Displaying items by tag: True Crime TV

This Week In True Crime TV: 09/04/2022-09/10/2022

03 September, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2022:
How It Really Happened (HLN)
In the episode entitled "Kobe Bryant Fateful Flight: Red Flags," Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020, kills all nine people on board, including his daughter Gigi, and leaves the world searching for answers.

Mastermind Of Murder (Oxygen)
In the episode entitled " Dead Woman Walking," when a housefire in small town Mississippi claims the life of a beloved woman, local law enforcement suspects foul play. Investigators' search for the arsonist leads them a suspect close to home whose greed knows no bounds.

Snapped (Oxygen)
In the episode entitled "Rebecca Barker," a general store owner in Rusk, Texas, calls 911 and makes a harrowing confession. But as detectives dig deeper, they discover a disturbing pattern making them rethink the motivation behind the crime. 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2022:
Murders At The Burger Joint (Investigation Discovery)
Speedway, Indiana is a vibrant town in America's Heartland, famous for its fast food and fast cars. But in 1978, four teenagers working at the Burger Chef are abducted and driven 20 miles away where they are all brutally murdered. The deaths shock the community and baffle police because there is no physical evidence or, it seems at first, no witnesses. Was it a robbery gone wrong, a drug-related revenge kill, or something far darker? A dedicated group of friends, family, and law enforcement remain obsessed with solving this horrendous crime.

My True Crime Story (VH1)
In the episode entitled "Nacola Nickens," desperate to support her family, single mother of four Lacola Nickens turns to make money as a Dominatrix. Her lucrative new career inside of Washington's beltway leads her to take control of an identity theft scheme that is a far cry from whips and chains until the people she trusted became her downfall.

People Magazine Investigates (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Candy And Betty," when neighbors find a young teacher axed to death on Friday the 13th, a sleepy suburb fears a psychopath is loose. But the bloody crime scene leads police to a most unlikely suspect, unfolding a story people still have to see to believe 40 years late

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH, 2022:
Devil In Suburbia (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Under His Eye," Amina and Sarah Said long to live the life of a typical American teenager, much to the chagrin of their traditionalist father. When they push back against his rules, tensions simmer inside the family until coming to an explosive, tragic conclusion. 

Reasonable Doubt (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Bringing A Gun To A Fist Fight," in 2009, Joel Atkin makes a fateful wrong turn, sparking a petty argument that leaves one man dead and Atkin in Prison for murder. Joel's family believes it was self-defense and hopes Chris Anderson and Fatima Silva will join their fight to free him.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2022:
American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery/Discovery+)
In the episode "The Creek," a home health care aide's body floats in a rural Connecticut creek, and detective Garritt Kelly joins the investigation to bring justice to a community gripped by fear. But Kelly will need to employ burgeoning forensic technology to secure a conviction.

Court Cam (A&E)
An angry defendant starts a courtroom melee; a judge has an unusual punishment for a reckless driver; a grieving mom lashes out.

Court Night Live (A&E)
Brining live trials to the people as civil court cases from across the country are litigated from courtrooms in Chicago, Philadelphia and Tampa.

Dateline: Secrets Uncovered (Oxygen)
In the episode "Deadly Exposure," hundreds of Americans die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. According to police in Ohio, one of those deaths was no accident. If anyone knew how to use a deadly gas, it was their prime suspect.

Disappeared (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Vanished In The Night," on January 2, 2021, surveillance cameras record a young woman fighting with her friends outside a bar in Indianapolis, Indiana and two hours later, the cameras catch her walking by herself in a parking lot and disappearing into the night. Desperate for answers, Kirsten Brueggeman’s family shares her story and their plight to find her in the hopes that more people who know Kirsten’s story will be able to come forward with new information.  

In Pursuit With John Walsh (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Collateral Damage," John is in pursuit of suspect Jonathan Dorado, wanted for killing a woman and her unborn child in an act of misplaced gang revenge. Then, Cal hunts for Henry Houston, accused of conning a vulnerable woman and later killing her father in an altercation.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022:
60 Days In (A&E)

In the episode entitled "Say No To Drugs," the final participant enters the program while the others confront new challenges around drugs, COVID and intense inmates.

The First 48 (A&E)
In the episode entitled "Backslide," when a father of two is shot dead while driving, detectives retrace his steps to figure out who killed him.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2022:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2022:
American Justice (A&E)
In the episode entitled "Strangers Online," when a 13-year-old girl goes missing and is found murdered, virtual evidence she leaves behind leads to two shocking arrests.

Cold Case Files (A&E)

In the episode entitled "Death of A Hero?," a fire in January 2007 claims the life of WWII veteran Bennie Angelo. A closer look at the fire reveals Bennie was dead before the fire, bumping an arson case up to murder.

Cold Justice (Oxygen)
In the episode "Shot In The Dark," Kelly and Steve look into the 2007 murder of a single father who was gunned down by a sharpshooter with a high-powered rifle. State-of-the-art digital forensics may help poke a hole in the suspect's alibi.

911 Crisis Center (Oxygen)
In the episode entitled "Irish Moon," it's a double whammy at dispatch when St. Patrick's Day falls on a full moon. Charline takes matters into her own hands when she hears a couple screaming over an open line. The night shift tries to track down a man who reports he's been shot. And in the episode entitled "Momivisor," Abby navigates being a new mom and a new supervisor. As she oversees the room, her skills are tested when a welfare check spirals into a pursuit. When reports of a juvenile with gunshot wounds comes in, Abby faces a mother's worst nightmare. 







 




This Week In True Crime TV: 08/28/2022-09/03/2022

28 August, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

MONDAY, AUGUST 29TH, 2022:
My True Crime Story (VH1)
Host Remy Ma profiles ordinary people who commit scandalous criminal activities and ultimately find redemption.

Phrogging: Hider In My House (Lifetime)
In the episode "Who Left The Seat Up," a raised toilet seat alerts Kate Flory to an uninvited male visitor; a confrontation with the intruder sends Kate into the streets and Samuel Bryan finds blood and muddy footprints.

People Magazine Investigates (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "The Truth About Pam," in 2011, a husband returns home to find his wife dead on the living room floor. He tells first responders she committed suicide, but it was murder. Police zero in on the husband and what unfolds is one of the most outrageous tales in recent history.

The First 48 Presents Critical Minutes (Lifetime)
In the episode "Forensics Don't Lie," detectives rely on fingerprints to solve a father's carjacking and murder; a slain woman's family finds justice through DNA and ballistics is the key to solving a man shot during a street fight.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30TH, 2022:
Devil In Suburbia (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Under His Eye," Amina and Sarah Said long to live the life of a typical American teenager, much to the chagrin of their traditionalist father. When they push back against his rules, tensions simmer inside the family until coming to an explosive, tragic conclusion. 

Reasonable Doubt (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Bringing A Gun To A Fist Fight," in 2009, Joel Atkin makes a fateful wrong turn, sparking a petty argument that leaves one man dead and Atkin in Prison for murder. Joel's family believes it was self-defense and hopes Chris Anderson and Fatima Silva will join their fight to free him.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31ST, 2022:
American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery/Discovery+)
In the episode "The Creek," a home health care aide's body floats in a rural Connecticut creek, and detective Garritt Kelly joins the investigation to bring justice to a community gripped by fear. But Kelly will need to employ burgeoning forensic technology to secure a conviction.

Dateline: Secrets Uncovered (Oxygen)
In the episode "The Beauty And The Beast Mystery," when a young, fit woman died suddenly, her friends and family were told it was a freak accident in the gym. Equipment can malfunction, but so can relationships.

In Pursuit With John Walsh (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Collateral Damage," John is in pursuit of suspect Jonathan Dorado, wanted for killing a woman and her unborn child in an act of misplaced gang revenge. Then, Cal hunts for Henry Houston, accused of conning a vulnerable woman and later killing her father in an altercation.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2022:
House Of Hammer (Discovery+)
Debauchery. Deceit. Abuse. Addiction. Corruption. Over the course of generations, the men in the Hammer family have more secrets and scandals than any vault can contain. Armie Hammer's alleged crimes are only the tip of the iceberg. Through a trove of archives and interviews from survivors and family members, the dark and twisted secrets of the Hammer family come to light. Behind the money and power lies a dysfunctional dynasty with its male characters exhibiting all the devastating consequences of privilege gone wild.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2022:
Cold Justice (Oxygen)
In the episode "A Mother's Last Words," Kelly and Abbey investigate the brutal slaying of a pregnant woman who was able to call 911, but died before naming her killer. Eyewitnesses at a nearby bar could help crack the case, but they aren't willing to talk.







 




This Week In True Crime TV: 07/10/2022-07/16/2022

11 July, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, JULY 10TH, 2022:
American Monster (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Safe At Home," Doris Hoskins spends her adult life repeatedly looking for love, and it seems she’s finally hit the jackpot the fourth time around. However, something dark takes root behind closed doors, and her happy new life is about to spiral out of control.

Evil Lives Here (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "He Tied Me Up," when James Bergstrom’s wife, Linda, begins to suspect that his bondage fetish is becoming something more sinister, she can’t get anyone to believe her, but the more she learns about his behavior, the more she becomes determined to stop her husband.

TUESDAY, JULY 12TH, 2022:
Body Cam (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "The Fugitive," a stolen truck plows through farmers’ fields ending in shots fired. A suspect swims for his freedom hiding on a dense mangrove island to evade police. And following a high-speed pursuit, officers dive for cover as a car races through their crime scene. 

Dateline: The Last Day  (Peacock)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13TH, 2022:
American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery/Discovery+)
In the episode "The Creek," a home health care aide's body floats in a rural Connecticut creek, and detective Garritt Kelly joins the investigation to bring justice to a community gripped by fear. But Kelly will need to employ burgeoning forensic technology to secure a conviction.

THURSDAY, JULY 14TH, 2022:
Crimes Gone Viral (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Explosive Break-Ins," bold thieves invade a couple’s home three times in one week. The frightened couple doesn’t know who is targeting them or if the thieves will return. Later, it’s a recipe for disaster when a man lights up what appears to be a bomb at a gas station.







 




This Week In True Crime TV: 07/03/2022-07/09/2022

02 July, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, JULY 3RD, 2022:
Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins (Oxygen)
In the episode "Shattered Dream," an aspiring military officer disappears disappears suspiciously from her Virginia home. Two years later, her husband disappears.

The Real Murders Of Atlanta (Oxygen)
In the episode "Final Judgement," when a prominent Atlanta judge is shot dead in her upscale home, detectives must figure out if the killing was payback from any criminals she has put behind bars, or if someone close to her had a personal score to settle.

On The Case With Paula Zahn (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "A Needle In The Mud," a young mother vanishes, leaving behind nothing but puzzling clues and disturbing questions. Will a needle in the mud reveal the truth behind her disappearance?

MONDAY, JULY 4TH, 2022:
Homicide Hunter: Hot On The Trail (Investigation Discovery)
It's 4th of July, and an out-of-control car has just crashed in the parking lot of a convenience store. Emergency responders discover that the driver, 27-year-old Don Garcia, has been shot dead. After interviewing a rogue's gallery of potential eyewitnesses, Lt. Joe Kenda discovers the victim was fleeing a Fourth of July party after a brawl erupted over some rap lyrics. But when he asks them to identify the killer, many of Kenda's eyewitnesses purposefully try to mislead him. The case slows to a standstill, until Kenda unearths a peculiar clue that sets him hot on the heels of the killer.

TUESDAY, JULY 5TH, 2022:
Homicide Hunter: Hot On The Trail (Investigation Discovery)
An unhinged man fires gunshots in his neighborhood, sending detectives scrambling to find out why. Then an older man's stabbing death reveals the loss of his life savings, and Lt. Joe Kenda hopes the coroner can help him identify the culprit.

Homicide Hunter: Hot On The Trail (Investigation Discovery)
The shooting death of a loving husband and father confounds authorities. With few helpful witnesses and a lack of clues, the case stalls until the autopsy findings breathe new life into Lt. Joe Kenda's investigation

American Detective With Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Goodbye Horses," on Chincoteague Island, a beautiful young mother is murdered steps from a vacant summer home. Detective Danny Plott learns she was lured to her death by a mysterious phone call and soon realizes the killer has been hiding in plain sight.

American Detective With Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "What She Saw," a quiet Maryland town is shaken to its core when a local couple is savagely slain in their bedroom. Det. Joe Bellino wonders if the key to unlocking the mystery lies with the victim's disabled daughter, who bore witness to both murders.

Dateline: The Last Day  (Peacock)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH, 2022:
Homicide Hunter: Hot On The Trail (Investigation Discovery)
Teens stumble upon the nightmarish sight of a woman in flames. As they race to extinguish the fire, she mumbles about a man stabbing her. Now Det. Kenda must find that man. Next, the roommates of a strangled student seem blinded to the truth.

Girl In The Picture (Netflix)
In this documentary, a woman found dying by a road leaves behind a son, a man claiming to be her husband — and a mystery that unfolds like a nightmare.

The Murder Tapes (Investigation Discovery/Discovery+)
In the episode "Three Loud Booms," a young man is shot dead in his own garage in Maricopa, Arizona in what looks like a planned ambush. Police must look into a romance gone wrong to find his killer, as well as the child that the two may share.Will they reach her in time?

American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda (Investigation Discovery/Discovery+)
In the episode "Prodigal Son," a hardworking father of five lies dead on his kitchen floor with a bullet to the back of the head. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Det. James Colley must untangle a web of twisted relationships and bizarre fantasies.

THURSDAY, JULY 7TH, 2022:
Crimes Gone Viral (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Where Is He Hiding?," a traffic stop threatens to become deadly for a police officer when a mom goes to extreme lengths to protect her son. Later, a couple’s quiet night at home turns into terror. 







 




This Week In True Crime TV: 06/12/2022-06/18/2022

12 June, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH, 2022:
Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins (Oxygen)
In the episode "Shattered Dream," an aspiring military officer disappears disappears suspiciously from her Virginia home. Two years later, her husband disappears.

The Real Murders Of Atlanta (Oxygen)
In the episode "Final Judgement," when a prominent Atlanta judge is shot dead in her upscale home, detectives must figure out if the killing was payback from any criminals she has put behind bars, or if someone close to her had a personal score to settle.

On The Case With Paula Zahn (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "A Needle In The Mud," a young mother vanishes, leaving behind nothing but puzzling clues and disturbing questions. Will a needle in the mud reveal the truth behind her disappearance?

MONDAY, JUNE 13TH, 2022:
People Magazine Investigates (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Mother's Orders," Aa mother’s bond to her daughter is put to the ultimate test when one of them shoots a man dead. 

Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Blizzard of Blood," a single woman and her two young sons believe they found a perfect new apartment, but their overbearing landlord and neighbor soon turns their idyllic situation into a living hell of arguments and intimidation that ultimately ends in bloodshed. 

TUESDAY, JUNE 14TH, 2022:
Body Cam (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "The Sting," an information leads undercover FBI officers to a plot to murder lawmakers. A Florida man throws himself into alligator-infested waters to evade arrest, and in Phoenix, fire threatens to consume a driver trapped in a wrecked car. 

I Went Undercover (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "No Turning Back," a love triangle ends in murder, but when secret tapes emerge, a tale of friendship, love and betrayal engulfs a small town and leaves everyone wondering just what happened, and why. 

Dateline: The Last Day Series Premiere (Peacock)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH, 2022:
See No Evil (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Final Offer," single mom Laura Ackerson leaves for work one morning and never returns. With no leads, police turn to surveillance cameras to locate her. But the more footage they uncover, the more sinister the case becomes. Can they find Laura before it’s too late?

Web Of Make Believe: Death, Lies, & The Internet (Netflix)

THURSDAY, JUNE 16TH, 2022:
Crimes Gone Viral (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "I'll Stop Him," a man risks his own life to record a crime in progress and follow the criminals until police arrive. Then, a woman turns her own boyfriend into police when she realizes an innocent man has been charged with a crime he didn’t commit.

Devil In The Web (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Dangerous Game," fourteen-year-old Aubrey Peal uses an app to find others interested in gaming. He strikes up an online friendship with a man named Jason, who claims he is suicidal. Concerned, Aubrey agrees to meet Jason, not realizing his evil intentions. 






 




This Week In True Crime TV: 06/05/2022-06/11/2022

04 June, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, JUNE 5TH, 2022:
Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins (Oxygen)
In the episode "Shattered Dream," an aspiring military officer disappears disappears suspiciously from her Virginia home. Two years later, her husband disappears.

The Real Murders Of Atlanta (Oxygen)
In the episode "Final Judgement," when a prominent Atlanta judge is shot dead in her upscale home, detectives must figure out if the killing was payback from any criminals she has put behind bars, or if someone close to her had a personal score to settle.

MONDAY, JUNE 6TH, 2022:
People Magazine Investigates (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Groene Family Massacre," A savage killer goes on a homicidal rampage and then abducts two young siblings from their home in the middle of the night. But the children quickly decide they will do whatever is necessary to survive.

Murder In The Heartland (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Murder Is Unpleasant," a roommate reports 22-year old Liz Syperda missing, shocking the community of Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Some wonder if Liz merely left town without telling anyone, but family and friends know something far more disastrous occurred. 

TUESDAY, JUNE 7TH, 2022:
Murder Under The Friday Night Lights (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Mr. Untoucheable," a cold-blooded murder takes the life of local football hero TK Kelly. The high school standout had carried the dreams of his small California city on his shoulders, but for someone close to TK, jealousy of the star was motivation enough to kill. 

Body Cam (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Red Alert," police race to an armed robbery and face a hail of shotgun pellets. A gas explosion lifts a roof off an apartment building, engulfing officers in a fireball. In Georgia, a man fights for his life in a wrecked SUV. 

I Went Undercover (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Family Business," two old friends commiserate about their exes on social media, joking around about hiring a hitman. However, the joke turns deadly when an actual murder plot begins to formulate, leading to a secret conversation that reveals the hidden truth.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8TH, 2022:
See No Evil (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Shaken & Disturbed," In Alexandria, Virginia, Nancy Dunning, Ronald Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato are all fatally shot in broad daylight by a gunman knocking at the front door. Can detective use security footage to track down a demented killer before they strike again?

THURSDAY, JUNE 9TH, 2022:
Reptile Cult (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "The Watcher And The Horseman," Online cult leader Sherry Shriner reaches her followers through YouTube videos and keeps them in line via her Facebook page. When a group member dies in a tragic shooting, attention turns to Sherry and the control she wields over her followers. 

Crimes Gone Viral (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Brazen Bandits," thieves forget that most businesses keep security cameras rolling. In Texas, a band of robbers is dubbed “the inchworm bandits” when cameras catch them crawling across floors. In New York, a dognapper looks straight into the lens. 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, 2022:
Profiled: A Black Man (Discovery+)
Features historical footage, real-life testimony, and commentary that demonstrate the difficulties Black men have faced, while also highlighting the triumphs and resilience of countless extraordinary men.





 




This Week In True Crime TV: 02/06/2022-02/12/2022

06 February, 2022

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH, 2022:
Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins (Oxygen)
In the episode "Shattered Dream," an aspiring military officer disappears disappears suspiciously from her Virginia home. Two years later, her husband disappears.

The Real Murders Of Atlanta (Oxygen)
In the episode "Final Judgement," when a prominent Atlanta judge is shot dead in her upscale home, detectives must figure out if the killing was payback from any criminals she has put behind bars, or if someone close to her had a personal score to settle.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, 2022:
Crimes Gone Viral (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Clueless Robbers," thieves think they're smart but get foiled by their clueless actions. A band of robbers holding up a gas station forgets that the clerk has control of the doors. Another thief doesn't realize that the customer behind him is a policeman.

Prisoner Of Love (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "From Cell To Celibate," things heat up between Chelsea and soon-to-be-released inmate Michael. Isa isn’t sure she can trust Devin after his repeated requests for money, and newly-free Bryce feels the tension between his family and his fiance Aluntra. 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH, 2022:
Murder Under The Friday Night Lights (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Mr. Untoucheable," a cold-blooded murder takes the life of local football hero TK Kelly. The high school standout had carried the dreams of his small California city on his shoulders, but for someone close to TK, jealousy of the star was motivation enough to kill. 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH, 2022:
American Detective (Discovery+)
In the episode "Radio Silence," the body of a promising young radio host turns up on the side of the road in south Houston. When Detective Brian Harris arrives to determine who wanted the second-generation immigrant dead, he uncovers a tragic tale of love and deceit. 

Catching Killers Season Two (Netflix)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH, 2022:
Secrets, Lies And Private Eyes (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "The Watcher And The Horseman," Alex and Jon pursue an alleged stalker for bar manager Lauren as a shocking discovery leaves her feeling vulnerable. Meanwhile, Renee and Amy are in rural Tennessee to find missing mom Rachel and make chilling revelations about someone close to home. And then in the episode "The Secret And The Missing," Renee and Amy battle rumors and speculations around Rachel’s disappearance in Paris, TN, but a disturbance in a nearby cornfield leaves them wondering what lies beneath. Meanwhile, Heather plays cat and mouse with a wanted fugitive who is due back in jail. 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, 2022:
Profiled: A Black Man (Discovery+)
Features historical footage, real-life testimony, and commentary that demonstrate the difficulties Black men have faced, while also highlighting the triumphs and resilience of countless extraordinary men.





 




Can True Crime TV Help With America's Cold Case Problem?

22 February, 2021

There are a few familiar sub-genres staples of true crime television. The well-known stories that always bring in a viewing audience, such as Jon Benet Ramsey or the Zodiac Killer. Then there are the cases that feature less-familiar criminals, but ones involving a case so complex it merits a two or three-episode telling (The Chameleon Killer or The Widower). The biggest group are the one-hour recreations of some crime - typically a murder - which can be told and wrapped up in an hour-long episode.

One area that hasn't received much coverage are murder cold cases. Which is unfortunate, since this is a topic which seems like a perfect fit for the true crime television audience. I don't mean a "let's find this fugitive" series like America's Most Wanted. I'm specifically talking about cases that are legitimately unsolved and unlikely to be solved unless some outside force intervenes.

How massive is the cold case problem is America? This piece in the Texas Observer paints a pretty grim picture of the issue:

And all those previously undetected homicides had become part of a larger national problem: a backlog of more than 250,000 unsolved murder cases, a number that increases by about 6,000, nationwide each year. 

This enormous backlog represents what the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) called a “cold case crisis” in a June report. As more and more homicide cases go unsolved, the backlog grows, allowing an estimated 2,000 serial killers nationwide to remain free to kill again. Too few police departments are effectively deploying their resources to stop them.

And then there are the murders that are never solved because the homicide detectives for whatever reason don't expend much effort on the investigation:

Her son, Scott MacPhee, came to his mother’s house to meet Plano police officers that day. He was mystified by what he observed: “It was cold that day, but her coat had disappeared. And two valuable rings she always wore were missing.” He challenged a Plano detective about the missing items, but the response was, according to him, “Old people hide their stuff.” There was blood in the bathroom, in the garage, near her body, and even on her glasses. And yet his mother had no obvious wounds. Officers collected no samples of the blood. Nor did they take photos or videos, he said. No autopsy was ordered by Collin County officials. 

The death investigation seemed like a whirlwind, Scott said: “We found her, the cops show up, the paramedics show up, the CSI department shows up, and they rope things off, they do all their investigation, and the detective says she died of natural causes."


A few years back, TNT briefly had a murder cold case series, but it was built around a team of investigators that tried to solve a specific case. Aside from the fact that it was cumbersome TV format, it was also an expensive approach that only allowed the show to focus on a handful of cases throughout the season.

What I would like to see is a straight-forward murder cold case series. Each episode focuses on one or two cold cases. A basic outline of the facts, some interviews with police, family and friends. And then a highlighting of the type of information that would might lead to a break in the long-cold murder case.

Even better, since the online amateur crime sleuth community is already so active, channel that community and bring them into the show. Give people an opportunity to suggest cases. Build a platform that allows people to interact with the show and each other as they uncover facts. Use the reach of television to engage an already engaged audience and build a new sub-genre of true crime television from scratch.

Have a thought about this piece? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow me on Twitter at @aysrick




This Week In True Crime TV: 02/21/2021-02/27/2021

21 February, 2021

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST, 2021:
Evil Lives Here (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "He Still Haunts Me," an extended interview with Gwen Bailey, who married Norman Starnes. She discovered she never really knew him at all and in fact she was his unwilling accomplice.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND, 2021:
Murder In The Middle (Investigation Discovery)
A popular college student is found murdered on the kitchen floor of her family's home in a small Southern town.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD, 2021:
48 Hours On ID (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Crosley Green's Hard Time," Crosley Green is convicted of killing a 22-year-old Florida man in 1980 despite no physical evidence tying him the case. A federal judge overturns his conviction in 2018, Yet Green remains in prison as of 2020.

The List Of Ten (Discovery+)
In 2010, a probation officer conducts a routine check on 76-year-old Joseph Naso, in Reno, Nevada. During a search of Naso’s home for probation violations, the officer finds a shocking cache of materials: thousands of pictures of women in hosiery, mannequins dressed in lingerie, and a journal recounting dozens of sexual assaults. But the most important piece of evidence found is Naso’s “List of Ten,” a handwritten list with ten cryptic entries of vague locations, but no names or dates. Investigators fear that they have stumbled upon a hidden serial killer and his list of victims completely by chance. Working against time, investigators have one year to decode the list before Naso goes free.

Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (Netflix)
A woman walks into a New York gallery with a cache of unknown masterworks. Thus begins a story of art world greed, willfulness and a high-stakes con.  

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH, 2021:
The Truth In The Casket (Investigation Discovery)
Something is revealed at a funeral.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH, 2021:
Field Of Nightmares (Investigation Discovery)
The execution-style murder of a beloved maternity ward nurse in a cornfield shakes up a small Indiana town.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH, 2021:
Fear The Neighbor (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode entitled "Hell In Hawaii," a handyman, living rent-free in the home of a generous friend, grows increasingly paranoid about his neighbors. He films them constantly and rights with them incessantly until the conflict escalates out of control and culminates in explosive violence.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 2021:
Beyond the Headlines: Surviving Child Abduction And Imprisonment (Lifetime)



 




This Week In True Crime TV: 02/07/2021-02/13/2021

08 February, 2021

Here is a rundown of all the new true crime television premiering this week:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, 2021:
Murder After The Big Game (Investigation Discovery)
A 21-year-old beauty pageant queen disappears after attending a Super Bowl watch party.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH, 2021:
The Hiding Place (Investigation Discovery)
When 24-yesar-old Catherine's boyfriend takes her and her own family hostage in their own home, her quick-thinking mother hides her in a desperate attempt to save her and everyone else's lives.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH, 2021:
48 Hours On ID (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "The Trial Of Mary Katherine Higdon," David Bernaud reports on what happened the night Mary Katherine Higdon shot and killed her high school sweetheart, Steve Freeman. The investigation revealed a toxic relationship with allegations of abuse and raised questions about what went wrong.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH, 2021:
The Millionaire's Mistress (Investigation Discovery)
When 41-year-old Lance Herndon is found brutally murdered, no one knows what to think. To everyone around him, he appeared to be living the American dream.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH, 2021:
Fear Thy Roommate (Investigation Discovery)
In the episode "Panic Room," two old friends reconnect when they end up renting a house together from an absentee landlord. But familiarity quickly turns to frustration, and an abusive relationship escalates to a violent death.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26TH, 2020:
An Affair To Die For (Investigation Discovery)
A forbidden affair between a young female soldier and her married commanding officer reaches a boiling point after they are deployed to Iraq.

Exes And Alibis (Investigation Discovery)
When a woman and her boyfriend are found dead in his Houston apartment, a laundry list of suspects must be eliminated before this crime can be solved.

A Toxic Valentine (Investigation Discovery)
A mother-daughter duo with questionable taste in mind find themselves locked in a deadly game of love and war.


 




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