I remember grinning ear to ear. This was all the validation I needed. Nancy Grace did her wild song and dance against Scott Peterson or Casey Anthony or any of the other poor people she had set her sights upon. Furious in her unproven certainty, she simply would throw out ridiculous claims. Logic or evidence were not required. I don't know what she used to get her "facts" - gut instinct, woman's intuition, coded crossword messages written by the aliens of Planet Zeta-9? It did not matter. She was abuse and rail against whatever creature she had in your paws. She delighted in destroying people.
And the legal system shuddered before this woman and her army of self-righteous fans. She had reinvented the media circus. Grace stared boldly through the television set, triumphantly screaming whatever whim came into her mind. People listened and nodded slowly in agreement. If I ever needed proof that American society was rotten from top to bottom, I could not have asked for more. Nancy Grace is on television, and she is allowed - nay, encouraged - to profit off of tragedy. We love her because she tortures people both innocent and guilty for everybody's amusement. You don't need to be without sin to throw the first stone anymore, you just need a Southern accent and a worldwide audience.
"Gone Girl", both in book and film form, is an examination on the effect Nancy Grace and her kind have on real people. The hero of this story is the typical "bad guy" in the narrative that Grace uses so often to sell her moralizing diatribes to her legions of hungry fans. This is the usual story of a rich White woman, Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappearing without a trace. Slowly everybody begins to suspect her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck) as the killer. And all the ersatz Nancy Grace in the movie needs to call him a killer is a single selfie taken by a random woman, and a misplaced smile at a press conference. Forget the actual truth or the real people involved, the Lifetime Original Movie template has very specific tropes. Everybody has to play their part.