Tamron Hall won a Daytime Emmy for the first season of her “Tamron Hall” syndicated talk show. This week her Court TV series “Someone They Knew… with Tamron Hall” begins its second season, diving into 24 celebrated true crime cases, three of which are local.
“What we’re looking at is a full case in retrospect, using the archives of Court TV,” Hall, 52, explained during a phone interview. “This is a continuation of the crime coverage I’ve been doing throughout my 30-year career. What really resonates is the ‘someone they knew’ component: That at any given time, someone — a neighbor, coworker or God forbid! someone you love — could mean you harm. It’s fascinating, the cases we cover this year.”
“Someone” follows each case from crime to verdict, noting the connection between the killer and the victim. Each case is told without voice-overs, reporters or correspondents, from the point of view of the people impacted by the case. They include the lawyers, jurors, law enforcement, family and friends of the victim.
One Massachusetts case, “The Good Doctor,” begins in Wellesley on Halloween morning 1999, when Dirk Greineder discovered his wife Mabel beaten to death in a neighborhood park. His version of events didn’t, ultimately, fit the facts.
The next, “Ten Years After” tracks the investigation into a Lynn apartment building fire where the original suspect, an ex-boyfriend, had an airtight alibi. Instead, his mother, Kathleen Hilton, spent 10 years getting to trial.
“Deadly Dance,” the third Massachusetts case, begins long ago in 1969 when John McCabe, 15, of Tewskbury, went to a dance at a Lowell hall – and never came home. His body was found in an empty lot, the case lasted 40 years as childhood friends became bitter enemies.
“Two of these cases have twists and turns no one saw coming. One,” Hall pointed out, “hadn’t been solved for decades and the other resulted in an acquittal of someone believed to be guilty. Those are absolutely fascinating.
“Some of the ‘Glam Crime,’ which is what I call so much of what we’re seeing, you miss the humanity. You miss the detail. You miss really what happened there.
“Being a family member of someone who’s a victim of a crime” — Hall’s older sister was murdered in 2004, her killer never found – “the resources and archives of Court TV make a difference. There’s not a lot of reenactments; you’re seeing things that happened.
“We’re seeing interrogations and what happened in the courtroom. As a journalist, that is, oddly enough, refreshing now that we have such a saturation of true crime.”
“Someone They Knew…with Tamron Hall” returns for a second season on Court TV Feb. 19
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