Is 'Killing Fields' A True Story? The Discovery Channel's New Show Reopens A Cold Case

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Fictional crime shows have always been a hit among audiences — even if their storylines are often ripped from the headlines. But, over the past year, the true crime genre has seen a huge surge in popularity. It started with the addictive podcast Serial, which was followed by HBO's chilling miniseries, The Jinx. And, just several weeks after its release on Netflix, Making a Murderer has seemingly been marathoned by all your co-workers and Facebook friends. As you prepare for the premiere of Discovery's new true crime series, you may be wondering if Killing Fields is a true story.

The answer is yes, but its format is a little different than the other true crime shows we've been following. According to the Discovery Channel's website, Killing Fields will "take viewers inside an active criminal investigation as it unfolds." Detectives will reopen a cold case — the 1997 murder of Eugenie Boisfontaine, a graduate student at Louisiana State University. Detective Rodie Sanchez worked the case nearly two decades ago and promised the victim's mother that he'd find her killer — but the trail went cold and he eventually retired. However, he's come out of retirement specifically to reopen this murder case.

Sanchez will work with a new detective, Aubrey St. Angelo, and other members of the Iberville Parish Sheriff's office. Between the advancements in DNA analysis since 1997 and the resources provided by the Discovery Channel, detectives are hopeful that the case can be solved and Boisfontaine's killer will finally be brought to justice. Although her murder didn't seem to receive much media coverage when it occurred, The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that the 34-year-old's body was found in Bayou Manchac and her skull was fractured. Boisfontaine lived near the Bayou, and she frequently walked and jogged on paths near the LSU lakes.

According to the Discovery Channel, 60 women were reported missing or murdered in the area between 1997 and 2003. Additionally, multiple serial killers preyed on local women during this time frame — and two victims lived on the same street as Boisfontaine. LSUReveille.com has speculated that convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee is responsible for her murder — DNA has linked him to two murder victims who resided on Stanford Ave., just like Boisfontaine, though he was never charged with her murder. And, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that, "Detective Sanchez has always been skeptical of that theory" that Todd Lee was allegedly responsible for Boisfontaine's death.

It's unclear why Sanchez doesn't believe Lee is the killer — but, since there's no physical evidence linking him to Boisfontaine, it certainly seems wise that detectives are casting a wide net and will explore the possibility that Boisfontaine was targeted directly by someone who knew her. Hopefully the combination of new technology, solid detective work, and a national spotlight will be enough to crack this case and finally bring the perpetrator to justice.

Image: Discovery Channel