Saturday, February 23, 2019

Still Chasing the Blue Gremlin

Finished watching “Children of the Snow,” a new four-part documentary about the Oakland County Child Killer, a case that haunted my childhood growing up in the suburbs of Detroit. (I wrote about it at length in Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? A Memoir.)

Investigation Discovery did a good job. The first two hours are completely riveting -- so much of it felt like being taken back to my early youth, when I foolishly fantasized about being kidnapped by the serial killer (believed to drive a blue AMC Gremlin) so kids at my new school would like me more.

Then it gets a little weighed down by a stream of potential suspects and confusing peripheral players -- the vile underworld of child-pornography production likely played an underestimated role in the killings -- which ultimately gives you a keen sense of what the detectives have been going through these past 40-odd years. (Now that I’ve seen it onscreen, I have a better sense of why Erin Moriarty ended up passing on the case for “48 Hours” after she and I discussed making it happen. The story definitely cannot be told in an hour.)

Kudos to my online buddy J. Reuben Appelman, author of the definitive book on the murders (“The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit's Most Notorious Serial Killer), who wonderfully guides us through the whole sad affair. (Reuben has his own connection to the case -- he believes the predator tried to pull him into a car.)

Definitely worth checking out. The Oakland County Child Killer is the most disturbing case you've never heard of. More info HERE.

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