Investigation Discovery has to be one of the bloodiest networks on television. (Aside from History back in its all-Hitler, all-the-time days, of course.) But it’s one of those networks that, because of the evil at the epicenter of so much of its programming, we find intrinsically fascinating. Tonight, one of the most evil-imbued — and therefore potentially tantalizing — programs to surface on ID premieres. Evil, I debuts with back-to-back episodes at 10pm and 10:30pm, and seeks to plumb the depths of the murderer’s mind, retracing actual serial killings from a first-person perspective.
Each episode of Evil, I employs interviews with family members and insight from the detectives who worked the case, but also features the conceit of a specially chosen voice — selected to match the actual killer’s, based on court recordings, interviews and other audio samples — to deliver a sort of play-by-play narrative that adds that particularly creepy dimension missing from other programs of this sort.
Twelve episodes of Evil, I make up the first season. Tonight’s two episodes begin with a profile of Arthur Shawcross, a serial killer who formed the habit of visiting his victims’ shallow graves in the days after their slayings. As the police begin to pick up the trail of the man who’s been littering the banks of the Genesee River with the corpses of prostitutes, they also learn of his penchant for returning to the scene of the crime — will that be his undoing?
Following the Shawcross episode, Evil, I examines the bizarre crimes of Gary Heidnik. When Jeanette Perkins reports her daughter missing to Philadelphia police, their investigating team receives a tip that she was last seen at a church service held in the home of an eccentric neighbor. The tip proves inconclusive, but months later, Josephina Rivera, a prostitute, contacts police in a panic to tell them that she’s been held captive in a madman’s basement. Police invade the home, and there they make a shocking discovery that reveals the extent of Heidnik’s disturbance.
Video: Investigation Discovery