Actual footage reveals clues, confessions and culprits in The Murder Tapes. The ten-part true-crime series premieres on Wednesday, August 28th at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.
“We are taking the notion of viewer-immersion to a whole new level,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, said in a statement. The series will give viewers a chance to fully experience how homicide cases are conducted, from the initial crime scene investigations via body cam, to home security tapes, to interrogation room footage of real confessions.
The series will feature “every conceivable form of taped footage involved in a homicide case, sharing up-close perspectives from those at the scene and showing the aftermath of a murder in in a raw and unfiltered form,” according to the press statement.
“By using various forms of raw, in-your-face footage, this series shows the critical role that actual recordings play in law enforcement’s heart-pounding quest to capture a killer, with each tape bringing the viewer at home into the very center of the story,” Schleiff said.
Real tapes of the investigations will be woven into present-day interviews from friends, family and law enforcement directly involved in the case. The Murder Tapes will also show reactions from loved ones and families in real time. The footage includes the first impressions investigators get from crime scenes, and will take the audience through the process of making investigative theories. “Evidence accumulates and emotions surge, but the tapes keep rolling,” the press statement promises.
Investigators know it takes time to find all the footage they need, but the revelations are worth the effort. Viewers see the case at its beginning and follow it to the end, proving that when the tapes roll, the truth emerges.
“It all starts with a 911 call,” reads the press statement. “Police direct officers to the scene; body cams are activated, and dashboard video is engaged. Roll tape. Police encounter the crime scene in its entirety and record every corner, but they need more information. Suspects are taken to interrogation rooms, witnesses share their impressions, and family members’ reactions are recorded. Law enforcement narrow in on an answer to the crime, and they know they have one tool to thank. In these cases, memories may be fallible, but the tapes are forever.”
The series will premiere with “Albuquerque Ambush,” where “loving father and former firefighter Don Fluitt is found dead inside his home with no suspect in sight,” according to the official synopsis. “Fluitt’s body is found by coworkers who went to check on him when he didn’t show up for work, and body camera footage captures the crucial moments after his remains are discovered. Investigators are left to figure out the motive behind his killing, working through a list of possible suspects, which include Don’s family, landlord, and his ex-wife’s new husband. Police make progress when they discover a chilling surveillance video that captures the killer on camera, but is it enough to solve this heinous crime?
“Scene of the Crime,” which airs Wednesday, September 4 at 10 p.m., is set in Bellaire, Ohio. “One Sunday afternoon, Cheri and David Kinney were visiting their friend, Brad McGarry, when they discover him shot in the head, execution style,” reads the synopsis. “Law enforcement arrives on the scene and immediately begin to hypothesize possible motives behind the murder: a robbery gone wrong, a hate crime, or lover’s quarrel. As they try to narrow down their leads, detectives interview Brad’s family, friends, and acquaintances.”
The confession itself is caught on camera.
“A mysterious body is discovered in the woods near a mobile home park in Port New Richey, Florida,” reads the official synopsis for “Jane Doe.” “After some process of elimination and discovery of evidence, the body is identified as Judy Therianos. Investigators at Pasco County Sheriff’s Office make a break in the case after uncovering surveillance footage from a liquor store, where Therianos and an unknown male are seen together. This unknown male quickly becomes the prime suspect, but as the detectives continue their investigation, three people come forward and disclose information that leads to an arrest.” The episode airs on Wednesday, September 11 at 10 p.m.
“Frenzy” follows an investigation in Pasco County, Florida. The wife of retired pastor and avid coin collector, Billy Shuler, reports him missing by his wife after he leaves to meet with a prospective client “and never returned home,” reads the synopsis. “A search is immediately ordered, and detectives find Schuler’s abandoned van in an industrial parking lot, wherein the van’s GPS system leads to body. But even though progress was being made, the case went cold. After a year, police find an unlikely connection between several bank robberies and Shuler’s murder, leading to the final conclusion of the case. “Frenzy” airs on Wednesday, September 18.
In “Don’t Go in There,” Beverly Puccio is found murdered in her Dubuqe, Iowa, home, and her ex-boyfriend is pegged as the culprit. He displays odd behavior when police arrive to investigate, leaving them to question the true identity of her murderer. Bodycam video, original audio, and interrogation room footage show detectives swiftly piecing together the last night of Beverly’s life. They track her encounter with a mysterious stranger at a bar, their flirtatious time together, and their cab ride toward her home. Detectives also discover additional clues that lead them to the identity of the mystery man, but conflicting evidence makes it hard to pinpoint the murderer. DON’T GO IN THERE – airs on Wednesday, September 25 at 10 p.m.
In “I Did It,” which airs on October 2, Michelle Kinney is a “free-spirited, trusting and generous mother of two boys in the town of Dubuque, Iowa, who is loved by the entire town,” according to the synopsis. “When her battered and bloody body is discovered in her apartment, the community is left numb with shock. Investigators discover that Michelle often took in people who were going through tough times and needed a place to stay for a few nights. This leads them to question if her generous spirit contributed to her death. And what detectives unearth staggers citizens, friends and family alike.”
The Murder Tapes premieres on Wednesday, August 28 at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.
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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.