True crime can be completely fascinating. Detectives who devote their life to seeking out the truth surrounding the death of some stranger are people I hold huge admiration for. Where most of us turn up for work and leave without a second thought, such detectives spend hours thinking about a stranger and devoting their life to seeking answers. In many cases this can be detrimental to their own life.
Killing Fields opens with an introduction by Rodie Sanchez. He describes the area of the world in which he’s lived for many years, the beautiful state of Louisiana, USA. An area that’s swarming with swamps and bayous. A good place to hide something if needed. Sadly this part of the world has seen great tragedy and destruction over the years. Natural disasters and man have separately contributed greatly to this sadness.
Rodie sits in a chair in the evening, outdoors; he’s a man who has lived life. It’s quite obvious that he has much experience behind him and he explains his working life as a detective who has devoted his life to seeking killers and to finding reasons. He admits he’s made a mistake 18 years ago, something a detective should never do. He made a promise to the family of a murder victim. His promise? To find a killer, the person responsible, and provide answers for the remaining family. This is a real investigation, reopened.
Killing Fields is Discovery Channel’s first True Crime series and follows this cold case as it unfolds in real time with a fresh look at this case after two decades.
What follows turns us, the viewer, into true flies on the wall. I found myself absolutely enthralled as Rodie recounts his steps of investigation that seems fresh in his mind. It’s apparent that something 18 years previous has haunted this man and had a significant impact on his life. The search for the killer of Eugenie Boisfontaine is ongoing and appears to have been something Rodie Sanchez has been unable to forget.
Season one of Killing Fields introduces us to a current team of detectives in Louisiana. A team who are supporting a retired detective that has been reinstated for this case alone. We’re privileged to watch as they retrace old steps, try to track down new clues and witnesses and seek out a killer who could still be around 18 years later.
There appears to be a great disparity between what is available now to help those seeking answers and what was available back then. It’s intriguing to see “old school” and “new school” methods overlap and accompany each other. New technology seems both useful and scary for this retired man and yet it’s standard for the current crew.
I won’t discuss anything found throughout the show here, I’ll leave that to anyone else who watches this show. I would encourage everyone to see it though, especially those with an interest in true crime. I’ve been left with my own opinion, whether I’m right, or even close, is open to discussion. Maybe season 2 will provide clarity.
Gary Dugdale lives in Newcastle, UK and can be found on Twitter @gjd4723