Diving into mysteries on screen with Aphrodite Jones

Stand aside, Nancy Grace. Your bleached blonde ‘do has some competition. Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling writer of true crime nonfiction, has arrived on television with her own new show in the Investigation Discovery channel.

Its vastly original title? “True Crime: With Aphrodite Jones.”


Her likeness even serves as the “I” in “crime” for the show’s logo.

Now that’s marketing.

Aphrodite Jones (I can’t seem to make myself follow AP style and go with “Jones” when her first name leaves me so expertly torn between mockery and tentative respect) has been called in as a commentator on shows like “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Today Show.”

Her most famous work is probably “All She Ever Wanted,” the story of a trans man who was raped and murdered in 1993, which was later made into the Hilary Swank film “Boys Don’t Cry.” In more recent years, she has published “Michael Jackson Conspiracy.”

Tonight, Aphrodite Jones returns to TV, but not as a guest star. She has arrived on Investigation Discovery to shed some light on the darkest cases in history. Aphrodite Jones investigates some of the creepiest, craziest cases ever made known to the public, including Skylar Deleon and The Zodiac Killer.

Her first stop? Scott Peterson.

Rather than spend her time in archives, Jones heads out into the field to interview relatives of victims, convicts and witnesses and look around former crime scenes.

According to Investigation Discovery, Jones’s work will not involve simply rehashing already-known facts, but will instead pull out new clues for the public to chew on.

Since this show hasn’t aired yet, I can neither throw it to the wolves with a side of snark nor sing its praises loud and clear. But I can say that I don’t find the idea of it entirely revolting, and that’s a good start.

Crime shows are easy to get hooked on, but their greatest obstacle is retaining the audience’s interest, which sometimes goes away at about the same time they lose the contents of their stomachs.

There is a fine line between reporting and sensationalism, and far too often  you find yourself hearing about clues you knew about. When the case goes cold you’re left creeped out but relatively unmoved — simply because they spent so much time trying to make you react.

From what the summary of “True Crime” promises, it seems viewers are going to get a look at some disconcerting new insights.

Aphrodite Jones seems as intriguing as her name, not to mention smart, and intelligence is something to be admired, sparse as it is on our sensationalized TV. Hopefully she can remain unbiased and assertive and not fall into the trap of reality television – namely, dramatizing what is already dramatic enough.

Turn on your TVs people. We’ve got crime to solve and Aphrodite Jones to watch.

Was that corny? So is using her silhouette as part of a logo, Investigation Discovery.