The pious John List regularly goes to church and is respected by his neighbours. But one day the police find his wife Helen and their three children slain in their house - obviously by John, who left two letters for the police and his priest and disappeared. Chief Richland is disgusted by the murders and starts an intensive investigation. In flashbacks we learn about the history of the disaster. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Before the murders, List wrote a letter to his children's schools saying the family would be out of town for a few weeks to care for a sick relative. The police were called when neighbors noticed the lights in the house going off one by one. Because it was not known if List's elderly mother was with the family, the police gained entrance to the home and discovered the bodies. Police also found a 5-page handwritten letter written by List and addressed to his pastor. In this letter List made a full confession. See more »
[Saying grace with her husband and his authoritative mother]
The recipe may not be yours, but the food is.
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John List was a devout Lutheran who lived with his wife, mother and three children. He grew up as an only child with strict German parents, he had an overly protective and domineering mother (sort of like Norman Bates). List had a masters degree in accounting, but lacked social skills and had a history of losing jobs. People who knew him describe him as an odd and reclusive man who had few friends. He was such a tight ass he would wear a shirt and tie to mow the lawn. One day he snapped and murdered his entire family and got away with it for almost twenty years until America's Most Wanted captured him. That is the story in a nutshell and this film is a good depiction of it. Blake plays List as a milquetoast with rage underneath. this was his first acting in eight years and he won an Emmy nomination for his performance. List claimed that he killed his family because he was worried his daughter wanted to be an actress a job he considered sinful and his wife was sick. Bull@#$%! List was in financial trouble and just wanted to get out and start a new life, that is why he killed his family. His lawyer tried to use this excuse at his trial, but thats all it was. He killed his family to just get rid of them thats all. They featured List's story on a tv show I like called Forensic Files recently and it was just as riveting as this film. Theres one man I would like to take my hat off too. He is a Forensic sculptor named Frank Bender. He created a bust of what List would look like twenty years later and it led to his capture when they showed it on tv. He went over pictures of List and even consulted a forensic psychologist to create a psychological profile of the killer. He even correctly predicted what kind of glasses List would wear twenty years later, a pair with dark frames to hide the fact he was a failure. It led to this killer's capture. List was sentenced to life in prison and to this day has shown no remorse for his terrible crimes. I just cannot believe a human being could be so cold-hearted to murder his wife, mother and three children. I saw this film again on Court TV and it was even more chilling giving the recent circumstances surrounding Robert Blake. I think he killed his wife, and I even wonder if he got the idea from making this film!
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