The Art of Murder
Confronting a Serial Killer: Episode #3 Behold The Monster (2021) 7 out of 10: Episode Three goes into the background of Sam Little, covers the trial in LA and the effect this work is having on Jillian’s family.
We start though with a “Deep Thought” from Jillian herself. “It is amazing to think how you can have the kind of close observation that art requires and also the compete disregard for human life?” Confronting a Serial Killer is filled with deep thoughts from Jillian such as this one.
Sam has been sending Jillian pictures of all his victims drawn in an art style known as serviceable. It is kind of like the paintings of George W. Bush. The amazement is that the person in question does art in the first place. Sam’s drawings look like something that would be hung with a magnet on a fridge in a household with moderately talented children. The background that they are his recollection of the woman he murdered gives the art a very creepy vibe, but taken without context, it looks like the work of a seventh grader.
All that said, that painters are renowned humanitarians falls at the first post. Don’t make me mention Hitler again or George W Bush.
We spend time with Jillian, surrounded by drawings of Sam’s victims that she sometimes talks to. I will give Confronting a Serial Killer its due. It is creepy.
A Whale of A Tale
Then Sam tells the story of his childhood. And what a tale. I am reminded of Kirk Douglas in 20,000 Leagues under the sea singing’ A Whale Of A Tale.
A whale of a tale and it’s all true
I swear by my tattoo
If Sam’s childhood sounds familiar, it’s because it is the story of Moses mixed with a little of Reuben (“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it”) and a lot of Norman Bates.
Is Sam’s story true? Who knows? Maybe he was abandoned by his mother in a storm only to be found by an impecunious traveller riding a goat. Maybe when reunited with his mother years later, she so worshiped his cock that she drilled holes in the wall to watch him naked. When that was not enough, she shared a bed with him, offering herself as he would fall asleep suckling her breasts.
Is it possible? Does Confronting a Serial Killer offer one iota of proof or eyewitness reports outside of Sam’s own story? Nope. A whale of a tale indeed.
Oh, Right this is a Crime Documentary.
The rest of the episode is straightforward, focusing on the LA trial for the murder of the three women. Jillian talks to the victims’ family members, law enforcement and prosecutors. Confronting a Serial Killer also shows clips from the trial with Sam being his defiant self. It is pedestrian stuff but refreshingly so after a wild first half.
There is a bit at the end with Jillian’s adopted children and her husband, Scott Shriner. The focus is on the effect of Jillian working daily with a sociopath is having on thier lives. Confronting a Serial Killer earns it. But like any good horror movie, it foreshadows what is to come. And as I have been hinting for three reviews now, what is coming is not pretty. Time to get my rant hat back from the cleaners.