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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Long movie but absolutely worth the time!!

10/10
Author: pchic (pchic@earthlink.net) from Florida, USA
20 March 2004

This movie is 4 hours long, but is worth every minute of your time!! You will be glued to your seat. Realistic litigation and court room scenes and through detective work from the Defense. It really makes you think about just how people in power (the District Attorneys) that are close minded can literally ruin an innocent man's life through their arrogance. The accused man's Defense Attorneys are the kind that ALL attorneys SHOULD BE: caring and determined to get to the truth. Great movie, great script and great acting!! I recommend this movie to all. As mad and frustrated as you might get through out the movie, the end is Fantastic. It is really a shame that this is based on a TRUE story. I have seen this movie three times and each time is just as good as the first.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great story

10/10
Author: pam-sander from United States
26 October 2006

This was the last of the great miniseries. And I had the privilege of watching it with the author. A little stressful, but on the money as far as telling the story of that horrendous crime -- and how the local police department got their sites set on one person and used only the evidence that could back up what they wanted. This has happened over and over again in our justice system, and it is the reason why the death penalty should not be in effect. Too often, the ones on death row are those who either don't have the money for a good lawyer (Hennis' parents took out a second mortgage on their home to pay for his) or are in the tunnel vision of the local police department.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

unreal but in fact real

7/10
Author: MovieDirk from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10 January 2004

At first I thought this was yet another boring movie about a trial. The first part of the movie seemed very unrealistic, and I almost switched off my television. Despite the unrealistic nature of the story the acting was actually very good...and after a while I began to like this movie. It was actually more original than other courthouse movies. But what really amazed me was that the movie has actually been based on a true story! Now, I don't want to offend any person, but if what happens in this movie is really possible in the US, I can't have much faith in its justice system.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

realistic and well done on all counts

7/10
Author: (sacha_moggy@yahoo.com) from new york, n.y.
20 May 2003

this must be based on an actual murder and trial, as nothing in it is "pat" or convenient. All the parts, even small ones, are excellently acted.(just read in screen credits that it **is** based on actual transcripts, etc.) It shows how an innocent man can be charged with rape and murder , based on no hard evidence.Definitely makes you think.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Compelling drama based on a true story

7/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
21 August 2007

"Innocent Victims" is the story of what happens what the police decide on a suspect and set out to nail that particular suspect, becoming blind to any evidence that would raise doubt. For those who don't believe this can happen in the U.S., guess again - we just saw it in the Duke University case. Did the same thing happen in this case? It's up to you.

The young man here, Tim Hennis, is well played by a blond John Corbett as a man questioned and finally arrested for brutal murder of a woman and her two small children. He insists on his innocence, and his parents go to great lengths, including selling their home, and his father retiring early and getting only a partial pension, to help him prove it. When he is convicted and lands on Death Row, efforts are redoubled by his attorneys to get him a new trial and to find the real killer. This was a sensational case that resulted in a book and this TV movie.

One thing pointed up here is that the defendant agreed to be questioned by the police and submit to DNA testing without an attorney present. I think from seeing the film, people realize that it doesn't matter whether or not you are innocent of the crime, you should never, ever talk to the police without a lawyer, no matter what they tell you. They told this guy he wasn't a suspect and just wanted to talk to him. My sister works for the public defender. She says, don't fall for it. I know many people assume that if you bring a lawyer, you have nothing to hide, but that isn't true. A lawyer is there to protect your rights.

Hal Holbrook and Rue McClanahan are excellent as Tim's devoted parents, and Rick Shroeder does a terrific job as one of the lawyers trying to prove that Tim is not guilty. All of the acting is good. It's difficult for me to see lawyers depicted in such a positive light - I had a lawyer for something who did nothing and collected a fortune from me. Someone posted that they have a hard time believing this could happen in America; I have a hard time believing lawyers like this exist.

There is a fascinating update on this case if you go to google.com and put "Tim Hennis" "update" in the search box. The link was too long, and IMDb would not allow it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Cold Case

9/10
Author: pacieterra-1 from United States
26 November 2006

The actual events of this crime film are very well documented, and the actors, (Rick Schroeder, Rue McLenahan, Hal Holbrook,) are entirely believable in their characters. The miscarriage of justice that transpired,here, is only more horrifying when you realize that other "rush-to-judgment" convictions are still occurring. The fact that the final scenes and updates do not complete the story, leaves one unsatisfied, and wondering why more has not been pursued.Current forensic and technological advances, (as well as legal and courtroom proscriptions) might never have caused this case to advance as it did.This cold case should definitely be re-examined in light of today's knowledge.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I loved Innocent Victims

10/10
Author: csweetdee from United States
26 October 2006

Yes, the movie is long, but it leaves nothing out. This poor family went through torture, it's worth the time to watch it. If you really think about a trial like this it would take many years, so how could they possibly end this movie in just an hour and a half. It's very realistic. This man's parents sold their home and practically their life to prove his innocents. I don't want to give anything away. Just either rent the movie or buy it, and get some popcorn, some soda and sit back and relax and enjoy this movie. Evidently is very hard to get another trial once you're on death row. Between his parents and the lawyers they never gave up.

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Just Saw News Story on 20/20 in Which the Crime Was Finally Solved

Author: jerrilynnbthomas from United States
3 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Innocent victims was a sad story. Although the acting was great, the real life story is more interesting than the movie. They take so many liberties with telling the story that it doesn't seem real. It broke my heart when they said that the case was unsolved.

They need to do another movie to revisit the crime now that it has officially been solved. Can you believe that after being convicted the first time and then found not guilty in a second trial that the cops had it right all along? Tim was guilty!

Twenty-five years after the crime a cold case detective found the swab from the mother's rape kit and had it tested. It was Tim's semen. The army court-martialed him and found him guilty of murder in 2010. He is back on death row.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Never Ending Murder Case

8/10
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
1 July 2010

"Innocent Victims" is riveting in its dramatization of a real-life murder mystery that, through the years, has only deepened. In 1985, a young mother, whose last name was Eastburn, and two of her three young daughters were brutally attacked and killed by person or persons unknown. The murders occurred in the young woman's home near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A twenty-something soldier, named Tim Hennis was charged. The plot carries us from the point in time when the victims were found by a neighbor, all the way through the court trial of Hennis, and even further, when the case takes a bizarre twist.

The book on which the script is based does convey an unmistakable point of view. And that point of view may, or may not, be justifiable. Some of the court evidence and testimony may, or may not, be relevant. The only certainty about this case is its ambivalence, amplified by razor-sharp and profuse detail that comprise the film's three-hour runtime.

This is a TV-movie, and it shows. Plot breaks occur where TV commercials were inserted. Background music sounds canned and nondescript, suitable as elevator music. But the acting is generally credible. Tom Irwin gives a convincing performance as the senior lawyer for Hennis. John P. Connolly also adds credibility as a good-old-boy private investigator. The main problem here is the casting of baby-faced Rick Schroder as a too-youthful lawyer, who requires reading glasses. Cinematography is conventional and unobtrusive.

Most real-life murder cases are solved fairly easily. This one is altogether different. "Innocent Victims" is mesmerizing as a 1990s interpretation of a decade-old crime. Yet, the film carries even more dramatic weight because of its unforeseen irony.

In 2010, fourteen years after this film was shown, and 25 years after the crime, the case was re-opened. The new outcome is one that confounds and re-twists previous resolutions. The Eastburn murder case of 1985 seemingly is ongoing, unending.

Depending on how the current phase plays out, the 1985 crime may eventually rival The Black Dahlia murder case in ambiguity and lack of resolution. For viewers with an interest in true crime, "Innocent Victims" is a good place to begin a study of this most fascinating case.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

true stories channel ruined it

8/10
Author: maryr-1 from United States
27 January 2005

I was excited to watch this movie as I had never heard of this crime before and at the beginning of the movie, the person introducing the movie, told how it ended. I was floored and was mad. Could not enjoy the movie since I knew how it was going to end. It would have been great if I had not known how it was going to end. I thought the acting was superb and the evidence shown in the movie was so good and what I thought was accurate. I enjoyed the way the lawyers stayed on the case and fought for the defendant. Rue McClanahan was great in the movie as always. I think anyone would find this movie very fascinating to watch as it seems to be very factual and very full of information about the actual case. Mary

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