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How It Really Happened

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Wondering how the events really happened, HLN's original series revisits and reveals new answers to notorious crimes, mysteries, trials, and celebrity tragedies. The premiere delves into the sensational trial of brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, including the shocking motive for the brutal murders of their wealthy parents. From there, episodes dissect new clues and re-examine conspiracy theories connected to, among others, the John F. Kennedy Jr. plane crash, the deaths of music royalty Prince, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, and the FBI's investigation of "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski. Included are fresh accounts from witnesses who speak publicly about the cases for the first time. Actor Hill Harper, best known for his role on "CSI: NY," hosts.

Latest episodes

VOD available
The chilling account of a man who survived his encounter with the notorious serial killer, who managed to evade police scrutiny for years.
aired 24 days ago
A tale of murder, adultery, courtroom drama, and ultimately the death penalty; the story of Scott and Laci Peterson as told by those who lived it.
VOD available
On Oct. 28, 2007, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, the wife of veteran police sergeant Drew Peterson, goes missing. as police launch an intensive search to find Stacy, the case raises shocking new questions about her husband.
VOD available
Behind the scenes of singer Selena's red-hot career, ambitions and tragic demise; includes interviews with a close friend, a back-up singer and the nurse who spoke to Selena and her killer.
VOD available
At the young age of 23, New England Patriots star player Aaron Hernandez is set up for greatness; less than a year later, a body is found riddled with bullets only a short distance from Hernandez's home.
VOD available
Five college students were found brutally murdered in Gainesville, Fla. but it would take investigators months, and the discovery of a campsite, a screwdriver and an audio tape, before they identified who the serial killer was.
VOD available
During a terrifying three-day period in late August 1990, five college students were found brutally murdered in Gainesville, Fla.; panic filled the usually sunny city as investigators searched to find the serial killer before he struck again.
aired 35 days ago
Examining the factors that led to the crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. and a never before seen interview with a person who may have been the last person to speak to JFK Jr, moments before the crash.
VOD available
Designer Gianni Versace was gunned down in broad daylight on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion; those closest to Versace, and his killer Andrew Cunanan, try to unravel the mystery.
VOD available
George Michael's life as international super star comes to a mysterious and tragic end on Christmas Eve 2016; family and fans were shocked by his sudden death.
VOD available
For nine days, the nation waits for news as to the whereabouts of missing 3-year-Michael and 14-month-old Alex Smith; then, there's a shocking break in the case; the boys' father, David, shares his heartbreaking story; a look at the investigation.
VOD available
On Oct. 25, 1994, Susan Smith reports that a carjacker has abducted her two young sons, Michael and Alexander; this report sets off a nationwide search for the boys; while the world waits for news about the boys, investigators deliver shocking news.
VOD available
Timothy McVeigh himself describes how events in his personal life inspired him to take action against his fellow Americans.
VOD available
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a 26-year-old U.S. army veteran, detonated a 7,000 pound truck bomb outside the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, claiming the lives of 168 innocent people.
VOD available
The siege at Waco ends in a fiery hell claiming the lives of David Koresh, his followers and his wives and children; TV news crews and demonstrators watch in horror as the ranch goes up in flames.
VOD available
A look at what was going on inside the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and why the government raided it in 1993.
VOD available
'How it Really Happened' uncovers Prince's secret struggles from his earlier years to the final days leading up to his shocking death.
VOD available
Actor-musician David Cassidy ("The Partridge Family") experiences the pressures of fame as a teen idol in the 1970s; in the end, his death is surrounded by mystery, leaving his family, friends and fans with more questions than answers.
VOD available
In 1974, college-age women from the Pacific Northwest begin to disappear without a trace.
VOD available
For nine months in 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was the most famous missing child in America; kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell, she was forced up into a hiding spot in the mountains behind her home, assaulted and forced to be his second wife.
VOD available
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her Salt Lake city home in 2002 and snatched from her bed at knifepoint by a mysterious man in the middle of the night; to the public it seemed as if she had vanished into thin air.

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Even though historic events have already happened, the details of them are not always clear; many still have mysteries surrounding them. "The Missing Evidence" takes a look at some of history's biggest mysteries and legends. The show examines data and eyewitness accounts through the use of technology and analytics to find the missing evidence that will help differentiate reality from mystery when it comes to these historical people and events. Episodes look into such mysteries as the details surrounding the death of Marilyn Monroe, the existence (or lack thereof) of the Loch Ness Monster and the legend of Bigfoot.
Some of the world's most notorious murders are the subject of "It Takes a Killer," which investigates the crimes from the perspective of the killers, trying to get inside their minds and determine their motives. Leading homicide investigators and experts from such agencies as the FBI and Scotland Yard take a look at the evidence pulled from crime scenes and profile the killer's behavior to try to piece together the details of each murder, explaining when, why and how each criminal committed the crime. For the wannabe detectives watching the show, the experts also reveal how the crime was solved -- which often requires authorities to think like a killer.
Narrated and co-executive produced by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, "Race for the White House" captures the high-stakes drama, dirty politics and Machiavellian schemes employed during history's most dramatic presidential elections. Using archival footage, interviews and stylized dramatizations, each hourlong episode tells the story of one presidential campaign, "a four-year, no-holds-barred battle to become the most powerful person in the world, culminating in a single night of heart pounding tension," says CNN. Among the races covered: Abraham Lincoln/Stephen Douglas, John F. Kennedy/Richard Nixon, and George H.W. Bush/Michael Dukakis.
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's is often thought of as a celebratory period to spend time with friends and family. That is not always the case, though, as the period is not immune from experiencing the same types of violent crimes that occur throughout the year. This series documents stories of tragedy that struck during the holidays, with firsthand accounts from people who had friends or family members killed during the joyous time. Sometimes the victim is killed by someone close to them, such as a case of sibling rivalry turned deadly, but sometimes the killing is done by a stranger who interrupts a holiday gathering with gunfire.
No one would suspect that the perfectly manicured lawns with trimmed hedges and fences lined up like toy soldiers would harbor such a secret, but sometimes things are not always what they seem. "Buried in the Backyard" examines true-crime stories about unfortunate victims found buried in the most unlikely of places -- the backyard. When the remains are unearthed, its the very beginning of an investigation, police piece together the person's identity and determine the cause of death before seeking the person responsible. Thrilling and captivating re-creations paired with firsthand knowledge from those closest to the victims can be seen as investigators track down the "why" and "how" and give viewers a shocking tale.
Presidential elections in America always garner a lot of media coverage, but the 2016 campaign is bringing new meaning to the phrase "media circus" thanks to the presence of media-friendly Republican hopeful Donald Trump. The campaign really builds up steam as the calendar flips from 2015 to 2016, which is when this real-time docuseries begins its look at the campaigns of Trump, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton and others vying for a chance to spend at least four years in the White House. The series follows key characters and stories from the campaigns, providing behind-the-scenes access into a world the public rarely sees in its weekly half-hour episodes. Executive producers of "The Circus" include political analysts/authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann ("Game Change").