As law enforcement learned from a seriel killer known as the Confession Killer, not every mea culpa leads to convictions. Det. Fil Waters, one of the city of Houston’s most successful interrogators, isn’t after a confession when he starts questioning suspects. He wants the truth. The renowned homicide detective will recount his six most famous cases in the series The Interrogator, which premieres on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.
The six-part series will demonstrate how Waters convinced prime suspects to lower their guard and reveal answers police never saw coming. “Having helped to solve over 400 cases involving murder, Detective Waters has used his unique instinct and tactical interrogation skills to elicit confessions – and, in this new and informative series, he tells us how he did it,” Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America Henry Schleiff, said in a statement.
Viewers will get an inside look at the interrogation rooms where Waters uses questions to craft the pathway to answers. The interrogations and the detective work “showcase a strategy and expertise that only a top-notch homicide detective can develop,” according to the advance press.
“How many lies does it take to make someone a liar? For Detective Fil Waters, the answer is one,” reads the official press statement. He uses strategic lines of questioning to lay out the facts his team has cultivated during their investigation, backing the perpetrator into a corner where they know they have no option but to tell the truth. The smooth talk behind his compulsive pursuit of justice lets him to “dig deep into the psyche of a culprit, using questions and context to unearth jaw-dropping confessions.”
“When Fil is asking the questions, unexpected criminals come clean, shirking suspects relent, and dodging defendants surrender,” the press promises. The series premieres with the one of Waters’ most personal cases, episode “Missing on Christmas Eve,” which airs Dec. 5 at 10 p.m. “A mother’s worst nightmare becomes a reality when her 12-year-old son goes missing,” reads the official synopsis. “Just minutes before his disappearance, the young boy calls his mother at work but a co-worker answers. Another voice is heard uttering obscenities in the background. By the time his mother reaches the phone, the line goes dead. All of this happens on Christmas Eve.” The detective “learns this is not the first time the child has vanished.”
“When a teenager finds her beloved neighbor, Rebecca Claybrook, beaten to death in her own home, the young woman is determined to help the police catch her killer,” reads the synopsis to “Overkill,” which premieres Dec. 12th. “As soon as Detective Waters is called to the scene, it’s obvious to him that the victim knew her killer and this was personal. The seasoned investigator soon learns there are many interesting men in her life including a pimply-faced teen stalker, a man she calls ‘Hunk of Love;’ an ex-boyfriend who wants more; and a friend’s live-in lover. But it’s a license plate on a broken-down car spotted near the crime scene that leads Waters to the truth.
A modern day “Bonnie & Clyde” premieres Dec. 19. “When two Yellow Cab drivers are murdered in less than a week, the city of Houston is thrown into a frenzy,” according to the synopsis. “It’s up to Waters and his partner to catch the killers before it turns into a deadly chain of serial murders. Waters tracks down audio recordings of the same female voice calling dispatch for a ride, luring the taxi drivers to their deaths. And that’s not all – one of the homicides is captured on tape and a deadly duo appears to be involved.”
In “You Know What Time It Is” a young woman finds her sister shot to death on the pavement just outside their apartment as she’s leaving for work. “The victim, Aidee Reyna, was out celebrating her 30th birthday with friends just hours before,” the synopsis tells us. “After interviewing multiple witnesses and suspects, including her ex-husband and a shady ex-boyfriend, Detective Fil Waters uncovers a shocking lead that ultimately connects the killer to the victim’s bank card. The most unnerving part? The confession is caught on video.” The episode premieres Dec. 26.
In “The Murders at Immaculate Auto Sales,” which premieres Jan. 2, “two generations of the tight-knit Contreras family are shot in broad daylight while they are working at their family-owned car dealership, and a small community is left in shock. To law enforcement, the killings had the appearance of a hired hit,” according to the synposis. “After an intense four-month investigation that goes cold, Det. Fil Waters boils it all down thanks to an eye-witness, a scorned woman, and a video tape. The memories of this case will remain with Det. Waters for the rest of his life.”
Jennifer McKinley, aged 28, is strangled to death in her bedroom while her young son sleeps in the episode “Like Mother, Like Daughter. As Waters investigates he notices a chilling pattern. “The victim’s own mother was murdered twenty-five years earlier when Jennifer was only two, and that case has never been solved,” explains the synopsis. “Could there be a connection between the two homicides, and could her young son be in danger as well?” The episode air Jan. 9.
The Interrogator premieres on Thursday, Dec. 5 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.