The Story Behind the Story on TV

Another spoiler alert!

In mid-August 2010, I was interviewed about my role in the Louise Ellis case by California-based documentary company Digital Ranch for an episode of a TV series called Hardcover Mysteries. (The series title came from the fact that each episode was to be hosted by a bestselling crime novelist.) The episode on Louise was hosted by New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs, whose Temperance Brennan novels inspired the hit TV series Bones. Kathy Reichs chose this case because, in addition to being a bestselling crime novelist, she is a forensic anthropologist. And in 1995, while working for Quebec’s Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale, she was the one who examined Louise’s remains. The series originally aired on the Investigation Discovery channel (in the U.S. only), with the episode on Louise airing on November 22, 2010. You can watch a YouTube trailer for the episode here. Or download the episode here. (Scroll down to episode 7 [Kathy Reichs], and note there is a small cost.)

At just about the same time, a Canadian documentary maker—Force Four Entertainment in Vancouver—produced a TV crime series called Murder She Solved. Again, one of the episodes focused on the Louise Ellis case—specifically on the (female) private detective who, working undercover for the police, was with Brett Morgan when he “happened” to find Louise’s remains and who was instrumental in his arrest. The eight-episode series originally aired in the fall of 2010 on VIVA. I wasn’t interviewed for this series—which is unfortunate, because it is an excellent production—but there is seconds-long CBC news footage from 16 years ago of my spreading the word of Louise’s disappearance a day or two after I found her car. More important is the surprisingly extensive footage of the rest of the investigation, with unobtrusively interwoven re-enactments.

Both documentaries are excellent overviews of the case if you ever get a chance to see them in reruns.

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