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Exclusive: Inside ID’s “The Lake Erie Murders” from Talos Films

True crime net Investigation Discovery has set an air date for an upcoming docuseries from New York-headquartered Talos Films which explores a slew of murder cases in the Lake Erie ...
December 6, 2018

True crime net Investigation Discovery has set an air date for an upcoming docuseries from New York-headquartered Talos Films which explores a slew of murder cases in the Lake Erie region.

The Lake Erie Murders series, first announced in April, starts with a three-hour special investigation into the 1989 kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic in The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? The murder remains unsolved but continues to have an active investigation. The special takes viewers through the facts of the case and features women with stories similar to Mihaljevic who have chosen to remain anonymous due to the fear that their abductors remain at large.

The special also looks at a number of other child murders in the area to examine potential similarities to Mihaljevic’s case, in the hopes that the details will help bring forward new leads and suspects.

Beginning on Jan 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Investigation Discovery will explore four additional closed cases of young girls and women who were found murdered around the Great Lake with episodes unfolding weekly. The stories include the murders of 16-year old Debbie Gama; mother of three, Joan Giambra; 10-year old Holly Jones; and Gloria Pointer, a young teenager found raped and slain in an alleyway.

“The aptly named Lake Erie is really a character throughout this new series, representing a looming darkness that sets up a stark contrast between the idyllic lakeside towns and the violent dangers of the past,” said Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, adding that the special aims to “take a deeper exploration into a case that has never truly gone cold in the region, and hopes to bring some resolution to the Mihaljevic family, and sadly many others, who have been suffering for nearly three decades.”

The Lake Erie Murders is produced for Investigation Discovery by Talos Films with Thomas Latter, Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami as executive producers. For Investigation Discovery, Liz Massie is executive producer, and Sara Kozak is SVP of production.

In a joint email statement to realscreen, Talos execs Hobbs and Hakami said when they first heard of Mihaljevic’s murder and the depth and breadth of the investigation, they knew her story would capture the attention of viewers.

The duo said it took them over a year to gain access to the police investigation, as well as to the young girl’s living relatives and friends who have not spoken publicly about her case until now.

“It was still an active case, and some of the witnesses and Bay Village residents were fearful of speaking on camera,” said Hobbs and Hakami. “We had to both earn their trust and come up with innovative production techniques to incorporate their voices, while still protecting their identities.”

The team also tracked down archival footage from a range of sources, from Oprah to America’s Most Wanted, to local news that covered the case in real time.

“Together we unearthed new information after 28 years and are hopeful that we can perhaps play a small role in bringing closure to Amy and her family,” said Hobbs and Hakami.

The Lake Erie Murders premieres with the three-hour special, Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? on Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, then will air for four subsequent weeks of standalone episodes beginning on Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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