Eight young women were murdered on the edge of Louisiana’s Cajun country in Jefferson Davis Parish between 2005 and 2009. 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. Investigation Discovery will explore the unsolved case in Death In The Bayou: The Jennings 8. The four-part special premieres on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16 from 10 p.m. to midnight.
“Between 2005 and 2009, eight women were found dead in or around the small town of Jennings, Louisiana, their bodies discarded in backroads and bayous,” reads the official synopsis. “While the causes of death were varied – some with their throats slashed while many were too decomposed to determine – all were connected to one another, oftentimes seen with the same people in their final hours. With a few suspects but no one ever charged, the unsolved cases remain a source of fear and frustration in the community.”
The Jennings police chief who was in charge during the time of the killings pled guilty to stealing money and drugs from the evidence room. A deputy was fired for the same thing a few years before.
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 allegations were never investigated by law enforcement. The Sheriff’s office chief criminal investigator was accused of buying the truck which was used to get rid of a body. Investigators working the case were given DNA tests.
“Now, tired of waiting for justice, one victim’s family takes us deep inside their search for answers, revealing a dark underbelly of a small southern town riddled by drug use, violence, and allegations of a major cover-up,” reads the statement. Death In The Bayou: The Jennings 8 speaks exclusively to the family of Whitnei Dubois, one of the victims. The special follows her niece Brittany Jones and her sister Taylor Dubois, as the two uncover shocking new information in an attempt to understand what happened to Whitnei.
The special includes interviews from family members of the victims, local law enforcement officials, and previously apprehended suspects. The special presents a “raw and authentic portrait of a world in which family bonds and long-buried secrets hold the answer to the question that haunts this community: who killed the Jennings 8?”
“Jefferson Davis Parish in Louisiana is not unlike many small towns in middle America, so with a population of 10,000, the unsolved murders of ‘The Jennings 8’ created deep-rooted suspicions and unforgiving accusations that have torn the community apart for the past 10 years,” reads the official statement.
The Acadiana area has had nine other unsolved murders since the first body was discovered.
You can watch a clip here:
Death In The Bayou: The Jennings 8 premieres Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16 at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.