‘Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields’ Review: So Many Victims, So Few Answers
One more week is on the horizon, and that only means there is a new true-crime documentary series on Netflix. This doesn’t mean that these documentaries are bad at all. All the contrary, some of them are truly fascinating and tell stories that somehow would be left as mysteries for most people. However, it is also true that Netflix’s schedule for releasing these shows is becoming a bit too cluttered. You can barely watch one when a new one is already being released. This means that there is always something to watch, but it does make each of these shows less of an event and more routine.
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields is the newest true-crime documentary to arrive on the platform. It is directed by Jessica Dimmock, who has also worked on shows like Unsolved Mysteries, so she is very much a director with experience making this type of content. The documentary tells the story of a series of murders that occurred on a patch of land near League City, Texas. It follows the police and the families of the victims, who are still searching for answers on what happened to their loved ones.
Unlike many of the other true-crime documentaries that are available on Netflix, Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields presents a case that is so complicated and with so many few clues that the entire thing is more a mystery than anything else. The documentary positions itself in the shoes of the police and the families of the victims, who have been trying for years and even decades to find the person responsible for their losses. Because there is no definitive culprit, the story feels both frustrating and incomplete. Which is very much in line with what the families are feeling as well.
Dimmock and his team present the facts in a very approachable manner. By the end of it all, you will be able to understand the magnitude of the events and why there are no leads that will take us to someone that might know what really happened. The series focuses on just a number of cases. It makes use of interviews and reenactments to provide a visual aid to the viewer so that they can have a proper connection with the cast and understand why it is in its current state.
The case itself involves many victims and many suspects. Focusing on each one of these cases would extend the number of episodes of the show tenfold, so we only focus on cases that might help draw an overall picture, while some others are just briefly mentioned. The people who get focused thankfully have a number of family members to speak for them, and the stories are all quite sad. Especially because we are dealing with the killing of very young women, who had their entire lives in front of them.
The documentary series is produced under the same standards as the rest of the Crime Scene series. We are talking about a documentary series that has found a way of doing things and won’t stray away from it in any shape or form. Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields uses the same standards as many of the other Netflix productions in the same genre. Meaning that we get a ton of interviews as a way to provide exposition on the subject, and archive footage is only used as a visual aid in the backgrounds.
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields also displays some very well-done reenactments. They are of a very disturbing nature, but they are done in good taste. These sections never go as far as trying to replicate on screen what happened to any of these girls, but only the aftermath of the moments leading to those dark resolutions. On the production side, there is nothing here that would make this show stand out from all other installments in the Crime Scene series or other similar shows.
Something that is really cool is the fact that the show spends a good number of minutes creating the proper historical context for what happened and why it happened in the 1970s. It is just one of those details that sheds a lot of light on the time when these things happened. Because there is not a single individual who can be properly blamed for all these crimes, the series must take a wider approach. It feels correct, and it’s also quite nice to see all those elements clicking together while you watch.
In the end, Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields, is not different from any other installment in the series, but the case itself feels like something that could continue in the future. Maybe, someday, we will get the proper clues and evidence we need to put those responsible for these crimes behind bars. It is a very bleak possibility, though, but anything can happen. The case is still being developed, and some suspects are still being followed by the police and the families of those who will seek justice until their last breath.