In this six-part investigation of the apparent suicide of a 10-year-old boy, Julia Prodis Sulek of the San Jose Mercury News takes a closer look at a 28-year-old case that appears not to have been properly investigated. Josh's death was quickly ruled a suicide, despite the strange circumstances that preceded and followed it: at the time, a custody dispute was raging between Josh's parents; court records indicate that his father, a local police officer, had been accused of abusing him; and his step-mother later admitted that she knew more than she was letting on. As always, there is satisfaction in observing the behind-the-scenes labour of reporting. But Hanging is notable, too, for its compassionate view of Josh and his family and a wariness of true crime profiteering. In these respects, we were reminded of the Cincinnati Enquirer's terrific Accused (which, incidentally, returns soon for a second season). In Episode 6, we are even presented with a resolution of sorts - though an eleventh-hour scoop re-introduces some doubt.
Gateway episode: Chapter 1: Hanging (25 Aug 2017)
From: Bay Area News Group