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2/10
Paedophiles In Parliament
24 August 2018
On the face of it, this is an impressive one-woman effort by a determined truth seeker. For those who can see through the rhetoric and even more importantly have examined the evidence, it is anything but impressive.

In the pre-Internet age, stories about massive government conspiracies, large scale Satanic abuse, and scurrilous rumours about the rich, powerful and famous, were difficult to transmit, but they did get around. A classic case was that of Dr Bodkin Adams who was accused of being a Harold Shipman precursor. The rumours about him were first published in France, beyond the reach of Britain's libel laws. When the case came to court, one of the facts proved was that the elderly Mrs Morrell, who had suffered a stroke, and had been given a year at most to live, had survived for two and a half years under the care of the man who had supposedly murdered her.

The Internet and especially social media has been a great leveller, now there are no gatekeepers anymore. "Paedophiles In Parliament" is a classic illustration of the reason we need them.

There is a lot in this documentary, and it would time-consuming to cover it all, but much of it is innuendo. It is suggested that everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Prince Charles to then Home Secretary Theresa May were covering up for paedophiles. Two people to have their names dragged through the mud are Prime Minister Edward Heath and Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Heath was targeted simply because he had never married and was assumed (erroneously) to be homosexual. If Poulton had done some proper research, she would have realised Heath was openly accused in January 1984 of engaging in obscene acts with children. The man who made this allegation was a serial rapist named Kevin O'Dowd, during his trial. His allegation was backed up with fake photographs. In 2007, O'Dowd found himself on trial for rape again. On his conviction he was given a life sentence, which was quashed two years later by the Court Of Appeal for purely technical reasons and with great reluctance.

Leon Brittan was targeted for other reasons. As well as torturing, raping and murdering boys, he was accused of raping a woman four decades after the event. That is not mentioned here.

Poulton speaks to Robert Green whom she presents as a credible researcher. In fact, in spite of being extremely plausible, Green is a notorious troublemaker who has been imprisoned twice in Scotland for spreading scurrilous and proven lies about ordinary people in the Hollie Greig hoax.

She takes fantasist Esther Baker seriously, backed up by innuendo against the man Baker accused, then MP John Hemming. Unsurprisingly, Mr Hemming tells a different tale, and he has contemporaneous documents to back up his version.

She also covers the allegation made by Ben Fellows against veteran politician Ken Clarke with the innuendo that the acquittal of the former proves the guilt of the latter. Surely, she cannot be unaware that Fellows is a serial fantasist who has accused all manner of people in the entertainment industry of sexual abuse, including women.

Are there paedophiles in Parliament? Possibly. Were there? In support of this proposition, she brings in the case of Sir Peter Hayman, and the Paedophile Information Exchange. At the time, there was much tabloid outrage that P.I.E. was not banned, something that may have contributed to the lies spread about Leon Brittan. Even female politicians came under attack for allegedly supporting it. And what happened? Its members came out into the open, overstepped the mark, some ended up behind bars, and the organisation collapsed. In other words, the Government of the day wisely gave them enough rope, and they duly hanged themselves. And, it may be that Sir Peter Hayman played a part in this.

Do we really need to discuss Jimmy Savile? He is said to have sexually abused hundreds of children in plain sight. How did he get away with it? The simplest answer is that the crimes of which he has been convicted in the court of public opinion never happened, but convincing Sonia Poulton of that would be the equivalent of converting the Pope to atheism.
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7/10
Notes From A Killer
24 August 2018
On April Fool's Day 1988, eight year old April Tinsley vanished off the street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Three days later, her body was found. She had been raped as well as murdered. Sad, tragic and sick, but what happened next was unprecedented. Two years after the murder, the killer left a message claiming to be the killer and saying he would kill again. Then he left notes for other young girls to find, notes that included used condoms. Fort Wayne has a population of around a quarter of a million, which is not that great, yet the police found no trace of him, even with all that forensic evidence. In this documentary, Paula Zahn speaks to Detective Gary Hamilton - later Chief of Police - and the victim's mother. It is unusual for a crime series of this nature to include an episode about an unsolved case, but there could very likely be an update of "Notes From A Killer" in the next year or two because on July 15 this year, Fort Wayne police arrested John D. Miller, who is said to have confessed to the crime.
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2/10
Bill Cosby: Fall Of An American Icon
24 August 2018
This documentary was made shortly after the first Cosby trial. His conviction will have cemented its claims, but it is what this programme doesn't say more than what it does say that counts.

Can all these women really be lying? Yes! We hear from has been/never was Beth Ferrier but not her claim that Cosby was "more powerful than God". We see momentarily Joan Tarshis, but there is no mention of the fact that this woman was so delusional she communicated telepathically with aliens. There is no mention of Lachelle Covington, the only woman who accused him immediately of (an albeit very minor) sexual assault, a claim that was rejected by the District Attorney, and one that clearly shows he had boundaries.

We do not hear from Andrea Constand, but we do hear from a smirking Gloria Allred, the woman who more than any other person was responsible for this witch-hunt by encouraging demented, attention-seeking or simply malicious females to crawl out of the woodwork, the gutter, and in some cases the sewer, to spew their allegations over Cosby. Perhaps most importantly there is no mention of Frank Scotti, who told at least one newspaper he acted as Cosby's proxy pimp, and had the paper trial to prove it.

The reality is that any woman can come forward and claim to have been raped by a celebrity years or decades earlier; the mere fact that there are so many proves nothing. The interested reader should check out "The Prior Bad Acts Of Gloria Allred" for a documentary that gives a fuller picture. The writings of philosopher and Cosby fan Jay Raskin are also well researched and debunk many of these claims by chronology or other evidence.
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48 Hours: Unraveling the Lies of Jodi Arias (2013)
Season 26, Episode 28
8/10
Unravelling The Lies Of Jodi Arias
13 August 2018
Unravelling the lies of Jodi Arias is not simply akin to Penelope unravelling her web, it is a Sisyphean task. The documentary makers are proud of this episode because they say it is the first time footage from "48 Hours" has been introduced as evidence in a capital trial. We see the lies this monster told them, and the myriad other lies she told, including on the witness stand.

We also hear some expert commentary, some more expert than others, but the case against Jodi Arias was so absolutely overwhelming she makes OJ look innocent. Far more impressive and moving were the words of the friends and siblings of Travis Alexander, the man she murdered in a meticulously planned premeditated act, then continued to murder in the courtroom as she accused him of everything from domestic abuse to paedophilia.
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48 Hours: To Catch a Killer (2007)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
7/10
To Catch A Killer - Andy Ortiz
13 August 2018
Not to be confused with the full length docu-drama of the same name, this short offering is about a character far less odious that John Gacy, but one you certainly wouldn't want your daughter to get within a mile of.

"To Catch A Killer" was made by the local newspaper to explain or attempt to explain why a man who preyed on underage girls and was clearly a menace if not an outright danger was allowed to get away with it time and time again. At the end of the day, Ortiz was convicted of only one murder which in Texas can be capital, but for whatever reason the State waived the death penalty. Certainly there are many less deserving men on death row.

A lot is crammed into a mere 22 minutes, including interviews and more questions than answers.
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Real Crime: The Black Cab Rapist (2010)
Season 9, Episode 7
8/10
The Black Cab Rapist
13 August 2018
John Worboys was a serial rapist who had a unique modus operandi, that, the fact that he drove a black cab rather than a mini-cab, and the fact that the women he targeted had been drinking, some of them heavily, enabled him to get away with it for so long.

This documentary speaks to victims, people who knew him, and to some of the men and women who tracked him down and prosecuted him. Although at the time, the Metropolitan Police came in for a lot of flak, much of this was not simply wisdom in hindsight but misguided. There have been many cases worldwide of women falsely accusing taxi drivers of sexual assault:

September 1949: Waverley, New South Wales - a married woman. February 1992: London - allegedly raped at gunpoint by the driver. August 2005: Johnsonville, New Zealand - a young woman who claimed to have been raped then charged a $30 fare! More recently, in April 2017, a criminology student in Leeds falsely accused a taxi driver of rape because he had refused a £10 note soaked in kebab oil.

Mostly though such false accusers are simply young women who are the worse for drink or intent on avoiding the fare. Allegations of sexual assaults by mini-cab drivers - false and real - are a particular problem in London, but black cab drivers are a premium ride because they are intensely trained, screened and vetted. It is then understandable that the police were initially skeptical. True, they did miss one golden opportunity to put Worboys behind bars, but when he raped a young virgin - yes, they do exist, even in London - they finally got their act together.

We are told here that a total of 14 women testified against Worboys, out of a total of 102 who complained. All those who reported their assaults before the police appealed for victims to come forward are almost certainly genuine, and probably most of the rest because of the way they appealed without putting too much information out there for the inevitable bandwagon.

Outrageous as the Worboys case was and is, it took a farcical turn on January 4, 2018 when it was announced he was to be parolled. Thankfully, a massive high profile campaign led to the Court Of Appeal putting a stop to that.
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7/10
Schoolgirl Killer
13 August 2018
Since the 1970s, Western feminists have redefined rape to such an absurd degree that now any time a man has sex with a willing female who has had a drink or two he is in peril of being accused of rape. The latest piece of nonsense is the power dynamic, something pioneered by the odious Catherine MacKinnon back in the 1970s. That being said, rape still exists, and if ever rape culture existed, it was and sadly still is in Ethiopia where instead of sending a girl flowers a suitor kidnaps her and rapes her until she becomes pregnant. No, this is not a sick joke, but a reality. When this documentary was made in 2000, this cultural obscenity was very much in the news.

To follow it properly you will need to read subtitles, but this is a fairly straightforward account of the experience of one girl who killed her kidnapper/rapist and was eventually acquitted by a legally constituted court although subsequently banished by the community. To paraphase Groucho Marx, I wouldn't want to live in a village that wouldn't have me as a member.
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Frontline: Rape on the Night Shift (2015)
Season 33, Episode 10
7/10
Rape On The Night Shift
13 August 2018
One of the greatest myths about rape is that it is a vastly under-reported crime. Most genuine victims report and do so promptly. The exception is those who are vulnerable, genuinely vulnerable, not vulnerable in the feminist lexicon. These are mostly women living on the fringes, like the drug addicts who were violated by Daniel Holtzclaw, or those who were raped by another corrupt police officer, Abraham Joseph.

The women in this documentary who claimed to have been sexually harassed, groped and raped all had one thing in common: they were illegal immigrants, referred to in the United States by the euphemism undocumented workers. They all worked the night shift for cleaning companies, and, it seems, these companies were not too picky about how they recruited their supervisors, one of whom was a convicted rapist.

"Rape On The Night Shift" does a good job in highlighting this problem, and reports on the successful civil proceedings some of these women took. Unfortunately, it gives spurious credence to airhead Kirsten Gillibrand who says no corroboration is required for a rape conviction, it all depends on whether the accuser is believable or not. This is the same Senator who found mattress girl Emma Sulkowicz credible. God save America if women like her continue to make its laws and formulate social policy.
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Killer Instinct: Love, Undone (2011)
Season 1, Episode 5
5/10
Love Undone
13 August 2018
A dead girl with a bullet in the back of her head, a potential second victim who tells a strange tale about how she ended up so, and a third party who is a good second suspect. All this begs the question why it took so long for the police to work out what really happened. The psychobabbler, sorry, criminal profiler, at the centre of this case does seem to throw some light on it, but ultimately it was an inadvertent, barely audible confession that saw the right man convicted of the murder of Shawna Edgar.

There is nothing really graphic in this documentary, including the reconstruction and mock crime scene, but perhaps in future the police in California might like to call in New Scotland Yard. Now those imbeciles have finished chasing their ectoplasmic VIP paedophile ring.
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Born to Kill?: The Serial Killing Saviour (2012)
Season 2, Episode 3
7/10
The Serial Killing Saviour
5 August 2018
The title of this documentary is slightly misleading because in addition to Herbert Mullin, presenter Dr Michael Stone covers a lot of ground, including an interview with a woman who is clearly away with the fairies.

What do we learn from this? That some people hear voices that tell them to kill. Of course, just because they hear these voices does not mean they are obligated to obey them. Strangely no one ever seems to think of that.

So what do we learn at the end of the day? Not a lot, as Carlos Santana once said, all they have is speculation because they deal with the mind.
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9/10
Soham Revisited: 15 Years On
5 August 2018
In August 2002, Ian Huntley murdered schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. For those of us who remember this crime and its aftermath - everyone of a certain age in the UK who was not living under a rock at the time - Huntley has become a hate figure. Admittedly he has been demonised primarily by the tabloid press, but even hacks get it right on occasion.

To some extent also the Soham Murders replaced the Moors Murders - certainly for a later generation, but in spite of the uncharitable remarks directed at her by Nick Ferrari in this documentary, Maxine Carr is in no way comparable with Myra Hindley. If in addition to giving Huntley an alibi she had tipped off the police anonymously that he needed one, she would have saved her relationship with the man she believed to be innocent. That is easy to say now, but not mentioned herein is that the story Huntley span her, about one of the girls having a nosebleed and him taking them into the house, which was a sacking offence.

Also appearing in this documentary is Huntley's daughter, who has never seen her father and doesn't want to. That is certainly understandable. Then of course there are the psychobabblers, but on the whole this is a smooth production, thankfully it does not include anything graphic or stomach-churning, the mere fact of their murders is more than enough.
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Frontline: Putin's Way (2015)
Season 33, Episode 2
3/10
Putin's Way
5 August 2018
This documentary is a professional smear job on one the most charismatic and enigmatic politicians of our age. Vladimur Putin is a former KGB agent, yeah, we all knew that. We are told he is corrupt, that he has sticky fingers and it is best not to cross him. It is suggested or implied that the Moscow apartment bombings of 1999 were actually the result of secret state mendacity rather than ordinary if spectacular terrorist outrages, something that is akin to the conspiracy "theories" expounded by the misnamed 9/11 Truth Movement. Okay, let's take a step back, it is less than thirty years since the Soviet Union collapsed, do you want a wimp running the country or a strong man? In spite of the overt hostility of the documentary makers and the commentators they recruited, Putin comes over quite well, certainly there is no doubting he is popular with the broad masses, and if he hasn't solved all the country's problems, that's because he's a politician, not God.

Since the programme was made we have been deluged with anti-Russian hysteria, especially in the United States; it is almost as if the Democrats want war with Russia. Even if Putin were removed or left the scene, this hysteria would doubtless continue. Thankfully that doesn't seem likely, and if he and Donald Trump can come to an accommodation, this new nascent cold war will not come about.
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Unwanted (2017)
3/10
Unwanted
1 August 2018
What do we have here? "The Amityville Horror" meets austerity. "Unwanted" is more of a play than a film because 95% + of the action takes place inside a house. There is a small cast, and not much else.

You've probably figured out the basic plot from the above, namely a family moves into a new house, and strange things start happening. They learn from an elderly neighbour who has lived in the same street all her life that when she was a young girl something terrible happened to its then occupants. Needless to say our newcomers are not the first family to move into the house since this happened. So what is happening now? Presence more than anything. You may have problems following it at times, and if it is a bit scary in places there is nothing out of the usual for haunted houses.

On the plus side the soundtrack isn't bad including a 2010 song from an unknown songwriter with a famous surname.
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Save Yourself (I) (2015)
8/10
Save Yourself
1 August 2018
Here we go again, a jaunt in the country to a house of horrors, only this time it is five attractive young women with no male companions. One of them disappears at once. Will she be found, more to the point, how many if any of them will survive?

The house is owned by a man and his wife who oscillate between English and German. The girl upstairs is their daughter, who is obviously not cut from the same cloth as them, and the man in the car is their son, who most definitely is. So what are they doing? The man of the house is murdering people, all young girls apparently, by the score, this time though in the name of a supposed greater good instead of sadism. It is clear he is a follower of Nazi eugenics or some such, an intelligent speculation is that he is the grandson of a Nazi scientist who managed to escape after the Second World War.

This film would have earned 3 points at best but for the shocking revelation towards the end.
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2/10
Return To Horror High
1 August 2018
Where have we seen this before? Years earlier there had been a massacre at this school, and no one had been brought to book for it. Now a horror film is being made there, and of course, there are more murders. That doesn't sound so bad, but what follows is so confusing that it is almost impossible to follow. To take just one example, after leaping from a high window to evade the fiend who has just murdered her lover, a young woman ends up in a car with the bad guy miraculously behind her. The crew applaud, it's all part of the filming, then her head is hacked off, so the bad guy was real? No, because next we see her waking up in bed from a nightmare. Totally and utterly confusing; the soundtrack isn't bad, but nothing can rescue this one.
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Forensic Files: Invisible Intruder (1999)
Season 4, Episode 1
8/10
Invisible Intruder
31 July 2018
In June 1996, Darlie Routier murdered two of her three young sons then staged the crime scene to blame a phantom intruder, inflicting a potentially life-threatening injury on herself in the process. All the credible forensic evidence - which is of course the concern of this "Forensic Files" programme - indicates that is what happened. Not mentioned here is the fact that she took a polygraph - a test she obviously failed because the result was never made public. Nor that one woman who thought her guilty and even wrote a book to that effect did a stunning about-face after Darlie's conviction. Nor do we hear from the woman who trashes Darlie's body language and accuses her of putting on a little girlie voice.

We see the graveside video made shortly after the double murder, and we hear that neither Darlie nor her (totally innocent) husband behaved like distraught parents at the crime scene, but all true crime buffs know there is no "proper" way to behave at such a time, that innocent people often seem guilty while guilty psychopaths and sociopaths make credible victims and even more credible liars.

The case against Darlie is overwhelming, and yet, and yet...leaving aside the why, until she finally confesses, there are still intelligent, cynical people who will consider this shocking case to be tinged with reasonable doubt.
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7/10
Jon Venables: What Went Wrong?
31 July 2018
Whatever went wrong, six years after this documentary was first screened, people were asking the same question again in even greater earnest. If the name Jon Venables is not familiar to you, you are not domiciled in the UK, or not of a certain age, or have been living under a rock. In February 1993, he and his chum Robert Thompson kidnapped and murdered a two year old boy in truly shocking circumstances. More shocking even than the murder was the fact that the murderers were both only ten years old.

Sentenced to be detained for a mere eight years, they were both released without spending a day on prison. Because they had been named publicly - something that was unavoidable regardless of any judicial ruling - they were granted lifelong anonymity and given new identities complete with passports and fake family histories. Nothing more has been heard of Thompson, who was considered more of a risk, but Venables had clashes with the law and was finally caught with a cache of child porn on his computer. While for any adult male that would bring a lifelong stigma, for him it brought an immediate recall to prison.

At the time of writing he has recently been given another gaol sentence, and hopefully will never be released because this time he was doing more than merely looking at pictures of utter depravity but was clearly planning an encore, at least to rape a child and possibly to murder one.

This documentary covers a lot of ground, best to ignore the idiot psychobabbler David James Smith, but the mother of James Bulger and in particular the lead detective on the case have plenty to say. It also covers a similar crime involving two victims, who fortunately both survived, and looks at the way the Americans deal with kids who kill, which is far different from ours, although admittedly Eric Smith was thirteen when he murdered a four year old boy.
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Secret Lives: Jeremy Thorpe (1996)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
9/10
Jeremy Thorpe
31 July 2018
The trial of leading Liberal Jeremy Thorpe for soliciting the murder of his one-time homosexual lover Norman Scott was one of the biggest scandals ever in UK politics. Although not strictly speaking a political conspiracy, it had the obvious intention of protecting Thorpe and thereby his career from the man the trial judge rightly described as a crook, a fraud and a sponger. Scott was certainly a blackmailer, and at a time when consenting sexual acts between men were illegal, his allegations would have been the kiss of death for any man seeking even low political office.

Although much is made today of his depraved sexual antics, it is easily forgotten that Thorpe married twice, siring a son by his first wife who was killed tragically in a car crash. Lord Alfred Douglas, the catamite of Oscar Wilde, also married and sired a son after their relationship ended, and condemned homosexuality. Thorpe was no Lord Alfred Douglas, though he was no Oscar Wilde either, but although not as indiscreet as Wilde, he was extremely careless.

This documentary speaks to almost all the major players in the conspiracy; Peter Bessell died in 1985, but his son is interviewed; John Le Measurier (not to be confused with the actor of the same name); Jack Hayward, the man who unwittingly financed the plot; and failed hit man Andrew Newton, all face the camera.

We hear too from Thorpe's contemporaries; how ironic it is that he should be branded a Jekyll and Hyde figure by Cyril Smith in view of the allegations that have since surfaced about him! On the whole this is an excellent documentary for those who are too young to remember the events in question. Yes, the establishment did go the extra mile to protect Thorpe, but why should a man's career be destroyed over past indiscretions that involved consensual perversion when he had since put that behind him? And over a pathetic wretch like Norman Scott?
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8/10
Harold Shipman: Doctor Death
31 July 2018
The first "Harold Shipman: Doctor Death" was a TV dramatisation made in 2002. This one is a straightforward documentary made for the twentieth anniversary of his arrest. The documentary makers speak to the detectives who investigated the case, the detective who arrested him in 1975 for an offence that could have cost him his medical licence, the press, people with whom he'd worked, and the children of his victims, the former of whom were all adults at the time due to his selecting older people, overwhelmingly women, to dispatch with medical precision. Curiously, the one person missing is Angela Woodruff, the woman who can be said to have brought him down.

An alternative hypothesis, one not mooted here, is that after murdering so many people, Shipman left the one deliberate clue every murderer is said to leave. He may well have been supremely arrogant, but he surely could not have expected to get away with such a brazen act as forging the will of the 81 years young Kathleen Grundy, especially as he must have realised her daughter was a solicitor.

We will never know that, nor will we ever be sure exactly how many of his patients he did murder, but we can be certain that something positive came out of this dreadful episode, and that in the UK at least there will never be any repetition of this horror by a deranged medical professional.
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Talon Falls (2017)
2/10
Talon Falls
27 July 2018
Oh boy, here we go again, the all so typical mixed group of all American kids on a road trip or a jaunt in the country, the girls with fun on their minds, and the guys with the girls on theirs. And they end up in a house of horrors, except this one is a fake house of horrors that turns out to be a real one.

They are trapped and are doomed to be murdered in gruesome fashion by a group of faceless psychopaths. How many if any will escape? By the end, the house of horrors has become a morgue. How did so many people end up dead there without anyone raising a suspicion? As most of the action takes place in the dark or semi-dark, you won't miss much if you close your eyes and simply listen to the screams. This was 2017, you'd have thought they'd have produced something a bit more watchable by then. One point for the soundtrack.
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2/10
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
27 July 2018
Does Jason really go to Hell? You will if you watch this film. It begins with the death of Jason Voorhees in dramatic fashion. He is taken to the morgue for an autopsy, or what is left of him is, when, surprise, surprise, he is resurrected inhabiting initially the body of the pathologist then stealing the bodies of those he murders at will.

A bounty hunter appears, and he knows how to kill Jason permanently; he can only be dispatched by one of his two living relatives. As one of them is a babe in arms, it's her mother who gets the job, reluctant though she is.

Is this the final Friday? If you know anything about this absurd franchise, you won't even ask that question. If you like special effects you might find something of interest in this film, but there is no soundtrack worthy of the name, and although there is plenty of action, much of it takes place in the dark or semi-dark.
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8/10
The East Area Rapist
26 July 2018
The worst thing that can be said about this documentary is that it is mistitled, because although the sicko who became known as the East Area Rapist claimed over fifty victims, he went on to even greater depravity as a serial killer: the Golden State Killer.

This episode of "On The Case..." was screened in June 2017; less than a year later, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested.

The crime spree of the East Side Rapist began a decade before DNA profiling was unleased on the world, but the voluminous forensic evidence he left behind will unquestionably close the case. Although it would of course be improper to comment on DeAngelo prior to the end of his trial, it was long suspected the East Area Rapist was a police officer, not only because of his supreme arrogance but because of other aspects of his modus operandi.

And arrogance is the word, there surely cannot have been a sadistic criminal like him in history, the nearest is probably Antoni Imiela. The so-called M25 Rapist who died in prison this year phoned the mother of one of his victims after raping the girl and gloated to her. The East Area Rapist went much further than that, as we hear here from one of his victims.

This documentary is unfinished business. Look out for another in the series and many more after the DeAngelo trial.
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In Search of History: Charles Ponzi & His Scheme (2000)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
8/10
Charles Ponzi & His Scheme
26 July 2018
Ever heard of a Ponzi scheme? Of course you have! This is the incredible true story of the man who gave it its name: Charles Ponzi (1882-1949). Having said that, there is nothing new under the Sun; people have been peddling elaborate schemes to part the suckers from their money since before money was invented. Heck, what is compound interest after all?

Ponzi simply came up with an original idea and flogged it to death. What is so remarkable about his story though is that he was a crook from since he was a kid, and a convicted fraudster before his short but meteoric rise to fame and his slow, painful downfall. For most people convicted of serious especially financial crimes, life after prison is the difficult part, but some simply walk out of gaol straight into their next scam. These include Wilhelm Meyer (the man responsible for the notorious Adolf Beck miscarriage of justice at the turn of the Twentieth Century), and in our own day Peter Sainsbury, the con-man in the black suit, whom I knew personally.

How do they do it? While others end up on skid row, how do they wear tailored suits, dine in expensive restaurants, and flit around without a care in the world? A simple explanation is the word front, and Ponzi had plenty of that. This documentary is related by various commentators and includes archive footage of the man himself. Charles Ponzi may be long dead, but his ghost lives on. The best way to avoid being taken for a ride by his spiritual heirs is to remember that ancient saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
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48 Hours: A Killer Walks Free: update (1998)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
9/10
A Killer Walks Free
23 July 2018
This slightly off-beat documentary is an update of one screened in 1994.

In 1969, Russell Obremski murdered two women in quick succession for no apparent reason. One of them was heavily pregnant. He left a trail of evidence a mile wide, was quickly arrested, and did not take the stand at his trial.

At that time, there was no death penalty in Oregon, but surely he could not be parolled after such an horrific double event? He was, in November 1993. The families of his victims tried desperately to stop this, and the judge who sentenced him was one of a number of others who thought it most unwise. The documentary makers speak to them, to others, and to Obremski himself. Obremski's excuse/reason for causing such horror was that he was high on drugs and had no memory of what happened. He may have been shy about discussing his crimes, but he was vocal about everything else.

Four months after his release to a half-way house, having found himself a girlfriend - yes, such women do exist - he was charged with molesting this woman's daughter. By then she was reported to have been his fiancée. He was acquitted of those charges, probably rightly so, but soon found himself back behind bars again to finish his life sentence after breaking the terms of his parole. Drinking beer!

Obremski died in November 2005 from natural causes aged sixty. It seems unlikely a man who commits such terrible crimes will ever be released in such short order again, at least in Oregon, which has had the death penalty since 1978, although no one has been executed there since 1996.
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Who Killed JonBenét? (2016 TV Movie)
7/10
Who Killed JonBenét?
23 July 2018
One of the most shocking murders in living memory, the slaying of this tragic 6 year old girl has generated reams of print and almost as much video, yet it seems unlikely two decades on that anyone will ever be charged. This film is as much documentary as dramatisation, which means there are no surprises. Slightly disjointed, someone made the silly decision to tell it through the eyes of the victim. Nevertheless, it is a creditable effort. So who killer JonBenét?

Occam's razor tells us the simplest answer is Patsy Ramsey murdered her daughter. There was a tragic accident, a lashing out perhaps, and faced with either dialling 911 or covering up the crime, she chose the latter, shocking as it may seem, which involved murdering her, hiding the body, and writing that absurd ransom note. Probably hoping the body would not be discovered so she could dispose of it in due course, she also interfered with it to make it look as though the girl has been sexually violated.

So what happened next? John Ramsey found the body in a search of the house, then realising what had happened, he too was faced with a terrible dilemma. John had been married before, and in 1992 his much older daughter had died in a car crash. Now he had lost another, and if he were to let on, he would lose his second wife too.

What other explanations are there? Some have pointed the finger at the 9 year old Burke, but this doesn't add up. We will never know for certain but it remains to be seen how they, especially Patsy, were able to keep up this charade until her death, and John beyond her death.

This and other possible scenarios are included herein, but there can be no doubt on God's Earth that Patsy was in it up to her neck, and quite likely the only guilty party, shocking though that may seem.
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