The Murder of Laci Peterson (A&E)

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The Murder of Laci Peterson (A&E) – Premieres 15th August

Crime documentary that looks into the case of Laci Peterson who went missing on Christmas Eve 2002, and which led to her husband Scott getting found guilty of her murder and given the death sentance where he is still currently on death row.

The programme begins with showing the known timeline of the day that Laci was last seen, then begins to delve into what happened after Laci was reported missing. And the show interviews family members, police officers involved and reporters that followed the case. From there it begins to show that the news coverage began to warp the public opinion of those involved, and that the police may have not done the most thorough of jobs in finding out what happened.

As a crime documentary it has more in common with Making A Murderer and The Keepers, as in how it introduces the crime and how the investigation played out. It’s a solid opening episode.

6.3/10

Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network)

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Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network) – Premieres 9th August

Two years after the unsolved mass killing outside of a Job Fair, the recently retired detective Bill Hodges is settling into the lifestyle of alcoholism and depression. All the while scaring the local kids playing hockey and resisting the advances of the widow living next door.

This is all brought to a head when Bill receives an email that’s from the murderer taunting his current state and challenging him to finished the job he started and to catch him. This leads Bill into start looking into the case where he finds that the killer has left additional videos taunting him over the internet,  showing off that he has been recently surveilling him.

It’s a slow burning opener but covers Bills backstory as well as revealing the unique lifestyle choices of the killer without getting bogged down. It’s a nicely watchable start.

7.1/10

The Sinner (USA)

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The Sinner (USA) – Premieres 2nd August

A mystery thriller centered on Cora, a married mother of one, who during a family trip to the beach performs an unprovoked attack where she stabs and kills a fellow beach goer.

As Cora instantly pleads guilty to what she did, the detective working on the case is perturbed that there’s no motive behind the attack. So as he begins to look into what happened he starts to find that what happened has more links to Coras past than what was originally thought.

The show is a slow burner, but drip feeds enough to keep the story going without ruining the mystery of it all. It’s a decent bit of viewing.

6.6/10

Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery)

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Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery) – Premieres 1st August

Drama based on the FBIs hunt and capture of the Unabomber in the mid-90s, where it follows freshly graduated criminal profiler Jim Fitzgerald who is recruited by the task force to produce the definitive profile of the Unabomber to help with his capture.

After a spate of bombings after a 6 year break, the FBI team are no nearer in finding who is behind them and Fitzgerald discovers that the current profile they are working from is almost incorrect in every aspect. After creating a new report the team leaders instantly disregard the insights until Fitzgerald is proved correct as the Unabomber releases his manifesto.

The show splits between the FBI hunt, and fast forwards a couple of years to just before the trial, where the Unabomber requests a meeting with Fitzgerald who has since lived a reclusive life since solving the case.

For an opening episode it sets everything up nicely, and is well worth a watch.

6.7/10

Gone: The Forgotten Women Of Ohio (Spike)

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Gone: The Forgotten Women Of Ohio (Spike) – Premieres 22nd July

Documentary from Joe Berlinger, the director of Paradise Lost, where he looks into the unsolved case where a six women had mysteriously disappeared in the town of Chillicothe Ohio, and four had been discovered murdered.

Berlinger talks to the victims families, the police officers that worked on the case and looks at how the heroin epidemic in the town links all the women involved. As he delves into the case Berlinger gets a team together to look into the evidence to see if they can uncover exactly what happened.

The documentary has similarities to The Killing Season, with the basis of it being on the unexplained murder of women but this is more in depth. It well worth a watch.

6.4/10

The Jury Speaks (Oxygen)

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The Jury Speaks (Oxygen) – Premieres 22nd July

A miniseries that looks into recent high profile US court cases where the celebrity defendants were found not guilty, by talking to the people that were on the jury. In it the show recounts the case, going though how the evidence was presented, how the defence made their case and the social furore surrounding the trial.

As it goes through those aspects, the members of the jury are interviewed and they tell how everything that the witnessed influence their decision. Along with taking into account the presentation of the evidence, and the statements of the witnesses and police, the jury also explain how the behind the scene aspects of them being holed up together in a hotel room for months possibly influenced their verdict.

At the end of the show the jurors who appeared on the programme are asked if they would change their decision considering everything they now know about the case.

While it doesn’t really cover anything new in the recounting of the cases shown, it’s interesting to see how the jury interpreted everything. If you like the real life crime genre it’s a decent enough watch.

3.9/10

Dateline: Secrets Uncovered (Oxygen)

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Dateline: Secrets Uncovered (Oxygen) – Premieres 21st July

Recounting a real life crime story, this show goes to the people accused, their families, and officers and forensic staff that worked the case to get their accounts of what really went on.

Along with the interviews they also show news footage of the case to link everything together as well as explaining how the case developed over time. For a real crime show it does the job.

2.6/10