Inspired by real events, a teen reports and eventually recants her reported rape, while two female detectives, states away, investigate evidence that could reveal the truth. Based on The Marshall Project & ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” written by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong, “Unbelievable” is a story of unspeakable trauma, unwavering tenacity, & astounding resilience. -Netflix (July 18, 2019)
Unbelievable: Marie – A look at how doubt pervades the case of “Marie” in Netflix’s new limited series “Unbelievable.” Inspired by real events, a teen reports and eventually recants her reported rape, while two female detectives, states away, investigate evidence that could reveal the truth. -Netflix (August 22, 2019)
Cast and creators of Netflix’s Limited Series “Unbelievable” discuss the creation and importance of the series. Inspired by real events, a teen reports and eventually recants her reported rape, while two female detectives, states away, investigate evidence that could reveal the truth. -Netflix (September 9, 2019)
When teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) files a police report claiming she’s been sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home, the investigating detectives, as well as the people closest to her, come to doubt the truth of her story. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes and partner to catch a potential serial rapist. -BUILD Series (September 9, 2019)
A new Netflix series called “Unbelievable” is taking a dramatic look at the serial rape case two female Colorado detectives solved in 2011. -Denver7: The Denver Channel (September 14, 2019)
Marie Adler’s story is truly unbelievable. First it was an article, then it was a book, and now the story is getting widespread attention on Netflix. For this list, we’re looking at all the things in Netflix’s “Unbelievable” miniseries that are absolutely true, such as Marie Adler being charged with filing a false report, Marie suing Lynwood, Rasmussen and Duvall being based on real detectives, and more. A spoiler notice for the show is definitely in order. -Ms. Mojo (September 20, 2019)
Did you know that the new Netflix show, Unbelievable, is based on real life events? Find out Marie Adler’s story and the criminal case that exposed the mishandling of rape investigations in America. -Netflix UK & Ireland (September 27, 2019)
In 1998, a gifted Philadelphia graduate student is found murdered in her bed. The hunt for her killer forces police to reevaluate a series of unsolved crimes, turning the city upside down. Will her killer be caught or will he strike again? -Terror in Philadelphia, People Magazine Investigates (S3, E2)
Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.
When a serial rapist targets military spouses, NCIS agents race against time before he strikes again. -Ruthless, 48 Hours
It is believed that Willie Abner Brown committed 12 sexual assaults in the Jacksonville, North Carolina area, five of them were Marine spouses. After the similarities in reports were observed, the Jacksonville Police Department created a Task Force with Camp Lejeune and Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) because they felt the cases were connected. The Marine Corps leadership at Camp Lejeune were very concerned that there was a serial rapist on the loose because five different military spouses reported being attacked, four were attacked while their husband’s were deployed. The attacker also stole money and debit and credit cards from his victims. Investigators were able to identify Willie Brown via video surveillance while he was using one of the victim’s credit cards at a local convenience store. They learned Brown was a janitor at Camp Lejeune.
The police picked Brown up for a traffic violation and brought him to the station for fraudulent use of one of the victim’s credit cards. The Jacksonville Police Department knew exactly who Willie Brown was because of his long rap sheet. They could prove the theft but they wanted to prove the multiple rapes so they set up a war room to gather and collect information that would help them substantiate that Willie Brown was involved in the sexual assaults as well. They interviewed every victim they could to get a better understanding of the modus operandi of the serial attacker. Investigators also searched Brown’s house and his girlfriend’s house and found items that connected Willie to the victims and the weapon they believe was used in one of the attacks. The victim’s were relieved Willie was finally caught and couldn’t harm anyone else.
Willie Abner Brown
The prosecutor was only able to prove that Willie was connected to four of the twelve sexual assaults. DNA evidence specifically connected Willie Brown to some of the victims. During trial, Willie Brown took the stand to defend himself and he maintained his innocence. He admitted to the robbery but not the sexual assaults. And he told the jury he was sexually assaulted as a child and couldn’t physically carry out the attacks. After a day of deliberation, the jury found Willie Brown guilty on March 13, 2014 of multiple felony charges including rape. He was also convicted of assaulting one of the victims with a deadly weapon. Willie Brown was sentenced to prison for 410 years. “You have to fight for your story, you have to fight for your word.” One of the victims said even if they can’t do anything with your case, you should still report it because someday someone else will report and the cases will be connected.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Ruthless,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app on your iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.
A photographer who was on “The Dating Game” became one of the nation’s deadliest serial killers. Eight years after “48 Hours”‘ first report, new victims emerge. Correspondent Peter Van Sant has the latest Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10/9c on CBS.
Rodney Alcala was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1943. His father abandoned the family when he was young. At 17, Alcala enlisted in the Army but there were problems, allegations of sexual misconduct, a nervous breakdown…the Army discharged him. “The military realized in 1963 that they had him, that he was a sexual deviant.” -Stefano Braccini, Former Cold Case Detective, NYPD (48 Hours)
We hear a lot about #weinstein and the latest, but Jennifer Norris, who served in the US Air Force, has been talking about sexual assault for years. And in the military, reporting rape means endangering yourself. Watch this brave woman speak here https://t.co/1ipeI3SWP6pic.twitter.com/TAjiVjmdDS
Listen to a NYPD sting operation recording of Harvey Weinstein here.
Both “The Invisible War” and “The Hunting Ground” were documentaries produced and directed by Hollywood filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. The Invisible War was an unvetted documentary about sexual assault and rape in the U.S. military. It was lauded by the masses, showcased at the Pentagon, and apparently used to influence Senator Claire McCaskill’s military justice legislation. Before we could wrap our heads around how these filmmakers had silenced veteran’s voices (again), they released The Hunting Ground, another unvetted documentary about sexual assault and rape on our nation’s campuses. And now we are learning that these documentaries were both funded and distributed by “serial predator” and Hollywood movie executive Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company. In the wake of this provable scandal, Amy Ziering came to the defense of the indefensible and admitted in an interview that The Invisible War resulted in thirty five pieces of legislation passed by Congress.
The problem is the only laws passed were Senator Claire McCaskill’s bills. By taking credit for Claire McCaskill’s legislation (that military and veterans did not want), Ziering is admitting to undermining veteran’s efforts to secure due process rights for service members. We wanted them to have due process rights in the military justice system AND with non judicial punishment, retaliation, mental health, security clearance, and discharge. There’s nothing to take credit for unless you back Senator Claire McCaskill’s flawed military sexual assault legislation. Veterans resoundingly wanted the Military Justice Improvement Act sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and supported by multiple bi-partisan Senators including conservatives who saw the constitutional issues with the command directed approach. BUT it was railroaded by Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Carl Levin (now retired), and Senator Kelly Ayotte (now fired). And obviously backed by the filmmakers of a documentary about sexual assault funded and distributed by the very serial predator veterans were trying to hold accountable, especially the leadership tasked with implementing Senator McCaskill’s bills.
The connection has been made. In the wake of the flawed and failed policy in both the military and on college campuses, what these folks felt they knew was best actually created new victims. And it isn’t coincidental that the legislation passed in the military mirrors the unconstitutional use of preponderance of the evidence (50%+) on college campuses. This 2011 guidance came from Obama’s Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and Senator Claire McCaskill and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are trying to get the policy codified as law with the CASA Act. In a stunning twist, newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reversed the harmful policy and reinstated due process protections for the accused on campus. The days of believe all women OR ELSE and holding institutions of authority hostage if you don’t believe the alleged victim are over on our college campuses. Campuses are able to reverse the harmful policy guidance but veterans have to reverse 35 pieces of sexual assault specific legislation that have had devastating consequences on military members and their families.
For all of its flaws and fabrications, “The Hunting Ground,” Harvey Weinstein’s activist documentary film about sexual assault on college campuses, finally succeeded in helping to actually identify a real predator — the filmmaker himself. And, although some of his apologists like filmmaker Rob Reiner tried to excuse Mr. Weinstein’s predatory behavior by saying that he should be lauded for having funded the film to expose the epidemic of rape on college campuses, “The Hunting Ground” helped to fuel a moral panic about sex abuse that directly led to Mr. Weinstein’s own professional demise…The good news is that as more and more powerful people become swept up in the hysteria surrounding sexual assault and people see themselves as vulnerable to such charges, the panic will end as spontaneously as it began. In some ways, a moral panic can be viewed as a “correction” — not unlike a market correction. We needed to bring attention to the Harvey Weinsteins lurking among us. Perhaps now we can now begin to look at sexual assault more rationally — identifying the “real” predators among us. Prof. Anne Hendershott, Washington Times
“48 Hours” goes inside the mind of a serial rapist hunting his victims while two detectives were hunting him. Correspondent Maureen Maher investigates. (November 17, 2016)
On August 11, 2008, Marc Patrick O’Leary raped an eighteen year old at knife point in Lynnwood, Washington. The 18 year old woman reported the rape to her local police department but they accused her of lying and she was charged with false reporting. In 2011, Marc O’Leary was arrested in Colorado for rape and consequently admitted to raping several women in Washington and Colorado. DNA, digital evidence, and O’Leary’s vehicle linked him physically to several rapes. Read more here.
“She had reported being raped in her apartment by a man who had bound and gagged her. Then, confronted by police with inconsistencies in her story, she had conceded it might have been a dream. Then she admitted making the story up. One TV newscast announced, “A Western Washington woman has confessed that she cried wolf when it came to her rape she reported earlier this week.” She had been charged with filing a false report, which is why she was here today, to accept or turn down a plea deal. Her lawyer was surprised she had been charged. Her story hadn’t hurt anyone — no suspects arrested, or even questioned. His guess was, the police felt used. They don’t appreciate having their time wasted.” Read more from ProPublica & The Marshall Projecthere.
Cops can be protective about their cases, fearing that information could be leaked that would jeopardize their investigations. They often don’t know about, or fail to use, an FBI database created years ago to help catch repeat offenders. Between one-fourth to two-thirds of rapists are serial attackers, studies show. -ProPublica & The Marshall Project
Robert Hansen was a mild-mannered family man with a passion for hunting. A master at his trade, Hansen sought a more challenging prey – his fellow human. Hansen kidnapped women, set them loose in the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted them down for sport. -Hunting Humans, Ice Cold Killers (S1, E1)
Serial killer and Army Reserves veteran Robert C. Hansen confessed to the murder of 17 women and the kidnapping and rape of another 30 women in Alaska. But the authorities believe there are many more victims and their cases are still open. Hansen was officially charged with the abduction and rape of Cindy Paulson and the murders of Joanna Messina, Sherry Morrow, Paula Goulding, and the unidentified body known as “Eklutna Annie.” On February 28, 1984, Robert Hansen was sentenced to 461 years plus life in prison with no parole. Hansen led the police to 17 grave sites he marked on a map but only 12 of his victims bodies were recovered. Robert Hansen’s health was declining for over a year when he died of natural causes on August 21, 2014 at the age of 75.
In 1982, two off-duty police officers were hunting for wild game. As darkness fell and they headed home, they made a gruesome discovery. They knew enough to back away and dispatched the Alaska State Troopers to the scene. The crime scene investigators unearthed the partial bones of a woman buried in a shallow grave. They also found bones scattered around the surrounding area. In Alaska, wild game won’t hesitate to drag off the evidence. They also found a 223 caliber bullet casing. The victim was bound and blind folded at the time of death, and she was shot three times. She was identified as Sherry Morrow; Sherry was drawn to Alaska for the easy money. She worked as an exotic dancer in a seedy area of Anchorage known as ‘Fourth Avenue’. Police looked to see if anyone else in that community had disappeared under similar circumstances. Before the discovery of Sherry’s body, none of the missing persons reports were linked or suggestive of murder. Morrow’s case inspired police to take a look at the cold case files.
Two years before Morrow’s body was found, construction workers found the partial remains of a woman buried in a shallow grave; her body was desecrated by wild life and her bones were scattered. Police couldn’t make an identification and dubbed their Jane Doe “Eklutna Annie”. Nobody ever came forward with information about Annie. Police were concerned they were dealing with a brutal killer so they started canvassing the area where the dancers spent their time. Sherry’s co-workers feared the worst because a number of women had gone missing and they were never heard from again. Over the next several years, five more dancers went missing. Police suspected Sherry and Annie’s cases were connected. They were all victims from the beginning because everyone preyed on these girls, including the bar owners and pimps. Several dancers reported seeing the same man and provided police with a physical description. Police learned of a third body found in a gravel pit near where Eklutna Annie’s body was found.
The victim was identified as Joanna Messina. She was a canary worker who was last seen leaving the dock with her dog and a red haired man her co-workers couldn’t identify. Messina was shot and killed with a 22, not a 223. Two more women vanished and were never seen or heard from again. The blindfolds at the crime scenes told the police a lot about the killer. He was a sexual sadist who wanted complete control. He derived pleasure from his victim’s fear and pain and disposed of their bodies in isolated areas in Alaska. Nine months later, a truck driver found a frantic hand-cuffed woman running in the road; someone with a gun ducked out of site. The trucker took her to a nearby hotel where she was safe and called the Anchorage police. The police found a 17-year-old woman still in handcuffs and in shock. She told the officers she was a topless dancer down on 4th Avenue; she said she was propositioned by a red haired man in his 40s the night before. She confessed that she accepted the stranger’s offer.
Once inside the man’s car, she said the man pulled a gun on her. He kidnapped her, handcuffed her, and told her if she cooperated and did what he wanted, she wouldn’t be harmed. He took her to a middle class house in Muldoon. He held her hostage in a basement filled with mounted heads of animals. He brutalized her for hours. He chained her to beam in the basement and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She told the police he was going to fly her to his cabin in the woods, promising to release her if she cooperated. Once at the airport, the kidnapper shoved her in a small plane and began loading supplies. The second he turned his back, she made her escape. Hoping to corroborate her account, investigators took her to the airfield to find the plane. She identified a plane owned by Robert Hansen; he was a 50 year-old avid hunter and local business man. Hansen owned a well established bakery, had lot of friends, and went to church. By all accounts, he was an upstanding member of the community.
When questioned by police, Hansen was outraged and insisted the dancer was lying to extort money from him. He also questioned whether it was even possible to rape a prostitute. He claimed he had an alibi and told investigators his wife and children were in Europe and he spent the night playing poker with friends. When questioned, the two men substantiated his story. Hansen allowed authorities to search his home but they didn’t find evidence of what the victim described. She also refused to take a polygraph and this made the police wonder if she fabricated the story. It was a “he said, she said” case because they had no evidence. Citing a lack of evidence, the prosecutor dropped the case. Three months later, Alaska State Troopers discovered the partially decomposed remains of another woman in a shallow grave. She was identified as a missing dancer from the Fourth Avenue district. Investigators found a blindfold buried among the remains. An autopsy revealed Paula Goulding had also been shot by a 223 caliber bullet.
Initially, the police didn’t link the cases but the use of the 223 caliber bullet helped them realize they were dealing with a serial killer who was targeting exotic dancers in Anchorage. Troopers contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance; agents created a behavioral profile of the serial killer. The killer believed he was invincible because he picked the perfect victims. He chose the dancers on Fourth Ave because he thought no one would care if they were missing. They started looking into Robert Hansen’s past. They learned he was abused as a child and had very low self-esteem. He was always considered small and had few friends; he was often ridiculed by his peers. After graduating from high school, Hansen enlisted in the Army Reserve and went to basic training at Fort Dix. He later received advanced training as a military police officer at Fort Knox. While enlisted in the Army, he was known to frequent prostitutes. He told fellow soldiers, he found them dissatisfying and yearned to take control of the situation.
Despite his strict up bringing and disciplined military structure, the profilers learned Hansen had a number of run-ins with the law. He served time for arson and theft but he appeared to have long since left that life behind. In 1967, he married and moved to Alaska. He was a functioning member of society. They believe his low self-esteem would drive him to live in a place like Alaska. His former neighbor told investigators he loved the thrill of the hunt; and he was always looking for the bigger hunt. He was an avid trophy hunter. Hansen’s weak point was women because he was unsuccessful with them. He hunted where most of the victims were found. “Perhaps Hansen tired of game and turned to more interesting prey like humans.” Humans create a much greater challenge to the hunter. Police deduced he most likely had trophies from his hunts for humans. The killer was a sexual sadist, proficient, and more successful over time. Authorities threatened the two men who alibied him with jail time if they didn’t come clean about the night the dancer was abducted.
Both friends quickly broke down and said they were covering for him because they thought he was a legitimate guy. They believed him when he said he thought the dancers were trying to extort him. The police asked Hansen to come down to the station and executed a search warrant. An officer searched the attic and in the rafters he found a bag of jewelry. And nestled with his bag of trophies, they found IDs belonging to the victims and newspaper clippings. Authorities also found a trophy map with locations of where he killed his victims. Hansen tracked his kills. The most critical find was a 223 caliber mini 14 rifle. The rifle was sent to the crime lab for further analysis. The 223 matched perfectly with the round they found in Eklutna. Robert Hansen was charged with assault and kidnapping. Despite his pleas of innocence, the evidence was mounting against him. The District Attorney agreed to charge Hansen with four murders: Sherry Morrow, Eklutna Annie, Joanna Messina, and Paula Goulding. Hansen accepted a plea deal. Police believe he chose prostitutes because they represent the evil in humans.
Robert Hansen chose prostitutes because they will go anywhere for anything and when they disappear, no one cares. He admitted he controlled the game from the point of abduction. He was the predator and they were they prey. He killed Eklutna Annie first. Then he abducted Sherry Morrow. He took most of his victims to his remote cabin and brutalized them for hours before he stripped them naked, blindfolded them and then released them in the woods. He turned them loose, gave them a head start, and hunted them down. He was a trophy hunter. He then collected things off the girls so he could re-live the events. Robert Hansen’s killing spree lasted twelve years in Alaska. Hansen confessed to 17 killings but it is believed he had many more victims. He eventually lead police to 15 gravesites unknown to investigators. Unfortunately, investigators only recovered 7 bodies likely due to the veracious animal activity in the Alaskan wilderness. Robert Hansen was sentenced to 461 years plus life in prison with no chance of parole.
A Killer Among Us: Inside the Hunt for an Alaska Serial Killer (June 11, 2017, KTUU-Channel 2, Anchorage, Alaska)
The Frozen Ground Movie (2012)
THE FROZEN GROUND Official Trailer (2013)
The Frozen Ground – Clip 3 | Lionsgate
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Chained Scene (1/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – The Lucky One Scene (2/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Pole Dancing Scene (3/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Hunting Her Scene (4/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – On the Run Scene (5/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Shock at the Strip Club Scene (6/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – The Interrogation Scene (7/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – From Bad to Worse Scene (8/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – He’s Coming Scene (9/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Truth Comes Out Scene (10/10) | Movieclips
Based on a true story. An Alaskan State Trooper (Nicholas Cage) must partner with a near victim and the only witness to escape the clutches of the serial killer in order to bring the murderer to justice. -The Frozen Ground
Frozen Ground – Examining the Frozen Ground
Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.