. Nancy had made a name for herself and handed us all the criminals we needed to feel better.
Her track record of being wrong and still getting convictions in the public eye stuck with her all the way through several national cases. Unfortunately, sometimes it backfired. Using her influence and TV ratings, for example, Nancy managed to convince America that Casey Anthony was guilty and that there would be no jury that would acquit her. Prosecutors in Florida took that ball and ran with it, ultimately bringing a circumstantial case based on what the public perception of actual evidence was as portrayed on her show.
That evidence wasn’t enough, and Anthony walked free. Not that Nancy can be blamed for that.
That will most likely be her legacy, however, since her show tended to focus on one person who she decided was guilty and would contribute to ratings rather than actual investigative prowess. She may have had her heart in the right place, but she’ll always be remembered as the angry bleach-blonde Karen who screamed at the Ramsays and contributed to the acquittal of a monster.
May God have mercy on your soul, Nancy. Rest in peace.