Will 'The Killing Season' Return For Season 2? Watch These Other True Crime Documentaries While You Wait
If you were absolutely riveted by A&E's docuseries The Killing Season , you're not alone — Josh Zeman and Rachel Mills' investigation into the infamous, unsolved Gilgo Beach murders shed light on a complex, fascinating case. And, although the clues they unearthed may not lead to an arrest, the series raised awareness surrounding the broader issue of why sex workers are prime targets for serial killers — and this knowledge could potentially prevent future tragedies like the Gilgo Beach case. Zeman and Mills are skilled filmmakers and investigators, and many viewers are undoubtedly clamoring to see more of their work — so will The Killing Season return for Season 2?
There is no official word on whether or not there will be another season, but Zeman and Mills have previously collaborated on crime documentaries — so I definitely wouldn't rule out the possibility of a second season. The pair has the ability to depict crimes without sensationalizing them, which is a rarity in true crime coverage. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of unsolved murder cases that Zeman and Mills could investigate and bring into the public eye.
As viewers wait for news about a second season, there are other true crime documentaries to hold us over. If you loved The Killing Season, I'd venture a guess that you've already powered through shows like Making a Murderer and The Jinx — so here are seven lesser-known true crime documentaries that are definitely worth watching.
1. Killer Legends (2014)
Before they collaborated on The Killing Season, Zeman and Mills traveled all over the country to investigate the real-life origins of fascinating urban legends including The Hookman, The Candy Man, The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs, and The Killer Clown. Yes, it's as creepy as it sounds — but it's also an interesting exploration into how and why urban legends develop.
2. Cropsey (2009)
Zeman collaborated with Barbara Brancaccio for this documentary, which starts out as an investigation into "Cropsey" (a boogey-man character from a New York City urban legend) and then shifts into the terrifying real-life story of Andre Rand, a child kidnapper who is currently serving a sentence of 50 years to life at Rikers Island.
3. Tabloid (2010)
Often dubbed the "Mormon sex in chains" case, it's no wonder it became instant tabloid fodder as The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express battled over coverage. The documentary features interviews with key players in the case that's as complicated and bizarre as the nickname suggests.
4. Paradise Lost (1996, 2000, 2012)
In 1993, three young boys were brutally murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas and police quickly zeroed in on three local teenagers as the prime suspects. The 1996 installment focuses on their arrests and trials (all three were wrongfully convicted despite a lack of physical evidence), the sequel takes a closer look at previously unexamined evidence, and the 2012 conclusion covers their eventual release from prison. This set of documentaries is a troubling but important reminder of the flaws in our justice system.
5. The Staircase (2004)
This miniseries, which has frequently been compared to Making a Murderer, examines the case of Michael Peterson, who was convicted of his wife Kathleen Peterson's murder in 2003. But, in 2011, he was released from prison and granted a new trial. Five years later, he is still waiting for that retrial date to be set.
6. Southwest Of Salem (2016)
This recently released documentary is a must-watch. In 1994, four gay Latina women were accused of gang-raping two young girls. All four maintained their innocence and went to trial rather than accepting plea bargains. They were convicted, and they're currently behind bars fighting to be exonerated. As The Advocate notes, Southwest Of Salem is a rare example of a documentary that explores the role homophobia can play in felony investigations.
7. The Cheshire Murders (2013)
In July 2007, a horrific home invasion left a mother and her two daughters dead. The two perpetrators were arrested at the scene, but each man stood trial because the state of Connecticut sought the death penalty. The matter of guilt isn't up for debate, so this HBO documentary focuses on critical mistakes made by law enforcement during the seven hours the family was held hostage and examines the harsh reality that, sometimes, justice is elusive even when a guilty verdict is secured.
I'm definitely hoping that we'll get another season of The Killing Season — but at least there are plenty of interesting, thoughtful true crime documentaries to watch in the meantime.
Images: A&E; HBO