I happened upon this blog dedicated to true crime, and it’s what inspired today’s Can we Talk? installment. Show of hands here, who’s seen their fair share of true crime shows, or even read books about it? True crime shows have been a part of my life for awhile, and off and on through the years, I’d go through seasons where I’d have them as a steady part of my TV diet, so to speak.
In middle school, I’d watch Cops, and after that, America’s Most Wanted on Saturday nights. We had no cable back then, and Fox was one of the few stations that came in with good reception where we were living at the time. I remember being so freaked out after America’s Most Wanted ended, and for the longest time, I got the idea in my head that these jackwagons were waiting on my front porch to do whatever to me.
But hey, that’s kid logic for ya.
Anyway, Cops eventually left the Saturday evening schedule in favor of some stupid reality show that lasted for like a nanosecond in the early 2000s and nobody’s cared about it since, and AMW stayed until it ended its’ original run. When Saturday evening rolled around, it was time for some John Walsh, before WWE Bottom Line aired late at night after the early news came on.
That was pretty much the extent of any true crime shows I saw at my house, and I’d watch old episodes of Forensic Files at a neighbor’s house from time to time. Occasionally, I’d check out books about it from the library, like Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me.
Then satellite TV came on the scene, and my family would have the channel on Investigation Discovery. I’d hear it from the bathroom and my room due to the layout, and I’d listen to Southern Fried Homicide, Snapped, and a whole slew of other shows like it.
However, in college, I discovered those janky websites of ill repute where you can watch shows for free. You know, the ones that cause computer AIDS without the ad blockers. Yeah, those.
I also found some old episodes of some shows on YouTube. For instance, I found old episodes of Autopsy, which I vaguely remember hearing in passing as a kid. Now obviously, I was way too young to be watching that shyt, and anyone with half a brain wouldn’t let a kid watch something like that anyway.
The most heartbreaking episode of Autopsy had a segment about this evil bitch who killed this kid they adopted, who was originally named Dennis Craig Puckett before his adoption. I won’t say that bitch’s name, because yes, I’ve read the book about it, A Death in White Bear Lake, and believe you me, the Autopsy segment doesn’t even begin to delve into the heinous deeds they (and their accomplice of a spouse) did. There was literally nothing even remotely redeemable about them, and I’m betting money that what was included in the book was only the tip of the iceberg.
Dennis’s mom Jerry Sherwood had him when she was a kid herself, and the state took him away. Jerry went on to have more kids when she came of age, and she started looking for him. That’s when the whole story came to light, and Dennis’s killer was charged and convicted accordingly. They got out of prison, and died in 2013.
Rest in peace, Dennis. Damn, that kid deserved so much better than what he got. Seriously, if hell exists, I hope there’s a whole new level of it just for Dennis’s killer and their useless turd of an accomplice.
On a happier note, I wonder how Jerry Sherwood’s holding up these days. I got to thinking about her the other day, and I hope she’s doing great in any case.
But anyways, back to true crime shows. I’d have the videos of old episodes of whatever show I remember hearing about or what seemed interesting playing on my computer as background noise while I did homework in college.
I found episodes of FBI: Criminal Pursuit, and Web of Lies. I saw every episode of them, too.
Then when I got my TV and antenna, I saw that Court TV Mystery (then known as Escape prior to its’ re-branding after the buyout) was in our broadcast market. That’s where I saw they had Forensic Files, the Dennis Farina episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, It Takes a Killer, The FBI Files, and crime movies in the lineup. I’d have it on as background noise when I’d do work for what’s become my day job for quite a while, before I moved on to other channels.
I also saw that there was a similar channel in a neighboring broadcast market, True Crime Network (formerly the Justice Network). I was so bummed that they weren’t available in our market, and that they didn’t have a live streaming option on their website.
However, that’s changed, and I’m currently listening to Interpol Investigates, a show I’d never heard of until now. I noticed that it’s very similar in the cinematography and setup as The FBI Files, and saw that it’s put out by the same production team. It’s the background noise while I’m working on this blog post, along with an assignment for my day job.
The screenshot is from the first episode, where there was a killer on the loose in a tourist trap in Thailand, which was in the same region as a few other neighboring popular vacation destinations. He’s currently serving a life sentence in prison in India, according to the Wikipedia article.
Over to you, readers. What true crime shows have you seen and watched every episode of? Sound off below, and let’s get the party started.