Docs

HBO slates “Mind Over Murder” from Vox Media Studios, Nanfu Wang

HBO has set a June 20 debut for the first episode of the six-part true-crime docuseries Mind Over Murder, with subsequent episodes to drop every Monday on HBO and HBO Max. Produced by Vox Media ...
June 2, 2022

HBO has set a June 20 debut for the first episode of the six-part true-crime docuseries Mind Over Murder, with subsequent episodes to drop every Monday on HBO and HBO Max.

Produced by Vox Media Studios and directed by Nanfu Wang (In the Same Breath), the series looks at the bizarre and complex story of six people who were convicted of the 1985 murder of Helen Wilson, a 68-year-old grandmother, in Beatrice, Nebraska. While five of the accused initially confessed to the crime, the “Beatrice Six” were cleared by DNA evidence and freed in 2009, after serving a combined 70 years in prison.

Not only did this exoneration divide the town and anger the Wilson family, but it also resulted in the Beatrice Six being awarded $28 million in damages, which forced a new generation to bear the town’s tax burden. Despite the overwhelming and conclusive evidence of the accused’s innocence, many town residents still believe the Beatrice Six are guilty — including one of the Six themselves, who says she still remembers details of her part in the crime.

The story was also examined in The Beatrice Six: Keith Morrison Investigates, which premiered on Discovery+ last year.

Tracing the case from the murder through the investigation, the trial, the exoneration of the Six and two civil suits that followed, the doc details a stranger-than-fiction tale that raises questions about the reliability of confessions and memory in criminal cases. It also explores the mindsets of the defendants — several of whom were seemingly susceptible to psychological suggestion — while also shedding light on investigative and forensic errors that convinced the jury of the Six’s guilt and satisfied the town’s demand for justice with a clear-cut verdict and punishment.

The series culminates with a performance by the town’s local theater group, which is prompted by the filmmakers to mount a play for the community drawn from actual court records, reports and recordings of police interrogations, resulting in a painful yet liberating moment of reckoning for the community and members of the Wilson family.

Mind Over Murder is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films and is a Vox Media Studios production. Executive producers are Marc Smerling (Capturing the Friedmans, The Jinx), Nanfu Wang, Max Heckman, Chad Mumm and Mark W. Olsen. Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller and Sara Rodriguez serve as executive producers for HBO.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

Menu

Search