True crime is a captivating subject for documentaries, its overused in fact, but if the subject is done well then it will never stop being fascinating. There will always be an audience for it and there will be people who exploit to it so everyone can see and hear the details of whatever case it is. Today, one such case, is that of Pamela Smart in 1990.
Her case is what one could call “Trial By Media”, her trial was the first one to be televised, there was not the usual strict etiquette for juries in the USA as there is now, media was constant even before the jury selection and the newspapers painted her as an “Ice Queen” and a “Manipulator”. This murder and trial has been made in to a TV movie as well as a movie starring Nicole Kidman called To Die For (1995).
But this 2014 documentary explores the paths that were not taken in the trial and shows the hunger for news when something like this happens. Those involved in the case were caught up, as the documentary puts it “in a black hole of media attention” and exploitation for their own gain. Its both disgusting in how this trial was treated as well as horrifying that something like this could happen to anyone as long as people can put an easy narrative to it.
Thank you for reading!