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3/10
Las Vegas Serial Killer
3 January 2019
This had the makings of a half-decent film, or it would have if it had had a half-decent script, or any script at all. A serial killer is parolled after a mere six years because although he has been convicted of one murder, the shrinks don't believe his confessions to the others. You know what's gonna happen now: he heads straight to Las Vegas, and the body count mounts. Two other criminals are headed to Las Vegas as well, but they are small potatoes, mugging women and occasionally men, then driving off with their victims' cash and cards.

The paths of the killer and the professional criminals cross; he strangles a woman they have left locked in the trunk of a car, so now they come under suspicion. Later, their paths cross again. What more do you need to know?

Did this lowlife really utter "Die garbage" every time he strangled an innocent woman? The soundtrack and the ending save this ultra-low budget effort from being a total turkey, but it really is sad more effort wasn't put into it.
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The Hallow (2015)
8/10
The Hallow
3 January 2019
Whatever you were expecting from this film, you were wrong. Adam and his good lady go down to the woods in a remote area of the Emerald Isle. He has a professional interest in the trees, and they have a young baby. And a dog. The locals, one in particular, are distinctly unfriendly, and Adam is warned to leave on account of The Hallow, prehistoric creatures who don't take kindly to English interlopers, or local ones for that matter. What do you think would be the reaction of a scientist to that kind of warning? Precisely.

Although this film begins atmospherically, we are soon left in no doubt that The Hallow are very real, and just as soon Adam realises he should have upped and left with his family while he had the chance. There follows a night of utter terror, not least because the baby is kidnapped, and only retrieved with some difficulty by the lady of the house. Or is it really their baby? Gripping stuff, but don't watch it if you like unambiguously happy endings.
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Sorceress (1982)
4/10
Sorceress
3 January 2019
At first glance this is a fantasy film for kids, but the murderous raid near the beginning followed by gratuitous nudity soon disavows the viewer of that notion. Let's just say it's a film for kids of all ages who are old enough to consent to you know what. The plot has a bad guy, a couple of good guys - one of them a bit of an idiot - and two good girls. No, not good in the sense of well-behaved. They are played by real life twins Leigh and Lynette Harris, who are not averse to taking off their clothes in other films either.

Where were we? Yeah, there is plot, of sorts, but if "Sorceress" scores for anything it is for special effects. Sadly, there could have been more. One should also wonder how it got its title since the sorcery is done by the bad guy, who happens to be their father, but not the doting Dad kind since he wants to kill the firstborn in order to complete some kind of bizarre magic ritual that will magnify his already considerable power. How sad is that? Or maybe it's just plain wicked.
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Misused Trust (2017)
2/10
Misused Trust
3 January 2019
On the face of it, this shortish film is a serious drama about the obscene practice of the sexual grooming of young girls. In reality it is further proof as if it were needed that not all bigots have white skins.

The wider UK public was made aware of the grooming scandal in January 2011 when following the heavy sentences handed out to Mohammed Liaquat and Abid Saddique, former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw stated publicly that there were certain men of "Pakistani heritage" who regarded young white girls has easy meat. This brought the predictable response of racism, racism, racism, but Straw was 100% right. Later commentators including the martyred idiot Tommy Robinson have claimed almost to a man that the grooming gangs, which appeared to encompass the length and breadth of England, was really a religious problem, falsely identifying most of the perpetrators as Moslems. In fact most of these so-called Moslems would be more likely to make a pilgrimage to Mecca Bookmakers than Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

There was though undoubtedly a massive cover-up which allowed this horror to continue, although thankfully the authorities appear albeit belatedly to have got to grips with it, and there are now dozens of these parasites behind bars serving lengthy prison sentences. One group who were not part of this cover-up were Britain's Sikhs, who have been combatting the grooming of Sikh girls by organised gangs since before the scandal broke.

That being said, the religious bigotry behind this film is a little too obvious - the Moslem passing himself off as a Sikh, for one thing. The damsel is also older than the girls who were gang-raped by the grooming gangs, possibly because of the problems casting a younger girl would have caused. Indeed, she has just left for university where her faux Sikh boyfriend drugs her so his mates can have their way with her and film it in the process. She gets hooked or is gotten hooked on cocaine, but help is on its way in the form of Sikh Youth UK. All very touching.

If you are a film buff and you think "Misused Trust" reminds you of something you've seen before, you could be right: it is the 1940 propaganda film "Jud Süss".
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2/10
Lady Frankenstein
16 December 2018
Oh boy, who came up with this turkey? Baron Frankenstein appears to be living in some kind of internal exile having become the laughing stock of his university on account of his claiming to be able to reanimate the dead. Animals in the first instance, although he has by now gone much further, and has been paying a notorious bodysnatcher to bring him corpses on which to experiment.

At this point, his daughter arrives having just graduated. She is intent on following in her father's footsteps, but he isn't too keen on that happening, especially as he is near to his goal, and has arranged for the corpse of a freshly executed felon to be delivered. And this is where it all goes wrong, the reanimated corpse murders him then goes on a rampage, somehow eluding capture, even though it is seven feet tall.

Barely has the Baron's daughter finished weeping over Daddy - all two seconds of it - than she enters his laboratory with his faithful assistant. Alas, the lady may be a stunner, but she is totally wanton and ruthless. What follows is rather predictable, right down to the fitting ending when her love interest sees her in her true colours.
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American Justice: Who Killed Hannah Hill? (2003)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
Who Killed Hannah Hill?
16 December 2018
When the body of teenager Hannah Hill of Akron, Ohio was found naked from the waist down, stuffed in the trunk of her car, the obvious immediate suspect was her boyfriend, who - although not in this documentary - would later admit to physically abusing her. Police interest in Brad O'Born soon faded, apparently because he passed a polygraph. The second suspect was far stronger, and when the police raided his home, they found a lot of evidence. Perhaps too much evidence.

We hear from three jurors herein, and one of them raises the plausible claim that a package containing unmentionable material was dumped outside in his garden by a police officer. Perish the thought.

Leaving that aside, Denny Ross was indicted for capital murder because he'd had sex with the victim too, and it was claimed she was raped. This appears doubtful in view of developments after this documentary was screened. Ross did not take the stand, something that is far from unusual in America courtrooms, although an innocent man should surely always take the stand barring exceptional circumstances. What was unusual though was that the defense elected not to call a single witness. The jury cleared Ross of capital murder, obviously convinced the sex was consensual, but while it was still deliberating, Judge Bond called a halt for technical reasons. Curiously, she had earlier directed the jury could find Ross guilty of manslaughter.

This is where "Who Killed Hannah Hill?" ends in 2003 with the pronouncement that Ross will be forever a free man because to retry him would constitute double jeopardy. What happened next was unthinkable. In 2004, he raped a woman and nearly beat her to death. This earned him a 25 year sentence while the prosecution appealed Judge Bond's decision in the murder trial all the way to the Supreme Court of Ohio. As a result, Ross was tried again in connection with the death of Hannah Hill: murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse.

At this trial, a former girlfriend testified that Ross liked to choke her unconscious in bed, which is almost certainly what happened to Hannah Hill; either he choked her and killed her accidentally during consensual sex or murdered her first then did the unthinkable. The former seems much more likely.

After rejecting a plea deal, Ross was retried in 2012. The jury took a long time to deliberate, but they returned guilty verdicts on all counts on the 73rd birthday of Hannah Hill's father.
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7/10
The Vienna Strangler
16 December 2018
This is the slightly unusual story of a slightly unusual serial killer. In 1974, the young Jack Unterweger murdered a teenager for no apparent reason, strangling her to death with her own bra. Convicted in 1976, he was given a life sentence but released in 1990 by which time he had become something of a celebrity and a shining example of a rehabilitated ex-con.

A drug dealer, a burglar, or even a man who kills in pursuit of material gain can surely be rehabilitated, but one who kills for no rational reason? Yeah, it was a tall order. Unterweger was soon up to his old tricks with compound interest and then some.

He is said here to be Austria's first serial killer. Really? Wasn't a certain Mr Hitler born in Austria? And to have been the first serial killer to publish a book. Again, didn't Hitler publish a book in 1923? There have in fact been a number of Austrian serial killers, but there is no need to belabour the point, although Unterweger is certainly the first one to have committed murders in California as well as Austria.

Although with the exception of the first, all his victims were prostitutes, there is no mention of his mother being one, a rather obvious motive they should have happened on because a certain Mr Freud was also an Austrian citizen. Sigh.

You won't learn much from this documentary, but most of the contributors speak reasonably fluent English, including the American detective.
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The F.B.I. Files: The Search for Lisa Rene (2001)
Season 4, Episode 1
6/10
The Search For Lisa Rene
14 December 2018
This is a straightforward narrative of a senseless crime. It includes reconstructions, but nothing too graphic. In September 1994, the 16 year old Lisa Rene was kidnapped from her home by a gang of miscreants who hoped to use her as leverage in a criminal transaction gone wrong. She was actually on the phone to a 911 operator when she was snatched.

Although this was not a sex crime, they took it in turns to rape her anyway, holding her prisoner at a motel, bound and gagged, before murdering her in woodland where she was buried. These dudes were so dumb that they dug the grave, took her to the site, but couldn't find it, so took her back again. Sadly though, this was only a brief respite.

It didn't take long to track them down, and no time at all to get a confession out of one of them. In the United States, kidnapping and rape can each lead to heavy sentences, and in the Deep South, especially Texas, murder can lead to something worse. Two of the defendants turned state's evidence; Bruce Webster and Orlando Hall were sentenced to death, but nearly seventeen years after this documentary was screened, they still have not been executed.
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Dateline NBC: The Santa Strangler (2008)
Season 16, Episode 41
7/10
The Santa Strangler
14 December 2018
Adolph Laudenberg was called the Santa Strangler because by the time of his arrest, he looked like Santa Claus. He was brought to book in a very unusual way: he told two daughters-in-law twenty-seven years apart that he had raped and strangled four women. Both took him seriously.

Herein we hear from them as well as from the detectives assigned to the cold case. Somewhat ludicrous were the lengths to which they went to obtain his DNA. In the UK, he would simply have been arrested and swabbed, but the American police frown on that as the fruit of the poisonous tree. Something that is rather absurd considering the number of innocent citizens these trigger happy clowns kill year in year out.
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4/10
Serial Killers: The Real Life Hannibal Lechters
14 December 2018
How do you make a documentary about serial killers on the cheap? You take several documentaries about serial killers, remove chunks from each of them, then splice them together, which is what the people, or more likely the person, behind this did.

"The Real Life Hannibal Lechters" concentrates on Albert Fish, Andrew Chikatilo and Jeffrey Dahmer. There are brief interviews with two relatives of Dahmer victims, but mostly we hear from pundits including psychobabbler Jack Levin who tells us they do it because they enjoy it. No kidding.

Robert Ressler has a four letter word fo their handiwork: evil. Er, yes. Don't watch this unless you are a total neophyte. Having said that, it isn't that bad. Apart from the contents of Jeffrey Dahmer's refridgerator, of course.
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8/10
The Hunt For Ted Bundy
14 December 2018
Does the world need yet another documentary about Ted Bundy? Probably not, but this one is unique because its central character is Robert Keppel, the young detective who was given the task of hunting a possible serial killer in the Pacific North West. Now long retired, not mentioned here is his academic career. Also playing a prominent role is Kathleen McChesney who was part of the original team.

There is plenty of archive footage, including of the monster himself, and a brief clip of his disbelieving mother.

A couple of statements stand out for their foolishness. This was not the first time a computer had been used in a criminal investigation; computers have been around for a long time including in law enforcement. And forensic science in its infancy in the 1970s? Forensics in one form or another goes back to the ancient world, and the use of fingerprints well over a hundred years.

Two other statements stand out for other reasons. The first serious suspect in the Pacific North West Murders was John Paul Knowles, a serial killer far less notorious than Bundy though nearly as odious. Also, mobile phones! When Bundy, using his real name was walking around or limping around trying to pick up girls on the beach and on campus, the police had precious little to go on. Nowadays, he would very likely have been snapped or even recorded on several phones, and that's before we mention CCTV.

Keppel confirms that Bundy didn't rape his victims, he raped their corpses. That's if we can belief anything he said, apart from in a very general way his stomach-churning confessions made after his conviction in a desperate attempt to stave off his date with Old Sparky. Burn in Hell, Ted.
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American Monster: Stages of Grief (2018)
Season 3, Episode 1
8/10
Stages Of Grief
14 December 2018
This is a straightforward story of betrayal and murder, albeit a little known one. Retired US Air Force veteran Dennis Dawley was to all outward appearances the perfect family man. That was the belief of his daughter Debi who appears here including in archive footage from England where she was born.

When Joan Dawley was brutally murdered in her home, it appeared she had disturbed a burglar, but the fatal blow had actually been delivered by Dennis aided by his secret mistress, the much younger and quite disreputable Brandita Taliano. The case was solved by Paul Tippin, a detective who also appears herein. Although it had been around since the 1987 arrest of Colin Pitchfork, in 1991, DNA profiling was still a painfully slow process, but Tippin ordered scrapings be taken from underneath the victim's fingernails.

Due to probably nothing more tangible than the proverbial policeman's hunch, Taliano came under suspicion, and her imprisonment on unrelated charges led to a DNA match. When the truth came out it was shocking indeed, Dawley's motive had been primarily financial, and he had attempted in the first instance to recruit a criminal associate of Taliano to carry out the murder disguised as a home invasion robbery. Whether or not this individual would have done so, he had the perfect alibi, being in prison at the time of the murder.

A tale sad and shocking in equal measure.
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Criminal Mindscape: Ron Luff (2009)
Season 1, Episode 1
7/10
Ron Luff
13 December 2018
In April 1989, cult leader Jeffrey Lundgren and his followers led all five members of the Avery family into a barn where they were executed. The youngest victim was just six years old. Lundgren was executed three years before this documentary was released, but Ronald Luff, his second in command, escaped the death penalty, and as the title suggests, he is the centre of attention, including mostly an interview with psychologist N.G. Berrill.

Luff never actually took part in the killings, but has never denied culpability, indeed he turned himself in months after them and cooperated with the authorities, realising too late how he had been brainwashed and manipulated. At one point, Lundgren told him that he was personally responsible for a famine in Africa; if a man will believe that, he will surely believe the slaughter of five innocents will save the world.

In spite of the enormity of his crime, it is difficult not to feel sorry for Luff, who realised too late he had thrown away his own life as well as those of the Avery family. It is clear that Berrill feels sorry for him too, although he cannot of course actually say so.
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48 Hours: One of Their Own (2012)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
6/10
One Of Their Own
13 December 2018
In February 1986, Sherri Rasmussen was found battered and shot to death in her California home. Two weeks or so later, two men committed a burglary that became a fatal red herring. Putting two and two together to make five, detectives treated the murder as a burglary gone wrong, apparently refusing to entertain a possible suspect, police officer and later detective, Stephanie Lazarus.

The case went cold until more than twenty years later when a breakthrough in DNA profiling identified the killer as a woman. DNA was first used to solve the 1986 murder of Dawn Ashworth, but earlier that year it was unheard of. Although the documentary makers speak to a lot of people involved and have included archive footage of both Lazarus and her victim, they get a bit silly in places. We are treated to the spectacle of detectives trailing Lazarus hoping to obtain a covert DNA sample. Don't American police forces use an exclusion database for that sort of thing? The statistics given for the likelihood of Lazarus being the perpetrator are silly. Prosecutors use this kind of absurd hyperbole to seduce juries. And were they really taking an intense degree of risk when they arrested Lazarus?

In spite of the apparent shortcomings of the case, she was convicted, and is almost certainly guilty. The motive for the killing was her obsession with the victim's husband, her former lover. Stephanie, no man is worth it. No man.
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Biography: Joel The Ripper (2004)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
8/10
Joel The Ripper
13 December 2018
Like the Yorkshire Ripper, Joel The Ripper was brought to book by a traffic stop. The documentary makers speak to the officer in question, Sean Ruane, who cannot have imagined what this particular traffic stop would lead to. They also speak, at length, to Joel Rifkin himself, the unassuming social outcast who would eventually murder seventeen woman, all apparently prostitutes.

He describes matter of factly how he murdered his first, unidentified victim at the family home while no one else was there, how he murdered one woman kind of by accident, in an hotel room. Two people are seen going in, so two should be seen going out, he reasoned. He overcame that problem by buying a trunk and taking the body out in that. This was said to have been inspired by the film "Frenzy". Rifkin drew inspiration from both films and other serial killers. Edifying stuff. Not. But rivetting all the same.
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Catch My Killer: Dealing with the Devil (2013)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
Dealing With The Devil
13 December 2018
Two years after the high profile disappearance of teenager Heather Church, a homeless man draws the attention of law enforcement to what appears to be a human skull in a field. Dental records show it to belong to the missing girl, who appeared to have been kidnapped from her own home by an abductor who forced entry through a window and obligingly left a fingerprint.

Although it takes a while for the connection to be made, the print belongs to Robert Charles Browne, who is an unusual character, to put it mildly. He is the youngest of nine, a former serviceman, and has been married no fewer than five times, quite an achievement for a man not yet forty-five.

All his former wives speak ill of him, and as they build a case against him for the Church murder, detectives notice a number of unsolved murders of women wherever he rests his head.

Although the only real evidence against him is the print he left at the Church home, Browne's attorney approaches the authorities with a plea deal: her client will plead guilty to the murder of Heather Church in return for the death penalty being taken off the table. The authorities are happy with this because it will enable them to collate evidence against him for other murders.

Browne is duly convicted, and this is where it gets silly; he begins writing letters claiming to have committed a total of forty-eight murders across the country, giving hints and pieces of evidence in sundry cases. It remains to be seen if he was trying to work his ticket to somewhere more comfortable, like a place with rubber rooms, but has this information been collated from the public domain, or?

Eventually, investigators arrive at an unsuspected murder, a young mother who had disappeared off the face of the Earth. Brown calmly confesses to taking her back to his place, having sex with her, then strangling her for no apparent reason, chopping up her body, and dumping it in the garbage. He pleads guilty to the murder of this young woman which was committed eight years before the Church murder. The one good thing to come out of this is that this victim's daughter, a baby at the time, had grown up believing her father had murdered her mother, something the police had also entertained. The two are reunited, and Browne lives happily ever after in his fantasy world. Or maybe it is only part fantasy?
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Snapped: Ashley Humphrey (2009)
Season 7, Episode 1
10/10
Ashley Humphrey
13 December 2018
On the face of it, this is a run-of-the-mill documentary about a senseless murder, but a closer look shows it to be quite remarkable because its makers speak to all the parties concerned: the mother of the victim, the investigating officers, prosecutor, defense attorney, and both perpetrators.

Tracey Humphrey was a bodybuilder, a fantasist, a jerk and a thug, just the sort of guy to whom nice girls are attracted, and they didn't come much nicer than Ashley Laney. Although he was quite a bit older than her and she was barely out of her teens, they were soon married. Tracey had a massive problem though, he was facing a rape charge; he was alleged, on very credible evidence, to have physically assaulted and raped Sandra Rozzo, who had rejected his advances. As he had violence on his record, the question has to be asked why was he not held without bond?

Humphrey married Ashley on Independence Day 2003, and the following day, Sandra was murdered, shot to death in her garage. Humphrey was an obvious suspect, except he appeared to have a rock solid alibi. Without any other leads though, the police kept digging, and it didn't take much to come up with compelling evidence, though not quite what they were looking for. Ashley rather than her worthless husband had carried out the execution. We see undercover footage of the two of them as they are entrapped by a third party, a woman who had allowed herself to be dragged into the plot by accident, although she had no idea of what was going down until after the event.

After her arrest, Ashley remained loyal to her worthless husband until the police showed her what he really was, including a bisexual who'd been having perverted sex with a male hairdresser. In return for testifying against him, the woman who actually pulled the trigger walked away with a 25 year sentence for second degree murder.

Eight years after this programme was screened, Ashley told Piers Morgan she rather than Tracey had hatched the murder plot, but this confession should be taken with a grain of salt, or maybe a boulder. Regardless, as Sandra's mother said, Tracey Humphrey destroyed two innocent lives that day. Hopefully he will remain behind bars until he dies.
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7/10
Sisters Of Death
6 December 2018
This film starts with a bang, but next to nothing happens for the next forty minutes. A young woman's head is blown off in a puerile ritual gone wrong. Or was it murder? Seven years later, the other young women from this weird sorority are invited to a mansion a light year from civilisation. They attend, and their mysterious host is none other than the father of the victim who is intent on avenging his daughter. He says he is concerned only with the guilty party, but it looks as though he is intent on murdering them all one by one. Fortunately, his transient hired help decided to hang around.

Okay, there is a bit more to it than that, plus an excellent twist right at the end.
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3/10
The Stendhal Syndrome
6 December 2018
Asia Argento was not yet 21 years old when this film was released, so the idea that her character would have been an experienced detective, apparently a member of a small squad assigned to take down a dangerous serial rapist who has been murdering women with sadistic glee all over the country, is a little silly, and that's before her coming to grips with him.

Their second encounter sees her kidnapped, tortured, and raped again, but she manages to get the better of him and kills him. At this point the film is only half way through, so the dude comes back to life. Considering the beating she handed out to him including a bullet, and kicking him into a fast moving river, it is stretching the imagination to suggest he could have both survived and got away. This is the twist in the film, as they say.

Okay, it isn't a bad one, but the big question has to be why would any director cast his own daughter in such a grotesque role as this?
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Small Sacrifices (1989 TV Movie)
9/10
Small Sacrifices
6 December 2018
Like "To Catch A Killer" (about John Gacy) and "Karla" (about Karla Homolka), this lengthy television film was not made to simply entertain. Farrah Fawcett's film and television career was largely celluloid trash, but here she turns in a stellar performance alongside her real life lover Ryan O'Neal as the mother who quite cynically murdered one of her young daughters and came within an inch of murdering both the other one and her son.

This eponymous film is based on the book by Ann Rule, a friend and colleague of serial killer Ted Bundy who turned to writing non-fiction crime books after she realised the shocking truth about "The Stranger Beside Me". This book is based in turn on Diane Downs who committed her shocking crimes one dark night in May 1983 and attempted to palm them off on a mysterious stranger. Not mentioned here due to chronology is the testimony of Dan Newby who claimed the real killer was a man named Jim Haynes. Nor the fact that the father of Elizabeth Diane Downs who was accused in court of sexually abusing her as a child, remained a passionate believer in his daughter's innocence. Downs would later recant, but that accusation and her other behaviour reveal her as a clever and quite cynical manipulator of especially men.

A Change Dot Org petition several years ago calling for the release of Downs attracted only 25 supporters, and her appeals have led nowhere. No one but the gullible need have any doubts about her guilt, especially in view of the competent living witness, and that's before we mention the forensic evidence, which was also mentioned in the film, including a mock up of the murder scene that was used in the actual courtroom.

Downs has been compared with Susan Smith, who a decade later murdered her two young sons from a similar motive, but the none-too-bright Smith is not in the same league as this sensuous, highly intelligent sociopath.
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4/10
Angel Of Decay
6 December 2018
Even allowing for the constraints of time, there is so much wrong with this dramatisation of the man who put the serial in killer. The abduction of Carol DaRonch is shown only as an attempted abduction. In reality, Bundy kidnapped her, handcuffed her, and was driving her off to certain doom when she fought like a tigress, freed herself, and fled to the safety of another motorist. Lead actor Ryan Gage looks nothing like Bundy, and although he comes over as plausibly creepy, Ted was not at all like that. Worst of all though, Bundy is portrayed as a tortured soul, especially in the dream sequence. In reality, he was a total psychopath and sociopath, the only person he ever cared about was himself, and he would no more be haunted by the ghosts of his victims than he would that of a swatted fly.

There are of course many ways to approach a project of this nature. Sadly, this is not one of them. In both documentary and biopic, Ted Bundy has been done before and better. More than once.
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American Justice: Stacey's Story (2004)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
8/10
Stacey's Story
23 November 2018
On Independence Day, 1990, Stacey Lannert murdered her own father, shooting him twice. Then she staged the crime scene. As she was only 18 years old at the time and had roped in two co-conspirators, it is hardly surprising her story soon collapse. One of the conspirators became involved after the fact; the other was her own younger sister. How does anyone get out of that one? Any woman, any female, can cry rape, and that is what Stacey did. Against her own father.

This documentary lays out the facts presented by the prosecution and also gives Stacey space to spew her lies over her silent victim.

The truth appears to be that Tom Lannert was a good husband and proud father of two daughters; her knight in shining armour, his ex-wife said. He appears to have gone downhill after the death of his own father, becoming a lush, and on occasion violent, including to his youngest daughter. Stacey was a difficult teen, something that is hardly unusual; she was once sent to a therapist who thought she might have been sexually molested. Don't they all! When asked point blank about this, Stacey denied it. After her arrest though and especially after her conviction, she remembered and "disclosed" (ie fabricated) more and more until eventually even her sister backed her up. In spite of her sentence of life without parole, Lannert served only eighteen years thanks to enormous misguided public pressure and a soft Governor. Today, her slanders are treated as gospel by the gullibles, including Oprah Winfrey and Nancy Grace, but at least she never got her hands on her father's estate for which she is disbarred under common law; a judge ordered that be donated to charity.
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Disappeared: So Close to Home (2018)
Season 9, Episode 9
3/10
So Close To Home
23 November 2018
Oh boy, where do they find these cranks? In April 2010, the sixteen year old Ali Lowitzer got off the school bus near her home and literally vanished into thin air. She had nothing, took nothing with her, vanished, gone, disappeared. At the time this documentary was screened eight years later, she had still not been found. This leaves only two plausible scenarios, in fact after about day three there were only the same two plausible scenarios; both of them involve sick people. Scenario one is she was kidnapped and murdered. Number two is that she was kidnapped by someone like Ariel Castro and held as a sex slave. The second scenario is extremely unlikely, but in this case, her desperate parents shell out for a so-called private detective, a woman would you believe? who thinks she has traced her to a house where she is being held by sex traffickers. In fact, we are told several women were liberated from this house during the police raid, but no Ali.

Yes, sex trafficking does exist, it is the new narrative of the anti-prostitution industry. A prostitute who gets into a car with a strange man who drives around the corner where she performs a sex act on him has been trafficked, but realistically, Ali Lowitzer is long dead, as much as we would like to believe otherwise. Shame on the police for playing along with this rubbish.
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Wicked Attraction: Kidnapped (2008)
Season 1, Episode 8
8/10
Kidnapped
23 November 2018
This is one of those stories that is so bizarre no one would believe it without overwhelming evidence, including in this case a police officer who heard the voluntary confession of one of the participants.

Hitchhiker Colleen Stan was kidnapped and held as a sex slave for seven years. In addition to the whippings and later the rapes, she was in effect brainwashed by her major captor Cameron Hooker to such a degree that he was able to allow her to take a cleaning job nearby.

This documentary consists largely of narration by Colleen, the principal victim of Hooker. Hooker's wife was part victim and part perpetrator. A truly amazing story, but one that ended happily with Hooker behind bars unlikely ever to be released.
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Forensic Files: About Face (2008)
Season 12, Episode 26
7/10
About Face
23 November 2018
This episode begins with a man finding parts of what he believes correctly to be a human skeleton. On reporting it, he was ruled out quickly on account of being new to the area, but the previous tenants were two men who warranted suspicion, especially when the police were informed they had left seemingly in a hurry, leaving behind women's underwear, among other things. As so often happens, this turned out to be a dead end.

The body was provisionally identified as that of a local woman. We hear from her elderly mother. Another suspect materialises, John Boyer, who feeds the police a pack of lies then eventually admits killing her because she taunted him when he couldn't perform. Strangely he was allowed to plead guilty to second degree murder, which earned him a twelve year stretch, even though he was suspected of being somehow involved in the death of another woman. Three years after this documentary was screened, Boyer was reported to have confessed to two other murders.
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