Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields

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Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields (2022) is a Netflix original documentary series about the Calder Road murders. In the mid-eighties Clyde Hedricks murdered several young women and dumped their bodies in the Calder Road area just outside of Galveston, Texas. Hedricks has never been charged with any of these murders but the families of the victims and the FBI continue to gather evidence against Hedricks.

Directed by Jessica Dimmock, Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields utilizes all of the standard techniques and strategies of a Netflix true crime documentary. The thing that’s incredible or unique about Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields is the story that it tells. Most of these narratives don’t have figures like Tim Miller who, after the murder of his daughter, dedicated his life to assisting families in finding lost or taken loved ones.

What motivates Miller and others on their crusade for justice is as heartbreaking as the crimes themselves. When police originally investigated these crimes it was months after the bodies had been abandoned and then the police botched the forensic evidence or simply lost crucial materials. All of this after the police had been dismissive of reports of missing girls and women. Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields presents another in a long line of cases where the American criminal justice system and law enforcement have fundamentally failed the communities they were intended to serve and to protect.

While Miller may very well be like a real life Batman or Superman, Dimmock doesn’t shy away from the fact that Tim Miller, in all of his grief and rage, harassed suspect Robert Able into an early grave. As abominable as that may be it’s also completely understandable. Dimmock doesn’t want the viewer to take all of this tragic information in black and white or good and bad. Dimmock insists that viewers see Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields as film about very real, often flawed human beings.

This also helps paint a picture of the breadth of the damage wrought by the killers. The crimes documented in Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields have ramifications beyond what the film is able to cover. Entire communities, for generations, have been traumatized by the sinister actions of a few despicable men.