'The Killing Season' on A&E is one of the most engrossing true crime documentary series I have ever watched, and I was lucky enough to interview the series creators, Rachel Mills and Josh Zeman.
We discussed their experiences investigating the Long Island Serial Killer, the Daytona Beach Serial Killer, and the Chillicothe, Ohio murders. In making 'The Killing Season,' Josh Zeman and Rachel Mills encountered The Outlaws motorcycle gang, pimps, sex workers, and vigilante websleuths seeking justice.
This podcast episode is not an in-depth discussion of the various theories of what went on in each of these serial killer cases, but what both of the show's producers came to feel about what they were documenting. The world of serial killers and true crime can be scary, soul-draining work, and Zeman and Mills worked like investigative journalists embedded with soldiers in a war-torn country.
First, they started with the bizarre murders in Long Island, starting with the disappearance of Shannan Gilbert, which may not be tied to the LISK case but may actually have led to the discovery of 10-11 victims over the course of the months following her discovery. (PS: If you want to read the DEFINITIVE book on the Long Island Serial Killer [AKA The Craigslist Killer], then check out Robert Kolker's Lost Girls.])
Their investigation then drew them south to Atlantic City and later to Daytona, where a series of serial murders seemed to follow a bizarrely familiar pattern. It's something that became increasingly unsettling as I watched The Killing Season, but I had no idea there could be any real, literal connections until I saw what Mills and Zeman had managed to uncover.
This episode is a great introduction to the cases and also a kind of behind-the-scenes discussion of a fantastic piece of art about the modern world of crime. It's horrifying, scary, and totally compelling to watch.
Theme: "Ten" by DJ Sun
You can find my books on Amazon, as well. Here are the links to the first two works in the Rolson McKane tetralogy: