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Killing Fields - S01 E03

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There are isolated places in America that appear untouched by anyone. But underneath the surface, these beautiful landscapes reveal a much more sinister reality – a dumping ground for bodies and a home to countless unsolved murders. On Tuesday, January 5 at 10 PM ET/PT, Discovery Channel will premiere its first-ever true crime series titled Killing Fields and take viewers inside an active criminal investigation as it unfolds. Shot in real time, the series follows the hunt for the killer.Killing Fields will go inside a case that went cold nearly two decades ago in the small community of Iberville Parish, Louisiana, located just 15 miles from the state capitol, Baton Rouge. In June 1997, Louisiana State University graduate student Eugenie Boisfontaine was last seen near LSU's lakes. Two months later, her body was found nearby in a watery ditch with evidence of blunt force trauma to her head. But who did it and why? Was it a single act of violence? Or was her murder part of a much bigger string of killings? Between 1997 and 2003, there were 60 cases of missing and murdered women in the area that went unsolved. And to make it even more complicated, the Baton Rouge area had multiple serial killers operating at the same time with two of the their victims living on the same street as Eugenie. Could these murders be connected?Detective Rodie Sanchez was assigned to the case in 1997 and hasn't stopped thinking about it since. He makes the bold decision to come out of retirement and gets permission to re-open the case. Rodie is determined to solve the mystery and make good on a broken promise to Eugenie's mother: to find the person (or persons) responsible for killing her daughter. "You never forget your first murder or crime scene," Rodie said. "Once that gets in your blood, you want to be a cop for the rest of your life. I had a good life in law enforcement for over 30 some years. I missed it and thought about [this case] every day."Joining Rodie in the chase is a young hot-shot detective, Aubrey St. Angelo, who has a knack for reading people and isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. However, the two can't solve this case alone – they are joined by top-notch detectives at the Iberville Parish Sheriff's office. With advancements in forensic science and DNA analysis, a lot has changed since 1997. But will this be enough to crack the case for good? And will Rodie be able to finally rest and move beyond the case that has forever haunted him?

 
Episode Title: Killing Fields
Airs: 2016-01-19 at 22:00
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    This is the kind of story that builds over time, so it's difficult to tell--Discovery made only one episode available--whether the rest of the series will stay as compelling as the pilot. But it's a doozy of an episode.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    [Rodie Sanchez is] so magnetic you’ll forget that this is an unscripted series.... Discovery sent one episode to critics, but it was enough to suggest that The Killing Fields should appeal to fans of both true-crime documentaries and fictionalized police procedurals.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Amy Amatangelo

    Fontana and Levinson probably couldn’t write a better TV character than Sanchez or create a better TV setting than Iberville Parish.... What’s really missing is something Serial, The Jinx and Making a Murderer all had: a suspect.... In any case, Killing Fields at least generates anxiety and a desire to see what happens next.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    The setting is exotic, and the characters are colorful in ordinary, workaday ways. The series' one real failing is that it doesn't completely trust them to carry the drama, laying on the high-volume audiovisual tics and tricks of reality television to remind us to be interested and excited. And yet it's the smaller, unvarnished, passing moments that sell the show--where its particular poetry, and even its comedy, can be found.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lenika Cruz

    The people are real, the case is real, the place is real, and yet Killing Fields has the veneer of fiction to it--partly due to the natural tendency of human beings to view themselves as characters in their own stories, but also due to some unfortunately heavy-handed production choices.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    Killing Fields relies on the kind of obviously staged or at least partly artificial action that typifies the reality-TV end of true crime.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    An interesting mystery is hampered by over-production, scripted interview scenes and other signs of a show trying to please instead of just letting the action unfold.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    Killing Fields certainly didn't create this [reality TV] environment, but it does exist in it, albeit clumsily. Yes, these are real people, but so much of it feels phony.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review