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Double M Haunted Haryides Ballston Spa, NY
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The ghoulish figures along the route of the Double M Haunted Hayrides will be at their very scariest this fall, as the Ballston Spa spine-chiller celebrates its twentieth year of shocking and surprising its visitors. An estimated 20,000 people are expected to visit this seasonal attraction from late September through October. Haunted Hayride: The Haunted Hayride weaves through our haunted woods on a tractor-drawn wagon. Each wagon has a narrator on board to guide the way through the darkness. Around each and every corner there’s a frightful scene and behind each and every tree lurks an uninvited guest waiting for you! Our woods are filled with terror and surprise, an atmosphere sure to make you scream! It’s an annual tradition that you just can’t miss. Walking Undead: Walkers everywhere! Navigate the prison and don’t get bitten. The fences and walls have failed, there is no safe haven here. Can you escape the zombie apocalypse? Brutality: Deep in the woods of Double M is a dangerous compound, home to a tortuous family. Living off the grid, this deranged group preys on those who trespass on their land. Martin’s Motel: Martin’s Motel is home to a dangerously insane staff that is as unpredictable as they come. This once sweet home-away-from-home is now a maze of pure horror. Many who check in to this residence are never seen again. Your safe return is no guarantee. Outage: Are you scared of the dark? You probably should be. Outage is a total darkness experience with the unknown lurking right over your shoulder. Use all of your senses to navigate your way through and survive the perils of this blackened abyss. Schadenfreude Circus: The Schadenfreude Circus returns to Double M! Enjoy the side show acts that await you such as sword swallowing and the hammering of nails into the human body. Freaky, impressive, gross, and amazing are just a few words to describe the feats that you will witness!
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Double M Haunted Hayrides Ticket Price, Hours, Address and Reviews
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Double M Haunted Hayrides
- Address: 678 NY-67, Ballston Spa, NY 12020, USA, United States Map
- Phone: +1-5188849122
- Tags: Family And Kids
The Double M Haunted Hayrides is one of the most popular haunted attractions that has been known for creating fear in New York for over twenty-five years now. The Haunted hayride lasts for approximately thirty to forty minutes and the total time with the ride as well as the walk-through attractions is nearly one hour. The Hayride weaves through the haunted woods and every corner has a frightful scene waiting for you. The woods are filled with surprise and terror and are sure to make you scream. Each year the horrifying attractions are changed and the hayrides operate only on a reservation system. Their midway consists of the popular Schadenfreude Circus, interactive creatures, music, carnival games, concession stand, photo booth and a souvenir stand.
How to Reach Double M Haunted Hayrides
- Rented Car/Taxi
- Double M Haunted Hayrides Address: 678 NY-67, Ballston Spa, NY 12020, USA, United States
- Double M Haunted Hayrides Contact Number: +1-5188849122
- Try the best online travel planner to plan your travel itinerary!
65.22% of people who visit Ballston Spa include Double M Haunted Hayrides in their plan
50% of people start their Double M Haunted Hayrides visit around 2 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see Double M Haunted Hayrides
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Double M Haunted Hayrides
People normally club together The Capitol Theatre Project and Malta Community Park while planning their visit to Double M Haunted Hayrides.
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Double M Haunted Hayrides has been creating fear for over 30 years in Upstate New York! We are the Capital District’s #1 Haunted Attraction.
The Haunted Hayrides operate on a reservation system. Click here to buy tickets and make a reservation. We use this system for crowd control. Even though you have a reservation you still may have a short wait before your ride. The haunted hayride lasts approximately 30-40 minutes. Your total time with the ride and walk-through attractions is roughly one hour. This year’s walk-through attractions include Brutality, Blood Moon Farm, The Last Inn, Fear All Year and Slaughter Swamp.
Enjoy our midway Feartainment featuring interactive creatures, music, concession stand, souvenir stand, and photo booth.
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Idaho Murders: As a Small Town Grapples With Sinister Rumors, Media’s True-Crime Obsession Grows
By Kathleen Hale
Corner Club owner Marc Trivelpiece was starting to hate reporters. As a rule, he condemns violence—anyone who throws punches in the Corner Club gets booted—but three weeks into the media storm surrounding the murders of four college kids in his town, Trivelpiece was beginning to think that people don’t get punched in the face enough.
On November 13 , Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves, and Maddie Mogen had been stabbed to death in the girls’ off-campus house in Moscow, home to the University of Idaho. Trivelpiece’s bar is where two of the victims, Goncalves and Mogen, spent their last evening on earth. When the murders made news, the media swarmed, and Trivelpiece’s business in particular came under siege. “I want the Corner Club to be famous,” he said. “But not for this.”
When reporters barged in, talking about the murders in such a casual way, Trivelpiece was like, “Whatever you guys want to talk about at home is fine. But their friends [the victims’] are sitting right there. So let’s not do this.” He turned down location fees from NBC. Ignored calls from TMZ. Banished journalists from as far away as the London Telegraph. But they kept coming. Someone claiming to be from Fox News had recently followed a Corner Club employee’s roommate to work.
Like other Moscow business owners, Trivelpiece’s workforce and customer base are heavily composed of students, who make up about half the town’s population. After the murders, Fox estimated that 25 to 40 percent of those students fled home. There was a killer on the loose. But Trivelpiece wondered if media harassment played a role in the mass exodus. “How many students aren’t going to come back because Fox News is sitting out in front of their house?”
Trivelpiece knew I was media as soon as I walked into his bar. The tell was not just that he didn’t recognize me—Trivelpiece isn’t great with names, he says, but he knows most patrons by their drink orders (Busch Light Pint; Whiskey and Coke; Keeps His Straws)—but more so that newcomers usually take a moment to admire the impressive collection of sports memorabilia, whereas my eyes went straight to the security cameras. Before agreeing to speak to me, he asked for my driver’s license and set about making sure that I was not with Fox News.
“We’re in mourning and we’re a small town—and we know what’s going to happen,” he said to me. “You guys are going to go home and you’re going to write your story, and if you write something that maybe puts us in a negative light, it doesn’t matter to you. But it matters to us, and we have to sit around and deal with the repercussions of that and explain to the rest of the community, ‘I was misquoted’ or, you know, ‘They didn’t understand what I was saying.’ And we don’t want to do that. We just want to be there for each other right now.”
The bar’s only rule was “Don’t be an asshole.” In a single day, Trivelpiece had thrown out 11 reporters. The problem was, he could not throw out the invisible army of internet trolls who followed those reporters—and exponentially more of them flocked to his social media pages, and the pages of his employees, every time “Corner Club” was mentioned in the news.
He’d read Reddit threads that painted Moscow as a dark, depressing town because the sun set at 4:30 p.m. “Well, we didn’t fucking choose when or where our time zone borders are,” Trivelpiece said. Someone (“Mike Gumballi”) had left a Google review of the bar, saying, “These girls Kaylee and Maddie told me the food is to die for!” Trivelpiece’s staff member, Adam, was doxed and harassed after news networks aired security camera footage of Goncalves and Mogen walking around downtown Moscow, talking about someone named Adam.
“They want a click on their TikTok or their YouTube or whatever,” said Trivelpiece, referring to reporters and internet trolls that follow in their wake. “All social media’s done is make idiots realize they’re not alone.”
Other local businesses faced similar scrutiny. “My shit is bad right now with these assholes,” texted Trivelpiece’s buddy Jeff “Smitty” Smith, who owns Moscow Bagel & Deli down the road.
At the time, Smith was paying twice the price for 20 percent less profit at night. He’d decided to keep his store double-staffed after dark, hoping to make his young employees feel safer and insulate them from the ongoing media harassment. Instead, the store was getting “bombarded and borderline terrorized,” in Smith’s words, by acolytes of YouTube psychic Reverend Donna Seraphina , who’d told her then 46,400 subscribers that the Moscow murderer (whoever that was; at the time, there were no suspects or arrests) baked his own bread at a “ bread place ,” possibly owned by said murderer’s parents. Since posting the video, Seraphina has gained more than 10,000 subscribers.
“I don’t make my own bread,” Smith corrected them. “I don’t have a son. I’ve never married. Never had a child.”
But it was no use. The messages and comments and posts proliferated. Visits to the company Facebook page soared from 243 to 231,038. For failing to turn in his nonexistent son, Smith received a suspicious catering order from “Douchey Coward INC.”
Trivelpiece, a University of Idaho alum, was hanging out with his bulldogs, Matilda and Sarge, when one of his buddies reached out to say the Corner Club was on TV again—this time on NewsNation’s Banfield, hosted by Ashleigh Banfield, whom readers might remember from her MSNBC coverage of the 9/11 attacks, and who is now a more sotto voce Nancy Grace.
It was December 12. A news banner read: “ DAY 29 KILLER IS STILL ON THE LOOSE.”
Banfield’s somber face was left in a triptych of live shots, opposite a slideshow of the Corner Club (this side of the building, that side of the building, the neon business sign). Stage center? Thirty-seven-year-old NewsNation reporter Brian Entin, a tan, attractive man with thick gray hair.
“The Corner Club,” Banfield intoned. “That’s where Kaylee and Maddie were.”
“Yeah.” Entin looked somber. “I’ve been there. There are a lot of cameras there. There were cameras on the outside, and cameras on the inside, as far as I can tell—I went inside. The bartender wouldn’t talk—but I saw the cameras with my own eyes.”
Idiot, Trivelpiece thought.
When Entin descends on a town, he brings with him more than 444,200 Twitter followers (and counting)—nearly eight times the size of Seraphina’s fan base. Many of them started following Entin over the course of his 2021 reporting on Gabby Petito; prior to that, Entin had about 20,000 followers. Entin’s reporting on Petito also earned him the nickname “News Daddy.” In a Reddit sub devoted to him, Entin’s fans rave: “NEWS DADDY IS THE ONLY DADDY YOU NEED” and “Dude grinds for sure.”
On November 28, 15 days after the murders, Entin arrived in Moscow and drove straight to the crime scene in a huge black rented SUV he called “the Big Premium Daddy.” In weeks prior, he’d been “chasing candidates and stuff,” like Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock. Entin didn’t mind covering politics but acknowledged that they were “not…my passion.” Part of what he likes about “the crime stuff,” Entin told me, is that it tends to be apolitical, especially when the crime is unsolved.
“This,” he said, referencing the murders, is “a little bit of a break from that.”
At 12:24 a.m., Entin opened Twitter Live . Multicolored hearts exploded from the lower right corner of the screen. Comments unfurled:
Hi from Maryland You are the best reporter ever Australia
“Hey everybody,” Entin said. He kept his iPhone camera angled at the crime scene. POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS tape wrapped around the property, draped across stones and poles and trees and garbage cans, over fuse boxes and doorjambs. “I just wanted to get on here real quick, just let you guys know that we made it to Moscow,” he told his followers. “This is the house where the murders happened.”
Had to be an inside job Please find out where Jack S lives and let’s give it a visit
Entin’s followers meant Jack Showalter , a University of Idaho student, who’d walked Mogen and Goncalves from the Corner Club to a food truck hours before their deaths. Now web sleuths were convinced that Showalter was the killer. Moscow police had not dignified the conspiracy by naming Showalter, referencing him on the King Road Homicide Updates page as “male in Grub Truck surveillance video,” under the heading: “At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe the following are involved in this crime.” In just a few days, NewsNation would send a producer to Showalter’s house, where a neighbor allegedly intercepted that producer and sent him away. So extreme was the harassment, both on and offline, that the whole neighborhood seemed to be rallying around the family.
Before signing off, Entin reminded his followers, “There’s a murderer on the loose.”
Over the next two weeks, Entin maintained a solemn tone, staring at the camera while snow accumulated on his shoulders, and forced himself to look comfortable even though, just like during his hurricane and tropical storm coverage—he’d reported on Ian, Sally, Michael, Irma, Matthew, Hermine, Dorian, Eta, Laura, Ida, and Erika—he almost felt like he was going to die. “Half of it is just, like, stamina,” Entin said. “It’s not about being smart.”
Despite his long johns—which Entin was still getting used to (“It’s just such a weird thing,” he said, shuffling his feet, “like my legs are so cozy and I feel like a penguin”)—he was freezing. So was his cameraman, Mo Moran. Their producer, Lauren Powell, sucked on a Fireball to stay warm. Between segments on Banfield, they retreated for warmth to the Daddy Wagon, where they listened to their team anthem, “Kiss From a Rose.” The SUV was a tangle of paper towels, hand warmers, liquid Robitussin, and Powell’s bags of hard candy. Entin refused her offer of a lollipop, remembering the time he’d reported live outside Mar-a-Lago with a green tongue.
On December 4, I flew to Moscow to watch Entin’s first-ever special.
“I’m gonna be much better to talk to after today,” he promised me. “I’m kind of crazy right now. Like, I’m nervous.” When I asked if he usually feels nervous before live shows, he shook his head. “Normally, I do feel normal.”
In his hotel room, Entin prepared for the special while Fox News played on TV. He always kept something on, toggling between stations to make sure nobody else was getting the scoop. For now, Entin was safe; the Fox pundits were shouting about how reparations for slavery are racist.
“This is when I’m about to start getting crazy so don’t judge me for, like, the next four hours,” Entin reminded me. He proceeded to rehearse his lines, cycling through salt-and-vinegar chips while typing and muttering “shit” or “fuck.”
“Live in Moscow. Moscow. Moscow,” Entin drilled. “Moscow.” Outsiders pronounced it “ Moss -cow” but locals said “ Moss -coe”—“I’ve learned that the hard way,” Entin said. I asked what it would take for him to leave Moscow and go someplace else. Entin thought about it. “I mean, I hate to say it: a really bad school shooting or plane crash. Like something…”
“Catastrophic,” Moran offered.
“Yeah,” Powell said.
“Catastrophic,” Entin agreed.
Later, outside the crime scene, Entin swiped foundation under his eyes like war paint and braced himself for the show to start.
“Does my hood look right?” he asked. “Sometimes I think it looks weird.” After some consideration, he decided against wearing earmuffs.
“Alright guys,” Entin said. “Let’s do this, it’s gonna be good.”
Moments later he was on the air, recapping the crime for anyone just tuning in: “A nightmare for this town—a nightmare they just cannot wake up from.”
Entin’s Idaho Murder Mystery Special Report contained exclusive interviews and one shocking detail: Goncalves’s injuries were “significantly more brutal” than Mogen’s. In the absence of any new updates from police, sleuths took off running with what Entin had to offer.
“Internet sleuths are on the case,” Entin said in his special. “We are talking about the armchair detectives, people who sift through social media for any possible clue—and in the vacuum of information from Moscow police, their voices are louder than ever.”
Web sleuths earned their moniker in 1999 on a site by the same name, but their movement arguably reached a pinnacle during the 2010–2012 crime at the center of Don’t F**k With Cats , a docuseries about the online manhunt for Luka Magnotta, who posted videos of himself killing cats before graduating to homicide. In that case, sleuths succeeded where police had failed, bolstering their reputation as capable detectives. According to media scholars, “historical examples,” such as Magnotta, “help to fuel a fantasy...further energized by the rise of participatory media culture,” that audience members are “viewers with a job to do.”
Since then, crime reporters have been in competition with a new breed of paparazzo. While reporting on Petito from her killer’s lawn, Entin found himself shoulder to shoulder with vigilante civilians and social media influencers like “ Bullhorn Betty ,” who would later upload three videos about one of the Moscow victims’ surviving roommates, featuring a thumbnail image of Xana Kernodle’s face with the words, “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME?” Like many sleuths, Betty’s methods seem unscrupulous. She “reports” rumors and perpetuates harassment of innocent people. But for practical reasons, Entin has needed to find a way to coexist with people like her. “I just want to get my job done every day,” he told me, refusing to speak ill of Betty, in part, he jokes, “because I don’t want her showing up to my house with a bullhorn.” More seriously, Entin said that it’s not up to him whether sleuths have earned their place among trained reporters; the reality is that our digital ecosystem elevates the voices of specialists and enthusiasts alike. At the end of the day, “they’re still gonna be here,” he said. “I’m still gonna be here.”
Something else began to happen during the Petito case too: “I just started to hear, like, cha-ching, cha-ching.” Strangers were sending Entin random amounts of money on Venmo, a standard source of income for sleuths like Bullhorn Betty, which would have been fine if Entin were self-employed, but he had a salaried job at NewsNation. Twenty dollars rolled in before he could figure out how to set his Venmo to private.
Despite his professional use of Twitter, Entin is the first to admit he’s not exactly internet savvy. He doesn’t have a TikTok account and seemed surprised to hear that there are TikToks about him. He had never visited Reddit. (“Have you ever been on Reddit? It’s like, really popular, right?” Another time he commented to me, “NextDoor, have you ever heard of that app?”) Once he referenced web sleuths as “the internet people.” When asked whether he thought sleuths might be causing more harm than good, Entin answered, “I really think that 99—”
He caught himself.
“Well, maybe not 99, but like, 90 percent of the web sleuths have good intentions.”
It’s a common misconception that sleuths “solved” Petito’s murder. In reality, sleuthing helped police focus the search for Petito’s body, but it’s a stretch to say amateur sleuths found her. As Isaac West, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University and author of The Serial Effect: True Crime and Contemporary American Culture, says, “People are participating in a social drama, but their participation and achieving justice are disconnected. One is not causing the other.”
Yet sleuths persist in the belief that they are heroes. As @laceyjmeeks (follower count: 1,273) tweeted during the Moscow murders investigations: “For 👏🏻 the 👏🏻 love 👏🏻 of 👏🏻 GOD 👏🏻 … 😡 😡 I WISH @moscowpdpio would provide US, THE FINDERS OF GABBY P, w/info.”
Murder investigations happen on a microscopic level. After graduating from the police academy, a grueling process that involves physically demanding drills and literal obstacle courses, an aspiring homicide detective undergoes years of training. To denigrate this process may partly reflect society’s growing discomfort with law enforcement; there have been many instances of police murdering civilians. Fearing them makes sense, but considering oneself more capable of solving a quadruple homicide—from afar, using only a computer—speaks to a larger delusion that online we can do anything: get rich, become famous, lead revolutions, diagnose ourselves with rare diseases, and solve mysteries.
Only a week after the murders, so many damaging rumors swirled on social media that Moscow police issued an update saying, “We urge reliance on official channels for accurate information.” Instead, “trolls and social media stalkers” harassed young reporters at the Argonaut, U of I’s student newspaper, the Idaho Capitol Sun reported . As Entin made his way through Moscow, sleuths spread untrue rumors that Mogen had bullied her freshman roommate into suicide and the stabbings were an act of revenge, carried out two days before what would have been the dead girl’s birthday. Others claimed one of the girls’ neighbors, Jeremy , was the culprit—why else would he give interviews to the reporters camped outside? Hoping to set the record straight, Jeremy did more interviews and voluntarily provided his DNA to police. Yet the so-called sleuthing intensified to a point where he felt it necessary to carry a pistol for protection. TikToker Ashley Guillard, a.k.a. “Ashley Solves Mysteries” —who claims to crack crimes using tarot cards—uploaded six TikTok videos accusing U of I professor Rebecca Scofield (who was in Oregon when the murders occurred) of not only having a sexual relationship with one of the victims but of ordering a hit man to carry out the stabbings. As a result, Guillard’s followers unleashed on Scofield with such intensity that she grew concerned for her children’s safety. Eventually, Scofield filed a lawsuit , which is still unfolding, but Guillard has refused to back down, saying, “I am not stopping.”
Entin had mixed feelings about social media. On one hand, he relied on his followers for tips that broke news. He used Twitter to broadcast updates, which he referred to as “nuggets.” At the same time, he feared getting canceled, both figuratively (“Like, all it takes is one mistake…everybody could turn on me”) and existentially (as in straight-up disappeared, like in the crime stories he covered). Sometimes, while covering unsolved homicides like the Moscow murders, Entin pictured the killer watching him. Getting angry. Wanting revenge. What if they kidnapped him? It soothed him to know that, if he did go missing, “I would have a really good army of people trying to find me.”
After the special, Entin’s fans fixated on his stuffed-up voice, messaging to ask whether he was sick or if it was merely allergies. A private investigator texted to say that Entin’s eyes looked like “slits,” and he should try Robitussin. Sleuths posted screenshots of the segment, claiming Entin wasn’t really in Moscow at all—that the snow was fake and he had been standing in front of a green screen. On Reddit, people debated whether News Daddy was a real journalist or just another influencer.
Under Entin’s tweet about the special, someone whined:
Total waste of 42 minutes.
Days earlier, Entin had witnessed a viral score in the making. At the time, news was sagging, and networks clamored to keep the story alive by roping in commentary from former FBI agents and what Inside Edition referred to as the “best known lawyers and detectives.” Entin and his team were stationed on King Road when they heard loud music—so loud, Entin said, “You could hear it big time from the murder house.” Kernodle, Goncalves, and Mogen’s home was a five-minute walk from Ethan Chapin’s fraternity—standing at the end of the girls’ driveway, you could see Sigma Chi in the distance. Now, brash voices echoed across the field. The fraternity vibrated with noise. Songs played. People shouted. Brothers gathered on the deck.
That’s interesting, they’re kind of partying, Entin thought. That would be something that could get a lot of attention.
It was an understatement. Rumors, which would later turn out to be false, were emerging that some of Chapin’s fraternity brothers had committed the murders, motivated by an ongoing feud with Kernodle and Chapin that had reignited earlier that same evening at the Sigma Chi house. People were saying that Kernodle had sexually rejected the boys in question, while Chapin had allegedly called them on their steroid use and became enraged when they could not successfully tutor him. This dubious theory gained traction on 4Chan, an unmoderated site where users relish in misogyny (“I’d like to stab her with my dick,” someone posted in reference to the Moscow murders) and racism (in that same thread, the N-word appears 23 times).
Entin thought back to his own college years. He was goofy. He drank. Footage of the Sigma Chi party would spotlight his reporting, if only for a day, and gain him even more followers, but it would also change a bunch of college kids’ futures. Sleuths could easily track down the photos, names, or addresses for everyone in the fraternity, canceling more kids on the cusp of professional life. Entin felt sorry for them.
In the end, he decided not to take the shot. Who knew why they were partying? It might have been for Chapin. Everyone grieves differently. College students in particular have their own way of coping. Two weeks after the stabbing, one of Goncalves’s good friends would post pictures of herself and a bunch of other girls smiling, showing off their new Kaylee-inspired tattoos.
“We’re not internet sleuths. We’re not working for Twitter,” Entin reminded his team. “We have to remember what sets us apart from the YouTubers, from the Twitter.”
Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Entin loved America’s Most Wanted, a show that invited viewers to call a tip line and participate in the crime-solving process. The program has credited itself with helping to catch 1,186 fugitives in its 23 years on air, platforming what media scholars describe as our society’s “increasingly popularized and rejuvenated expectation that ‘entertainment changes things.’ ”
When Entin wasn’t watching crime shows, he spent his evenings glued to local news. If he recognized the surroundings of the 5 p.m. segment, he’d beg his mom to drive him to the location so he could watch the 6 p.m. shot in person. “They were like real celebrities to me, these local reporters.” He especially idolized Carmel Cafiero of WSVN Miami, “a legend” whose factual yet dramatic reporting inspired his own news mantra: “Make it not boring.” Other boys picked on him for not watching sports, quizzing him on last night’s game in front of everyone. “I don’t even think I knew I was gay. But somehow they must have picked up on it.”
In fourth or fifth grade, he enrolled in a new school where the students put on a TV program each morning. When Entin’s turn came, he invited his mom and dad to watch. He told them he’d made a lot of friends. But when he and his parents exited the school’s media center after he finished the announcements, everybody booed. It was bad enough that the administration made the kids write apology letters to Entin’s mom. She kept them all.
Years later, Entin went to the University of Missouri, which has one of the best journalism schools in the country. As junior year approached, Entin’s GPA wasn’t high enough to qualify for the program, so he settled on English and worked as a local news truck driver, making $5.15 an hour. He secured his first anchoring job while still in college. Having studied local news his entire life, Entin slipped seamlessly into the work of making it himself—though initially he struggled to be himself, trying instead to imitate Peter Jennings. “Old-school journalism: emotionless,” he put it to me. “Like, oh my God, I’m gonna sound so professional. You know?” That changed after Anderson Cooper’s 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
“There was this time where he would just go from disaster to disaster,” Entin recalled. “I just remember being really impressed and, like, wanting to be him, basically. He was showing what was going on and getting really upset about it.”
Known for taking risky assignments that seemed at odds with his privileged upbringing, Cooper had never covered a hurricane. But in Baton Rouge, he slid a condom over his microphone and dove right in, becoming famous for saying things like , “Excuse me, Senator, I’m sorry for interrupting—for the last four days I’ve been seeing dead bodies in the streets—to hear politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other… Literally, there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats.”
Cooper helped popularize a reporting persona that’s become standard: the emotive man. The New York Observer called him the “emo-anchor.” Unlike his predecessors, teleprompted voices of God, Cooper stuttered, rambled, even wept. A 2005 New York profile described his style as “Befuddled…Spooked…Rambling…Unhinged” and “flipped out”—attributes that have come to define the 24-hour news cycle. When Cooper was rising to fame, there were so few openly gay anchors Entin could look up to, including Cooper, who didn’t come out until 2012. But in the meantime he gave male reporters like Entin permission to be themselves, to use simple language and fill the space between sound bites with other statements of fact like, “It’s heartbreaking.”
From Missouri, Entin took a job as a local anchor in Savannah, Georgia, where he met his boyfriend of 10 years, Hunter. There, Entin was a one-man band, driving himself to crime scenes, setting up shots, and anchoring them himself, like the anchorman version of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins .
A few years later came one of the highlights of Entin’s career: Carmel Cafiero was retiring, and WSVN Miami wanted Entin to replace her.
In Miami, he covered a little bit of everything: hurricanes, car chases, alligators.
When I asked what kinds of things could only happen in Florida, Entin answered without hesitation, “The guy who ate the face off.”
If you’ve heard the story, you likely remember it: High on bath salts, one man attacked another and ate his face. I couldn’t remember what had happened to the victim. “Did that guy die?”
“I just remember it was under a bridge.”
“Isn’t Florida also where the lady’s pet chimpanzee…?”
Entin nodded. “Ate her face off.”
In 2020, Entin, who is Miami-based, went national, joining familiar network-news names like Chris Cuomo, Dan Abrams, and Banfield at NewsNation , a start-up channel. Like Entin and his hero, Cafiero, the network has a flare for the dramatic; it started as an entertainment station, playing reruns of Blue Bloods and In the Heat of the Night. Its parent company, Nexstar, owns 75 percent of The CW. In the fall of 2021, NewsNation launched a morning show, followed six months later by a prime-time block. The goal is a 24-hour network, like CNN or Fox News, for those who can no longer stand CNN or Fox News.
“I’ve been a devotee of CNN forever; it’s just sooo one-sided, just nonstop ‘Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.’ You just get tired of it, it’s just exhausting,” said one NewsNation viewer, calling in to Abrams’s show. “I got to watch CNN, and my Republican husband got to watch Fox. We never would share. We can both watch NewsNation.”
The gambit seems to be working. A representative from NewsNation says they’ll achieve the round-the-clock goal by late spring or early summer. In January, NewsNation’s ratings averaged 113,000 total viewers, its strongest month ever, up 217 percent from the previous year, ranking it number one in growth and 63rd among ad-supported cable networks.
For one of his first NewsNation stories, Entin covered a major cyberattack on a local school district. He teetered on a stool in the middle of a causeway so that his crew could capture a generic Miami skyline in the background.
Since then, Entin has covered a range of grisly stories. Missing children. Murdered children. National disasters. During Hurricane Ian, after he and Powell rescued a dog from a sailboat, a neighbor said, “Oh, that’s like the meanest dog ever; it tried to kill my dog,” but Entin cradled it in his arms anyway. While reporting on Petito, he helped launch Missing in America, a program that has drawn attention to 75 missing persons cases (and counting). According to NewsNation producer Paige Lobdell, 20 families have received some type of closure. “Usually it’s sad news.” But three different cases have ended with a loved one found safely.
Entin journeyed for work almost every week and spent 150 days a year in Marriott hotels, accruing enough points for a week with Hunter at the St. Regis in Aspen. But much like his hero, Cooper—who once said, “I still to this day feel like if I take a vacation, someone smarter and younger will take my place.… There’s never a point in your career that you reach that you think, I’m safe, I’m here”—Entin struggled to relax. He covered the Surfside condominium collapse for weeks before taking a break with Hunter and a few friends to unwind for the weekend.
“Be a normal human,” Entin tried to remind himself. “Chill the fuck out.” But while his friends sat around a fire, drinking and having fun, Entin ruminated on the building’s demolition. Then, feeling like a “buzzkill,” he took out his phone to watch it happen. As it crumbled on live television, Entin’s walls came down too; he started to cry—which was embarrassing, given the fire and the friends and the drinking, but that’s what always happened; whenever a story ended Entin felt this “weird release.”
For four days, Entin and I ate together, stood in the cold together, and sat squished together in the Daddy Wagon—and for that entire time, he remained genuinely upbeat and shockingly low-maintenance, finding joy in simple pleasures like eating a ball of mystery mush that might have been mashed potatoes or something else. (“I love it,” he said, still not knowing what it was. “It has a little spice.”) He never complained, not even when a waiter served him a salad topped with walnuts, to which Entin is allergic. (“I’m just picking around them.”) When he saw the dark hallways and bumpy rock walls in my hotel, which reminded me of a medieval torture movie, he pointed out the bright side: It looked tornado-proof. Only one thing seemed to make him nervous: me. On our first day together, he worried that I might be “doing, like, a bad article.” He met my gaze, wanting to make sure. “I can trust you, right?”
In Moscow, Entin shared turf with journalists from all over the world and took it in stride when bigger outfits bossed him around. He rolled with it when a photographer from Fox News kept calling NewsNation’s crew “the B-team,” telling them where to park and where not to set up their stuff. In lieu of an apology, the photographer would later confess that he was struggling to pass a kidney stone.
But Entin's crew was used to being treated like amateurs. “Everywhere we go we’re outnumbered,” Entin said.
Fox News, in particular, seemed to be everywhere all at once. It was almost like they were in the trees or dropping out of planes. They were getting interviews nobody else could, exclusives with the Moscow Police Department, for what seemed to me like political reasons.
At one point, a Fox News digital reporter crept up on Entin, saying, “I keep having to write up your stuff. I’m always aggregating it, which seems inappropriate ’cause I’m at Fox. We’re doing a little bit too many stories, I think.” Like others from her station, she seemed eager for Entin to know she’d lived in New York City. (Entin nodded politely. “Okay, cool.”) She acknowledged her network’s advantage over Entin’s, saying, “There’s just so many of us here.” Before leaving, she gestured at the house. “Everything’s been picked dry.”
On December 7, Entin went live on Twitter to discuss the Moscow Police Department’s announcement that they were searching for a white Hyundai Elantra. Questions from Entin’s followers peppered the screen as the livestream population ticked from 2,100 to 2,200 and upward. Entin read some of the queries out loud: “Do I have to sleep out here? No.” He tried to tamp down rumors, reminding his fans that the owners of the Elantra were not being called “suspects.” In response, people commented:
Omg i love how you say hyunday [laughing crying face] Sounds like you’re getting a cold Someone get brian hot coco please
Entin thought the Elantra update constituted a perfect task for hungry sleuths, an opportunity to “really help.… Now that that car’s been identified, it’s almost like they’ve got their mission, and here they go.” Entin hoped they’d take off running and find the car. Instead, they remained fixated on his sniffly nose, trying to solve the mystery of whether Entin had allergies or a virus.
“Sorry,” Entin said. He wasn’t wearing mittens and the cold was unbearable. “My hand is starting to hurt.” He signed off Twitter and shoved his hands in his pockets. “They get mad when I leave.” Entin’s gaze drifted to the overflowing dumpster across the street. It was the sort of thing he would have reported on when he was just starting out: City fails to deal with overflowing refuse.
When I asked how he’d shoot it, he clarified, “If there wasn’t a murder, you mean?”
Entin waved for me to follow him over to it. He anchored the pretend live shot with serious enthusiasm: “The trash is so high—let me stand next to the trash. Let me show you.”
He positioned his body next to the dumpster for scale. “If I stand here, it’s literally above my head. I’m five feet eight, and the trash is above my head.”
Dramatically, he concluded, “And if it wasn’t this cold, imagine what this would smell like .”
Even when the news is garbage, Entin is a star.
On December 29, a source alerted Entin that the Moscow PD would be holding an important press conference the next day. Entin felt like something big was about to “erupt.” The next morning, at 8:02 a.m., he received a Twitter DM from someone in Pennsylvania law enforcement, saying that a “Bryan Kohberger” was in custody in connection with the case. After some back and forth, Entin was able to confirm it.
At 8:26 a.m., Entin tweeted : “An arrest has been made in the Moscow, Idaho quadruple homicide I have learned.” Sixteen minutes later : “Arrest happened early this morning in Pennsylvania.” At 9:06 a.m.: “Arrest paperwork filed in Monroe County, Pennsylvania shows 28 year old Bryan Christopher Kohberger is being held for extradition in a homicide investigation in Moscow, Idaho. On my way to Pennsylvania now.” At 9:09 a.m., he tweeted Kohberger’s mug shot. By 11 a.m. he was on a plane. When Entin landed, the tip had made national news.
Later, stationed outside the Kohbergers’ gated community, Entin received another Twitter message from a woman claiming to be one of their neighbors. She offered to drive him through the gates. They met at a gas station, where Entin tucked aside his fear of being kidnapped, because she seemed like a “nice lady.” Entin got in the car. She dropped him outside the Kohberger house, which had been raided less than 24 hours before. Entin went live on Twitter. He knocked on the door, its pane busted out by police in the raid. Behind it came a muffled voice, demanding to know who Entin was. Entin introduced himself as a journalist. The voice told him to go away. He did.
Over the next few days, Entin barely slept, fueled by an adrenaline rush as he chased down rumors and reported on the ones that were true. Later he received a text message from Kaylee Goncalves’s family, thanking him for his news coverage. Maybe it was exhaustion, but the text brought tears to Entin’s eyes.
“It just feels so good to know they think I’ve done a good job and been respectful. It’s truly so fucking incredible and has me feeling really raw.”
Since Kohberger’s arrest, so-called “suspects,” like Jack Showalter, Jack DuCoeur (Goncalves’s ex-boyfriend), and Chapin’s fraternity brothers, have been exonerated by reality—though who knows what kind of psychological or professional toll this kind of experience exacts. One of the surviving roommates, Dylan Mortensen, however, continues to withstand a huge amount of abuse. Mortensen and the other surviving roommate, Bethany Funke—both named as victims in prosecutorial filings—were pilloried on social media, a friend of theirs told me, alleging that one self-appointed “detective” posted pictures of Mortensen and Funke every day, analyzing their “evil” expressions and accusing them of the crime.
Neuroscientists have found that when we interact with social media, it’s the anticipation of answers, not their existence, that stirs in us a need to keep clicking, scrolling, and posting—perhaps that’s why Kohberger’s arrest brings less closure to sleuths than one might anticipate.
In our internet-addicted brains, it seems productive to skip past endings and repost whatever fresh allegations we’ve just read, misguided by the myth that social media is a tool for social justice. In reality, studies show that screens lower our empathy , increasing the tendency toward cruelty, which can camouflage online as heroism.
In Justice on Demand: True Crime in the Digital Streaming Era, Dr. Tanya Horeck writes, “The notion that audiences can participate in true crime has, of course, always been a feature of the genre” because it offers a metaphorical seat in the jury box. What is different about today’s true crime audience, Horeck says, is their expectation that the genre literally be interactive—that “justice” is something that can be accessed through binge-watching.
There is something deeply human about fascination with crime. The central enigma of murder is death, a painful reality that comes for us all, and one that we instinctively fight throughout our lives, differentiating ourselves from victims like Mortensen and her housemates by judging their choices and hunting their killers, as if that protects us from random acts of violence.
But whatever we might learn at Bryan Kohberger’s trial, there can never be a tolerable explanation for what happened to Maddie Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. We want to believe in social media’s immense power to reverse or at least rectify injustices. The alternative is that we’ve bought into a massive conspiracy, surfing and shaming and buying, fooled by the idea that our addiction to screens is productive, virtuous. Never mind the destruction we leave in our wake.
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Circle of Screams is the newest attraction of the Circle Drive-in on the Scranton - Carbondale highway in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. The initial attraction, the Circle Drive-in Theater, build in 1945, is one of the longest running drive-in theaters in America. The Circle Drive-in Theater operates from the spring to September each year showing first run features suitable for all ages. Also at the Circle Drive-in is the Circle Flea Fair, the largest flea market and farmers market in Northeastern Pennsylvania offering hundreds of vendors every Sunday from March to November that includes fresh produce, antiques and collectibles, handmade arts and crafts, new and slightly used apparel, equipment, jewelry, and many, many more items! www.circledrivein.com
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