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The Murders at Starved Rock 

click to enlarge DID HE OR DIDN'T HE? The HBO Max miniseries The Murders at Starved Rock reexamines the case of a triple homicide and conviction of Chester Weger, who through decades of incarceration maintained his innocence. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN BARBER FILMS AND HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of American Barber Films And Hbo Documentary Films
  • DID HE OR DIDN'T HE? The HBO Max miniseries The Murders at Starved Rock reexamines the case of a triple homicide and conviction of Chester Weger, who through decades of incarceration maintained his innocence.

What's it rated? TV-14

When? 2021

Where's it showing? HBO Max

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True crime aficionados are likely familiar with the story at Starved Rock, where in 1961 three women were brutally murdered while out on a nature walk during a vacation. Subsequently, Chester Weger, then 22 and a dishwasher at the lodge where the women were staying, was arrested and convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

The twist here is David Raccuglia, the son of the prosecutor at Weger's trial. He's obsessed over the case and Weger in particular, convinced at a young age that Weger was indeed a boogeyman who would come after his family for his father's role in his trial. Now as an adult, he seems to hold a soft spot for the man, unsure if justice was served.

As with every sensational true crime case, there are zealots on both sides: Weger supporters who think it's impossible that the slight young man could have subdued and killed three women; and those who have no doubt that Weger is guilty of everything and more. It's one of those messy, don't-get-any-real-answers series, which, while a bit frustrating, is also compelling.

Some people hate being left without a solid conclusion, but with true crime stories that's very much the norm. Weger confessed—why would he do that if he wasn't guilty? Well, perhaps the "interrogation" techniques the police performed were less than scrupulous. This series dives into it all and gives us glimpses into the opinions of people on all sides, including Weger himself, his family, and the families of the victims. If murder documentaries are your thing, this is well done, albeit infuriating. (three 58-min. episodes) Δ

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