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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Crime Stories: First Six Episodes
Crime Stories: First Six Episodes
Koch Vision // Unrated // January 16, 2007
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted December 16, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The First Six Episodes

Crime Stories is a documentary television series that provides a close-up and behind the scenes perspective to some of the biggest crimes in Canadian history. The show airs on the History Channel and also Biography. The series was a Gold Award Winner at the 2005 Houston International Film Festival for Documentary TV Series.

This review covers Crimes Stories: The First Six Episodes. The collection, just as the title says, includes the show's first six episodes. Each episode provides a nitty-gritty look into some horrific crimes. It is similar to Australia's crime documentary series Forensic Investigators. However, the focus is more on the story, the victims, and the key events to catching the bad guy than the forensics.

Regardless, if you enjoy learning about sadistic killers and hearing about the details and the investigations that law enforcement officers conduct, as well as inside perspectives from witnesses and victims, then Crime Stories should be right up your alley. It features all of it in well-scripted documentaries that flows well in a dramatic fashion that is easy to follow.

The six episodes look at six different criminals and the awful crimes they committed. The cases include crimes dealing with assault, arson, rape, and murder, albeit mostly the last. Each episode exposes detail into the sick and twisted individuals who committed these heinous crimes. Yet despite that the crimes are so terrible and often very brutal, it is intriguing to learn how the sadistic criminals were put to a stop.

Part of what makes the episodes so intriguing (and consequently dramatic) is how the stories are told. The show's format, as previously mentioned, focuses on the dramatic aspects of the cases by introducing key players (law enforcement officers, technicians, witnesses, victims, etc.) and giving their perspectives. Generally, it gets very intimate and emotional; to the point that the crimes feel more realistic than a piece of headline news.

On the flipside, I found that this dramatic approach to also be slightly daunting at times. Sometimes I wanted more from the episodes, mostly dealing with the forensics. Since the focus is on the drama and the people involved, there is little time dedicated to the forensics. Some of it they include, but nowhere near the level of detail a series like Forensic Investigators has.

Overall, I thought Crime Stories: The First Six Episodes was worthy of my time. I enjoy crime dramas (of all shapes and sizes), as well as documentaries related to criminal investigations. This collection has six well-scripted episodes that detail horrific Canadian crimes with a highly dramatic and intriguing manner.

Episode Guide

1. Episode 1, Allan Legere - The Monster of the Miramichi: An entire town is held captive in fear when a troubled man escapes police custody and embarks on a seven month crime spree.
2. Episode 2, Terry Driver - The Abbotsford Killer: A community is forever changed by the torment of a killer and his horrific crimes.
3. Episode 3, David Snow - The House Hermit: Two people are sadistically murdered and two more are missing at the hands of a reclusive loner.
4. Episode 4, Ronald West - The .22 Caliber Killer: DNA evidence holds the key to solving the murders of two suburban housewives almost thirty years after their deaths.
5. Episode 5, William Fyfe - The Killer Handyman: After a twenty year frenzy of rape and murder, a serial killer makes one critical mistake.
6. Episode 6, Douglas Worth - The Pictou Sadist: When a convicted rapist is realized from prison after serving out his sentence, he becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of a young girl.

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is decent; the image has a distinct grain and other noticeable visual defects. It is common to other television productions of this caliber.

Audio:
The audio is given in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio track is very simple and plain sounding. Dialogue is easily heard throughout the episodes.

There is no support for subtitles or closed captioning.

Extras:
There are no extras included with this release.

Final Thoughts:
Crime Stories is a documentary television series that focuses on horrific Canadian crimes. The crimes deal with brutal murderers whose acts have had a significant impact on the Canadian populace. This DVD release has the first six episodes from the series, which cover several awful crimes committed by cold blooded killers. Crime Stories, as a series, proves to be intriguing by taking a dramatic approach. It uses the various key players to tell the story. Those interested in criminal investigations should be the most interested in this set.

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