I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.
1. Murder So Sweet
The 1993 made-for-television movie Murder So Sweet, also titled Poisoned by Love: The Kern County Murders, is based on the life and crimes of American killer Steve Catlin. Catlin was reckless with money, resulting in debt that continued to rise. Three ex-wives and a current Mrs. undoubtedly contributed to his financial woes. Two of them, however, would also be the solution.
2. The Hillside Stranglers
The Hillside Stranglers recounts the crimes of serial killer cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono. The evil duo also operated a low-level prostitution ring that ended when their girls managed to escape captivity. Unfortunately, they wouldn't tell of the horrible things the men did to them and made them do until a total of eight young women were murdered and their bodies discarded in the Hollywood hills.
3. Citizen Jane
Jane Alexander didn't really know the man she loved and had shared her home with the last five years; her boyfriend, Tom O' Donnell. Handsome and charismatic, Tom is well-liked by most and was quite gifted at convincing people to lend him money for home based business ideas and investing. As always happens, Tom's scams are discovered by Jane's aunt with whom Jane has a very close relationship. When her aunt is found bound and stabbed over 90 times, Jane hires a retired police detective to find her aunt's murderer after police fail to do so. Jane had no idea just how shocking - or costly, the results would be.
4. Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas
American serial killer Henry Lee Lucas was born to an impoverished narcissistic mother who was just one of many who would make life a living hell for the little boy with the glass eye. That little boy would commit his first murder at only seventeen years old and his totals will never truly be known as Henry Lee was a pathological liar who confessed to crimes he did not commit while recanting confessions for others detectives are certain he committed. His life and crimes are chronicled in Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas.
5. The Boston Strangler
For almost two years, the older women of Boston, Massachusetts feared nightfall and the monster who strangled women with their pantyhose would take another victim. Not having any stockings didn't deter him; if he had his sites on you, a belt or rope would suffice just as well.
6. The Riverman
For more than a decade, the police in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, were desperate to find the serial killer lurking among the cities' prostitutes. Before they identified their killer as truck driver Gary Ridgeway, The Green River Killer (as he'd been dubbed by the media) would claim more than 70 victims; young women who daughters, mothers, girlfriends, sisters whose sad lives were ended while just trying to eek out an existence. A long story case has been condensed in to a 90 minute movie based on the case in The Riverman.
It's difficult to find anyone in a first world country who hasn't heard of the infamous American serial killer Ted Bundy. For years, Ted Bundy lured women to his beige Volkswagon Beetle where he would kidnap them, brutally assault them, and strangle them before hiding their bodies so he could return to admire his handy work later.
8. Son of Sam
In the late 1970s, eight people were gunned down seemingly randomly as there was absolutely no motive for their murders. Only by a fluke were police able to identify their killer as David Berkowitz, who claimed to have been under orders of a demon which had manifested itself in his neighbor's dog, Harvey; the neighbor's name was Sam, hence the self-proclaimed moniker and the name of this movie, Son of Sam.
9. You Belong to Me: Sex, Race and Murder in the South
You Belong to Me: Sex, Race, and Murder in the South details the case of wealthy black woman Ruby McCollum who shot and murdered Dr. C. LeRoy Adams. Ruby claimed Dr. Adams had forced her to have sex with him for several years and that her youngest child was a product of this forced relationship. While on the surface this seems like just another murder case, one has to remember while watching this film, all of this occurred in the Southern state of Florida in 1952, long before the days of desegregation.
10. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is an interesting perspective on the case of the West Memphis 3. If you're unfamiliar with the WM3, they were three teenage boys (now middle aged) who were considered troubled outcasts at the start of the 1993 summer when three eight year old boys were discovered sexually assaulted, bound, and strangled in West Memphis, Arkansas. After a witness vaguely remembers seeing the boys in the area on the day of the disappearances, investigators hone in on the boys as suspects, not giving much consideration to anyone else. Now, more than 20 years later, a re-examination of the evidence uncovers the flaws behind the mens' convictions and point fingers in a surprising direction.
© 2016 Kim Bryan