A Murderer Was Caught Because Of A Made-For-TV Movie
In 1985, Ellen Sherman was found dead in her Connecticut home. Police, believing an intruder had strangled her earlier in the day, ruled out her husband Ed as a suspect. Ed had left for a fishing trip the day before, had been with friends the day of, and had been overheard speaking to Ellen on the phone at his buddy's house the previous night, all of which gave them a pretty solid timeline. The case then sat around for five years. An investigation unveiled some details about marital troubles, but nothing concrete. Then, in 1990, a daughter of one of Ed's friends remarked that she had been on the phone line when Ed was speaking to Ellen, and had only heard Ed saying "I love you" into a ringing phone, with no one ever answering.
OK, maybe it was just a kid misremembering something that happened years before. But then someone else recalled that on the Saturday of his trip, Ed had been talking about a TV movie called Blackout, which aired a few days earlier. Blackout was a by-the-numbers HBO potboiler that featured a man killing his wife, then using an air conditioner to slow her body's decomposition. This causes the police to misjudge the time of death as two days later than it really was ... at least, until they catch on and apprehend him.
HBOIt was a psychological thriller, not the gimp cutlery demonstration that the poster suggests.
The air conditioner had been running when Ellen's body was discovered, and based on this new evidence, a reexamination concluded that she'd actually been killed the day before Ed left. While Ed almost fooled investigators who couldn't afford premium cable, he was eventually convicted of the murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison, where he died of a heart attack in 1992.
Please take a moment to show some sympathy for the journalistic credibility of New York Times critic John J. O'Connor, who in his mixed review said that Blackout was "never entirely convincing." If only he had been working the case instead of evaluating Keith Carradine TV projects.
A Killer Was Caught When He Emulated His Crime In A Murder Mystery Game
In 1988, Floridian Peggy Carr developed mysterious flu-like symptoms which doctors were unable to attribute to any obvious illness, including all the ones associated with living in Florida. When her son and stepson came down with similar symptoms, the family simply thought a bug was going around. But Peggy's sister-in-law, a nurse, suspected something more serious. She took Peggy to the hospital, where poisonous thallium was discovered in her system. It eventually killed her.
Her husband was the first suspect, but doubts arose when thallium was discovered in the family's soda. Rat poison isn't usually a key ingredient in Dr. Pepper, unless we're talking some store-brand Back Alley Surgeon Pepper. So the police turned their attention to neighbor George James Trepal. Trepal had frequently complained about the Carrs' dogs chasing his cats, their teenage kids playing their music too loud, and pretty much everything else. When investigators asked why he thought someone might want to poison them, Trepal said they must have wanted the Carrs to move away.