This is the pilot episode of a long-running series of in-depth profiles of some of the world’s most infamous criminals. From Jimmy Hoffa to Andrea Yates, crime meets biography as ‘Mugshots’ explores the characters and lifestyles of the people behind the headlines in some of the most complex and intriguing mysteries of our times.
Returning to Waco, Texas to examine the aftermath of David Koresh’s disturbing reign over the Branch Davidians and the role of the FBI in the cult’s demise, this film reveals the madness and treachery that made this story an obsession among conspiracy theorists and others seeking to understand the methods of this charismatic megalomaniac.
The New York Times
By Seth Margolis
Published on May 7, 2000
Exploring why seemingly ordinary people commit extraordinary crimes is the mission of ''MugShots,'' a spinoff from another TruTv documentary series, ''Crime Stories.'' ''Viewers of 'Crime Stories' came away with the same types of questions,'' said Art Bell, TruTv's executive vice president for programming and marketing. ''What makes someone who seems so normal become a killer? What makes a killer tick? On 'MugShots' we try to show that these people had family and friends; they had biographies.''
''MugShots'' went on the air in January with a segment on the Boston Strangler. Other one-hour episodes have profiled people like the Branch Davidian leader David Koresh and the Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa. This week a new segment has its premiere. Its subject is Angel Maturino Resendi, known as the Railway Killer, who stalked and murdered at least nine people beginning in 1998. The only thing his victims have in common was that their homes were accessible by train. During a pretrial court appearance shown on ''MugShots,'' Mr. Resendiz was unfailingly polite, answering the judge's questions with demure yes sir's and no sir's. No fangs here either.
''We're after the why,'' said Jonathan Greene, who wrote, directed, and produced the Resendiz episode. ''It's investigation versus just storytelling.''
Above all, the producers are always on the lookout for what Mr. Bell called ''the Hannibal Lecter moment,'' when the camera peers directly into the eyes of a killer. Those eyes inevitably look rather ordinary; sometimes they even seem familiar.