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Hundreds of homicide cases in any given year can shake even the staunchest cities and police departments to the core. The statistics, however, don't paint the real stories and the effect that lingers -- through the pain endured by victims' loved ones, the community impact, and the memories that detectives will never forget. "Homicide City" explores unforgettable murder cases from major American cities, investigations that had law enforcement banding together across metropolitan landscapes in a sequence of manhunts. Each story is told by veteran homicide detectives, local reporters, and the victims' families.
Veteran journalist Paula Zahn steps out of the studio and into the field to unravel criminal investigations, tracking the drama of each story by featuring the opinions of those closest to the case, including law enforcement officials, the families of the victims and the incarcerated, lawyers from both sides, and first-time TV interviews with convicted murderers.
Living in a surveillance society means everyday actions are caught on camera, mostly of honest citizens going about their routines. Video, however, doesn't discriminate; criminals also end up on film. "See No Evil" presents dramatic stories of crimes being solved with the aid of surveillance cameras. Testimony from police, eyewitnesses and families are woven into re-enactments bolstered by actual security-camera footage, which helps unlock answers to cases that otherwise might have remained unsolved and left dangerous perpetrators at large.
Rod Demery's destiny was sealed at the age of 3. That's when his mother was murdered, and Demery would come to realize that he wanted to protect people who couldn't protect themselves. He did so by serving for 14 years as a Shreveport, La., homicide detective, working on more than 250 cases and solving each of the 60-plus investigations on which he was lead detective. In "Murder Chose Me," Demery reflects on his stellar career, guiding viewers through first-person storytelling that weaves his uniquely tragic personal connection to the story of each homicide he solved.
In classic Investigation Discovery style, "Murder in the Heartland" weaves harrowing narratives of quiet Middle America towns torn apart by provocative crimes. Each town's tale is given life by the combined perspectives of its residents, who are more than just storytellers. The interviewees were also key witnesses to each of the crimes, and they hold critical clues to puzzles that not only have forever changed their lives but how they have come to view their once-idyllic hometowns.
Like trying to decipher the value of a book without ever opening it, judging a person by his or her outward appearance can be a mistake. Someone may look perfect on the outside, but even the most kind-hearted soul has a dark side looming. "Diabolical" is a 10-episode docuseries that delves into the minds of murderers, asking a simple question: "Why did they do it?" The acts were committed with extreme premeditation -- many were months or even years in the making. Tension builds in each episode as law enforcement taps into the methods of devious masterminds, aided by insights from forensic psychologists and psychiatrists as well as criminal profilers.
Investigators reconstruct the tragic final hours in a murder victim's life in order to crack the case and find the killer.
Not every murder scene leaves behind clues in the form of bloody footprints, clothing fibers or fingerprint stains. Investigators earn their reputations by discovering evidence other than what is easy to see. This series spotlights devoted investigators who "go beyond the headlines," incorporating cutting-edge science to find the tiniest trace evidence and understand its relevance. The forensics-driven stories are told via stylized re-enactments, showing how the best investigators work to decipher which clues mean nothing and which ones will put a killer behind bars, all to bring justice to victims' loved ones.
If anyone knows how to come out on top in a murder case, it's Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi. As a prosecutor with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office for two decades, Nicolazzi amassed a 35-0 record in the Homicide Bureau and established a flawless reputation for exposing the truth, while remaining a steadfast advocate for victims. Her expertise carries over to her role in "True Conviction," a six-episode series that follows Nicolazzi as she travels across the country to reveal how top prosecutors tackled their toughest cases. She visits crime scenes, examines cases through the eyes of prosecutors, and meets with key figures at the center of each case. The goal, she says, is to bring these true crime stories to life and tell them in a way that hasn't been done before.
Lt. Joe Kenda spent 23 years in the Colorado Springs Police Department, where he amassed a lifetime of memories catching killers and helping solve close to 400 homicide investigations. The vivid memories are brought back to life in this hourlong series, as Kenda reopens his "Murder Books" for viewers -- folders in which every detail of his murder cases is held -- to revisit the most disturbing cases still haunting him today. As he details the process of how he solved the crimes, Kendra also embarks on a personal journey, coming to terms with long-suppressed nightmares. As he says, "I don't want to tell these stories. I need to."
To hunt down the most heartless of killers, investigators must carefully gather clues to build an accurate profile, and there's always traces of the fiend somewhere left behind.
How well do you know your neighbors? What are their names? What do they do for a living? After watching "Nightmare Next Door," you may want to find out a little more about them. Each episode tells the story of a murder that happened in a seemingly tight-knit community. Viewers get to the heart of the case through interviews with investigators, prosecutors, family members and -- of course -- neighbors, in addition to forensic experiments. The stories reveal twists and turns, and when a suspect emerges, the final outcome can surprise everyone involved.
Dark dreams see the light of day in "Your Worst Nightmare," a typical Investigation Discovery true-crime series complete with jump-out-of-your-seat moments and chilling conclusions. Classic suspense film techniques highlight re-enactments of creepy, harrowing crimes, as victims' darkest dreams become unfathomable realities. Each hourlong episode features one story interlaced with commentary from law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, and psychologists, plus accounts from friends and family of the victim.
The most terrifying criminals often hide in plain sight, looking as ordinary as a friendly next-door neighbor. Those regular Joes are the focus of "American Monster," precisely because lurking within them are psychopathic killers. Similar to Investigation Discovery's "See No Evil," the hourlong series uses personal movie footage of the monsters-in-disguise at home with family and friends, giving viewers a sense of how their lives are seemingly normal. Interweaved are the stories of their astonishing crimes and interviews with neighbors and loved ones.
From blushing brides turned cold-blooded killers to smitten grooms with shocking dark sides, "Fatal Vows" examines the criminal psychology behind deadly divorces. Guiding viewers through actual stories of love gone wrong are psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser and forensic/clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Russell, who examine each couple to better understand how the marriage turned from flawed to fatal. Stylized re-enactments are supported by interviews with family, friends, law enforcement, and potential victims of the crime, while Kaiser and Dr. Russell provide analysis on unions that break down until divorce and murder collide.
The urgency and intimacy of local news reports capture the murder investigations that turned small towns and communities upside down.
Actual murder cases from the 1950s and '60s get sleek, cinematic treatment in this series, transporting viewers back to a pre-forensics era when sometimes it was more about how suspects looked than what they did that determined guilt. Narrative by a fictional bystander -- who "knew" the victim -- drives the hourlong episodes, while reporters who covered the case explain how the events impacted society. Artfully crafted re-creations play out like period thrillers, staying true to fashions and styles, while spotlighting cultural taboos and social norms surrounding each case.
From the outside, families seem like harmonious units in loving homes. But you don't necessarily know what secrets families are hiding from the outside world. This series, narrated by actress Brenda Strong, explores families hiding the most extreme of family secrets: murder. Each episode explores a death in a family, unraveling the motives of the family members, all of whom are potential suspects -- and potential victims. Sibling rivalries, disputes over family businesses and infidelity are some of the factors that lead to the families' ultimate betrayals.
As its title implies, "Redrum" works in reverse. The true crime series flips the script of traditional mystery programming by starting the stories at the scene of the crimes and working backward to reveal the killers. Told with the help of interviews with friends and family close to the victim -- and sometimes even the killer -- each story integrates the interviews with stylized re-creations to show how investigators piece together a case, tracing a series of intersecting events and relationships that unfolded to arrive at the root of the crime.
Medical examiners provide their perspectives on high-profile murder cases, as they work with homicide detectives to bring justice to both the victims and their families.
In many ways, the 1980s are considered the deadliest decade in recent history. Who wants to travel back in time knowing the 10 years consisted of infamous cases like the serial-killing crime spree of "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, the Menendez brothers' murder of their parents, and Mark David Chapman's cold-blooded shooting of music legend John Lennon? Investigation Discovery explores the dark side of nostalgia to recount other notable murder investigations from the '80s, an era of ego where excess and greed dangerously collide.