CRIME SCENE: THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS -- A Raw and Visceral Retelling of a Series of Murders in Texas
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Texas Killing Fields was a 2011 film based on a series of murders over several years in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. It had a great cast, including Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Jeffery Dean Morgan, and was directed by Ami Canaan Mann. The documentary series, Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields, 11 years later from Netflix, is based on the same story as the film.
In the 1980s and '90s, a series of murders started happening in Texas around Calder Road Field, which is adjacent to the I45 corridors, which has become known as the Texas Killing Fields. When a fourth body is found, people become concerned that this is a deprived serial killer. Police in League City, Texas are baffled by this series of murders. This was preceded by a series of killings in the 1970s in the same area. How could all this be just a coincidence?
It features various people involved in the murders. One of them is a parent of one of the dead girls, Tim Miller, and there are multiple other talking heads. It also features reenactments, archival footage, and narration over the film. It's the type of extensive docu-series for which Netflix has become known lately. Reporters and writers are also interviewed to give some substance to this story.
Various suspects are brought up by people who live in the area and have studied the series of murders. The FBI profiled the case, and they came up with their own killer. Everybody started to get worried because their suspicions were wrong. Forensics at this time weren't at today's level, so things didn't go as well as they had hoped once the profile was sent down.
These shows are always interesting because if you live in a different part of the country or were born years after a certain event or series of events, you might not know about them. These docu-series are very informative to people who aren't involved or don't know about the events in the story beforehand. I am always fascinated by these investigative series. It's just tragic that this type of thing keeps happening in this country.
The director of the series, Jessica Dimmock, an Emmy award winner for her work on the New York Times Presents series The Weekly, directs and executive produces The Texas Killing Fields. Joe Berlinger, the director of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and The Times Square Killer, also executive produces the new season alongside Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Production Company.
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields is the third in a series of documentaries that have dealt with the disappearance, death, and or sexual assault of women. All the various talking heads from victims, parents, reporters, and police officers add to the horror of this story. The directors and producers do a great job using everything at their disposal to tell this story in an impactful, harrowing way.
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields streams on Netflix beginning November 29. All three episodes reviewed.