Netflix has released the first trailer for The Confession Killer. This is the latest true crime series produced for the streaming service, following in the footsteps of shows like Making a Murderer and Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. The five-part docuseries, is directed by Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc..), who partnered with Taki Oldham on the project. The series explores how the man once known as America's most prolific serial killer was, in truth, a complex figure caught up in a flawed justice system.
The Netflix original focuses on Henry Lee Lucas who, in the 80s, confessed to hundreds of murders. This, at the time, seemingly brought closure to many unsolved cases and brought some version of peace to grieving families. But this was with no direct evidence connecting Lucas to the crimes in question. Yet, Lucas wowed authorities with his ability to sketch victims' portraits and cite grizzly details of each crime. Despite this, journalists and attorneys found impossibilities in Lucas' timeline, and DNA testing began to contradict his widely-reported claims.
The trailer paints a portrait of this alleged mass murderer and shows us the media circus that ensued at the time of his confessions. We also get a glimpse at how Henry Lee Lucas convinced police and other government officials that he did, indeed, kill as many as hundreds of women. Director Robert Kenner, in an interview with People, explained that Lucas was so convincing, it allowed trained professionals to overlook hard evidence. Or a lack thereof.
"For a guy with a low IQ, he was very smart and was able to ... gather information about cases, many of which have now been proven that he didn't do. And yet he was able to give them the information, and they believed it. They believed it so much, they began to overlook facts."
Henry Lee Lucas served as the loose inspiration for the character in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the brutal cult horror classic, in which, Michael Rooker plays a vicious serial murderer. Much like with Making a Murderer, there is a hope that this show will reinvigorate interest in some of these old cases. Robert Kenner would personally like to see law enforcement take another look, since it's probable that the man who confessed to these murders didn't commit all of them.
"I hope this series will open up a cascade of willingness on law enforcement's part to reopen these cases... If we were to take a conservative estimate, 70 to 100 cases are still crediting Lucas for the crime, whether formally or informally. Probably 160 or 170 were never re-investigated, which is an incredible number."
It will be interesting to see if some of these cases are looked at again once the series debuts. Maybe public interest, similar to what happened with Adnan Syde in Serial, will prompt further investigation. The Confession Killer arrives on the Netflix streaming service on December 6. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.