HBO releases trailer for true crime documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?”

HBO releases trailer for true crime documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?”

Source:  Nonfictionfilm.com

HBO has released a trailer for its upcoming two-part true crime documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?”

Directed by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?), the film centers on the case of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips of Potsdam, New York who was strangled to death in October 2011 in the apartment he shared with his mother and a half-brother.

Police quickly focused their attention on an ex-boyfriend of Garrett’s mother, Oral “Nick” Hillary, a black man who served as soccer coach at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

No physical evidence linked Hillary to the crime, but he was indicted on a second-degree murder charge nonetheless.  The documentary questions whether Hillary’s prosecution resulted from racial bias.

“Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” premieres July 23 on HBO.

Read the story at Nonfictionfilm.com.

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The Michelle Carter texting suicide case is the subject of a new HBO documentary

The Michelle Carter texting suicide case is the subject of a new HBO documentary

Source:  Entertainment Tonight

Michelle Carter, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for her involvement in Conrad Roy’s 2014 suicide, is the subject of Erin Lee Carr’s latest documentary, “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter.”

The film examines the Massachusetts’ trial, dubbed the “Texting Suicide Case,” about a teenage girl deemed responsible for sending texts that seemed to encourage her boyfriend to kill himself.

The case became a national news sensation and sparked a debate around digital technology, social media, and mental health.

“I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter” premieres on back-to-back nights on July 9 and  July 10 on HBO.

Read the story at Entertainment Tonight.

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“Death in the Bayou: The Jennings 8” searches for clues in Cajun Country

“Death in the Bayou: The Jennings 8” searches for clues in Cajun Country

Source:  Den of Geek

Between 2005 and 2009, eight young women were murdered on the edge of Louisiana’s Cajun country in Jefferson Davis Parish.  Investigation Discovery explores the unsolved cases in “Death in the Bayou: The Jennings 8.”

All of the victims knew each other.  Some were related to each other, others were roommates to the other victms.  They went to the same bars, did drugs together, and knew the same dealers and the cops who were investigating them.

The Jennings police chief who was in charge during the time of the killings later pled guilty to stealing money and drugs from the evidence room.

Eyewitness statements to a Jennings 8 task force implicated the local sherrif’s office in the murders.  The sergeant who took the statements was forced out of his job.  The Sheriff’s office chief criminal investigator was accused of buying the truck that was used to get rid of a body.  Investigators working the case were given DNA tests.

“Death in the Bayou: The Jennings 8” premieres on Investigation Discovery over two nights on Saturday, June 15,  and Sunday, June 16.

Read the story at Den of Geek.

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Why Are We Obsessed With Serial Killers?

Why Are We Obsessed With Serial Killers?

Source:  The Atlantic

In 1979, the American discourse on serial killers was irrevocably changed.  Ted Bundy’s serial murder trial, which was nationally televised, ushered in a new era of live entertainment.

Fifteen years later, O. J. Simpson’s trial became the next national obsession.

The true-crime genre reached new heights of popularity in 2014 with the podcast Serial.  The proliferation of successful murder-centric content that followed is indicative of a public obsession.

Why do serial killers inspire such fervent intrigue among Americans?  A new video from The Atlantic investigates.

Watch “Why Are We Obsessed With Serial Killers” above and read the story at The Atlantic.

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“Our Godfather” tells the story of Tommaso Buscetta, the Sicilian Mafia informant whose testimony led to more than 400 convictions

“Our Godfather” tells the story of Tommaso Buscetta, the Sicilian Mafia informant whose testimony led to more than 400 convictions

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

The story of Sicilian Mafia informant Tommaso Buscetta is compellingly told in “Our Godfather,” directed by Mark Franchetti and Andrew Meier, that recently received its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival.

Relating the story of Buscetta, the highest-ranking Sicilian Mafia figure ever to break the code of silence known as omertà, with the gripping tension and fast pacing of a first-rate thriller, “Our Godfather” will prove fascinating for anyone interested in organized crime.  And as the films with a title similar to this one demonstrated several decades ago, those numbers are large.

Buscetta’s story is also being dramatized in Marco Bellocchio’s upcoming film “The Traitor,” which premieres at the Cannes Film Festival.

It’s the small, resonant details that make “Our Godfather” more than simply a true-crime tale but also a moving portrait of a man who was both a stone-cold killer and a tragic figure who never got over his guilt for what his criminal lifestyle had done to his family.  It’s Shakespearean tragedy, mafioso style.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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HBO prepping docuseries on self-help group tied to sex trafficking and racketeering

HBO prepping docuseries on self-help group tied to sex trafficking and racketeering

Source:  NBC News

An HBO documentary series currently in production will take a “deep, nuanced look” at NXIVM, the upstate New York self-help group that prosecutors say doubled as a secret sex cult.

The series will follow a group of members who joined the self-improvement organization only to later learn, they said, that it recruited women through empowerment workshops and held them hostage as sex slaves for Keith Raniere, who co-founded the group in 1998 with Nancy Salzman.

The docuseries promises to provide an inside look at the ongoing federal investigation, which has led to the indictment of six leading figures on charges ranging from racketeering to sex trafficking and child pornography.

Among those arrested were “Smallville” actress Allison Mack, who has since pleaded guilty, and Seagram’s liquor heiress, Claire Bronfman.

Read the story at NBC News.

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