The Washington Post: A D.C. Dream Day with ‘true-crime royalty’ Jenn Tisdale


In D.C. Dream Day, our favorite people tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.

Jenn Tisdale was destined for a life of crime — or, at least, a life of obsessing about it. As a kid growing up in Crofton, Md., she watched endless hours of Court TV and “America’s Most Wanted.” She’s also a direct descendant of Henry Deringer, designer of the eponymous pistol most famously used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln. “Basically, I’m true-crime royalty,” she says. “I love being part of history but would obviously prefer a less violent involvement.” Tisdale, 39, met her destiny in 2018, when she scrawled the words “true crime festival” on a napkin during a meeting of event production company Brightest Young Things, where she worked in marketing at the time. Now, she directs the group’s Death Becomes Us True Crime Festival, which returns to D.C. in November for its third edition, with former murder suspect Amanda Knox headlining and live recordings of several true-crime podcasts. On her dream day, the Brookland resident would be hot on the trail of her favorite president and D.C.’s most famous murderer.

My dream day begins with me waking up with my dog, Lorraine Baines McFly. Her name is from my favorite movie, “Back to the Future.” I’d take her on a walk in Rock Creek Cemetery, which is right by my house. There’s this place in the center with a stone bench and statues, and it’s totally surrounded by trees. There are obelisks all over the place — which begs the question, is the Washington Monument a giant grave?
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