SUNDAY JULY 12

9

P
eT/PT

AN HLN ORIGINAL SERIES
VERY SCARY PEOPLE
Actor and singer Donnie Wahlberg hosts the second season of Very Scary People, a six-episode HLN Original Series that chronicles the twisted lives of some of the most frightening, diabolical characters in recent history. Each two-hour episode traces the heinous, criminal acts of these elusive miscreants and the eventual road to justice.

Son of Sam: The Duke of Death

He is among the most infamous serial killers in American history.  From 1976 to 1977, David Berkowitz terrorized New York City under his creepy self-given moniker:  “Son of Sam.” Using a large caliber .44 revolver, he unleashed eight horrific shootings across three different boroughs, wounding seven people and killing six.  Despite an extraordinary investigation, and hundreds of NYPD officers working the case, Berkowitz’s crime spree lasted over a year.   How did he get away with it? What clues did investigators miss? The detectives who worked the case tell the true tale of what it was like in New York City with a gun-toting murderer on the loose. The episode features interviews with detectives and psychologists about what he said after his arrest, why he did it, and how this quiet, soft spoken 24-year old post office employee from Yonkers turned into a serial killing monster.

BTK: Bind, Torture, Kill

In January 1974, four members of a family are brutally tortured and murdered in Wichita, Kansas.  The murders shock the safe midwestern city, but little do they know, it is just the beginning.  The killer calls himself “B.T.K.” which stands for Bind, Torture, Kill; and for decades this bloodthirsty serial killer terrifies Wichita as he murders again and again and again. After multiple killings from 1974 to 1991, he goes quiet; but he resurfaces in 2004, and residents of the midwestern city are once again petrified. For months he plays a cat and mouse game with law enforcement and the media taunting them as he seeks the attention he craves. But when he finally makes a mistake and is apprehended, it is chilling to discover that he has been hiding in plain sight for years.

The Night Stalker: Summer of Terror

The Summer of 1985 was one of the hottest the city of Los Angeles had seen in a century, but terrified residents were not sleeping with the windows open. A killer was on the loose. And although the 1980s were considered the decade of the serial killer, one man stood out. He was the night stalker, and his crimes were vicious, random, and committed in the name of Satan. His victims ranged from toddlers to the elderly; and as the city was paralyzed with fear, he went unchecked as police struggled to stop him. In 1985, the L.A.P.D. gets a tip. Twenty-four hours later, a mob of angry citizens track him down and capture him, and his trial is a bizarre chapter that has some wondering if the Night Stalker will escape justice. 

The Co-ed Killer: The Murder Capital of the World

Santa Cruz, California was a mecca for the hippie generation in the early 1970s, a beachside paradise, until female students began to go missing, with their body parts showing up around town. Police had no leads on who was committing these horrific crimes, but they soon realize that all the victims had something in common: they were last seen hitchhiking. A frantic public, desperate for answers, live in terror, waiting for the man they dubbed “The Coed Killer” to strike again. But no one could have expected that the person responsible, a local man, Edmund Kemper, was living among them, hiding in plain sight. Kemper was a man with a dark history and a tortured childhood, a man who had killed years before and had now set his twisted sights on young women. Told through interview footage with Kemper himself, as well as those who lived through this crippling period, this episode takes viewers back to the time when The Coed Killer brought terror to Santa Cruz. 

Robert Durst: World’s Worst Fugitive

The unbelievable story of Robert Durst, the millionaire heir to a vast real estate fortune who has been linked to the deaths of his wife, his best friend, and his neighbor.  For decades, Durst has been living under a cloud of suspicion. His first wife went missing in 1982, but the case went cold when there were no leads — and no body. Then, 18 years later, just as the investigation into her disappearance was re-opened, Durst’s best friend and confidante, Susan Berman, was shot dead inside her home. In later years, Durst decides to give a revealing look into his life in the six-part series “the Jinx” where in the final episode he is overheard in the bathroom muttering to himself, “killed them all, of course.” Durst has been arrested for the murder of his best friend, Susan Berman. Now as he stands trial in Los Angeles, will his own words come back to haunt him?

Dr. Death: A License to Kill

For nearly two decades, Michael Swango, a physician-turned-murderer, left a trail of death and mayhem across two continents. Suspicious illnesses and deaths followed this once-trusted doctor from hospital to hospital for nearly two decades, picking off unsuspecting coworkers and helpless patients.  What would make a well-respected doctor become one of the most prolific serial killers in the U.S.? Hear from the local and federal authorities who brought his reign of terror to an end.  Interviews include survivors from Michael Swango’s poisoning sprees, his former colleagues, families of his victims, federal and local investigators, and a Zimbabwean journalist who helped uncover a series of murders in a rural African hospital.