So, I’m a bit of a fan of true crime documentaries. I watch them on Discovery Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services with some regularity. Sometimes they are really just background noise I’m making dinner or doing something else, but now and then one catches my attention a bit more fully. Which brings me to Wild Crime from ABC news and streaming on Hulu.
What’s it About?
The first in what may be multiple seasons focuses on one case over multiple episodes (4 in this case). The case that caught my attention was the mysterious death of Toni Henthorn in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. That is actually what first caught my attention. First CO, since I live in the state. The second was the case itself, which I have seen covered in documentaries before. It’s a twisty and fascinating story with more than a few “AHA!” moments.
The show also introduces an investigative agency that I had never heard of before. How often does that happen? It turns out that when a crime occurs in a national park, the park service actually has a group of investigators called the Investigative Service Branch (ISB). Let’s just say this isn’t a case where a park ranger is suddenly running a murder investigation.
The show lets us get to know the investigators, along with the prosecutors from the Department of Justice, and other people in law enforcement. Then we also meet many friends and family members of Toni Henthorn and later members of yet another family in a connected incident.
The interviews are all well done and seemed less sensational than some I have seen in other documentaries. The documentary also relies on reenactments and then walkthroughs of the details and crime scenes by the actual investigators. All of which are well done and help the audience to really understand the case, from the standpoint of law enforcement.
I won’t spoil the surprises (there are a few) or the ending in this review, in case you want to watch it. But safe to say that the investigators begin to untangle a web that goes back years and includes a previous case that was closed as an accident.
Watch it or Not?
If you bothered to read the review this far, I’m guessing you must be a fan of true crime. If that’s the case, you should give this series a watch. It is well-produced and structured in a way to walk the viewer through the details of the case in a way that is fascinating and surprising but doesn’t rely on over-dramatizations or other gimmicks.
I have to say I came away thinking that these ISB agents are some really talented investigators. The case is a complicated one and not only do they decipher the evidence, but are also able to explain it to the audience in a way that is extremely compelling.