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How It Really Happened

How It Really Happened

  • Premiered: 
    January 27, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HLN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

Hosted by Hill Harper, HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED is a true-crime series that re-opens high-profile cases and mysteries that grabbed the headlines. In addition to taking a fresh look at each story for missed clues and new conspiracies, the series also includes new accounts from witnesses that have never spoken publicly -- and who now give new perspective to these stories that shocked America. The two-hour premiere of the 12-episode series revisits the infamous trial of The Menendez Brothers, two brothers facing charges for the brutal murder of their wealthy parents. Following the series debut, Lyle Menendez speaks out from behind bars to Chris Cuomo in "The Menendez Brothers: Murder in Beverly Hills The Aftermath," a one-hour interview special at 10pm ET. Subsequent episodes focus on the JFK Jr. plane crash, the DC Madam Sex Scandal, the sudden deaths of music royalty Prince, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston, and more.

Season 5 of HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED premiered on Sunday, August 23, 2020 from 9-11pm ET/PT on HLN, with a two-part expose on the baffling case of The Atlanta Serial Killer. Also profiled in this six-episode season are enduring and timely stories on Siegfried & Roy, the Boston bombing, the murder of Michael Jordan's father, the mysterious death of rock legend Tom Petty, and the bizarre case of the Yosemite Mountain Murders.

HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED returned for its sixth season on Sunday, March 14, 2021 from 9-11pm ET/PT on HLN. Episodes include: "Finding Susan Powell"; "Escape from Dannemora"; "Bernie Madoff"; "The Last Days of Glenn Frey"; "The Dartmouth Murders"; and "The Jenny Jones Show".
The seventh season of HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED premiered on Sunday, August 28, 2022 from 9-11pm ET/PT on HLN, with with Jesse L. Martin joining as host. Season 7 kicks off with a two-hour comprehensive look at the baffling case of The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The new season includes another two-hour episode that explores the tragic death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant. Part one will air Sunday, September 4 at 9pm, and part two will air Monday, September 5 at 8pm ET. The rest of the season premieres episodes at 9pm ET on Sundays. Other stories profiled include the murder of actress Adrienne Shelley, the disturbing case of the Hollywood Ripper, and the still baffling story of Lorena Bobbitt. Episodes include:

Madeleine McCann (Part one "The Night She Disappeared" August 28, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT; part two "Who Took Madeline?" at 10pm ET/PT): Kate and Gerry McCann were at a beautiful holiday resort when the unthinkable occurred. As the British doctors dined across the swimming pool from their vacation apartment, their three-year-old daughter, Madeleine, vanished from her bed in the Portuguese beach town of Praia de Luz. Once the McCanns realized their daughter was abducted, they courted the media and enlisted celebrities to publicize the case. One investigator put forward a theory that the McCanns were somehow involved in their daughter's disappearance, and they were even named suspects at one point, but were eventually cleared. Fifteen years later, after unpeeling one dark layer after another, investigators have a new suspect in the unsolved case.

"Kobe Bryant" (Part one "Red Flags" September 4, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT; part two "What Went Wrong" September 5, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT): On January 26th, 2020 basketball superstar Kobe Bryant's helicopter crashed killing all nine people on-board including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The shocking news left the world reeling and searching for answers. How could a simple flight, piloted by an industry pro, go so terribly wrong? Aviation experts revisit the accident and share what exactly happened. Through interviews with close friends, colleagues, and basketball insiders, viewers will hear details, and anecdotes about Bryant, many never before shared on television.

"Yacht Murder Mystery" (September 11, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT): Tom and Jackie Hawks dreamed of retiring early, buying a boat, and sailing the Pacific. The couple worked hard, saved their money, and were finally able to make their dream happen in 2002. They sold their home, bought a 55-foot yacht, and hit the high seas, traveling to exotic ports, and living the life most people only dream of. Then, in November 2004, when their first grandchild was born, the Hawks knew it was time to come back ashore. They put their beloved boat up for sale, and they vanished. No one could have predicted what came next.

"Hollywood Ripper" (September 18, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT): On February 21, 2001, a beautiful young woman is viciously murdered inside her Hollywood home just before she was scheduled to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher. As detectives search for answers, her friends relay stories about a strange air conditioning repairman who would show up uninvited at her home. They only know him as "Mike," but as the investigation unfolds, police discover that his full name is Michael Thomas Gargiulo, and he may be linked to another murder almost eight years earlier in Illinois. While a suspect and not yet arrested, Gargiulo commits more brutal crimes, only to be stopped by one young woman who fights back and survives.

"Adrienne Shelly" (September 25, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT): Forty-year-old Adrienne Shelly was an actress, writer, director, wife, and mother. She finished working on her film Waitress when she was found hanging from a shower curtain rod on November 1, 2006. Initially, authorities believed her death to be a suicide, but they soon learned that her death was not what it seemed.

"Lorena Bobbitt" (October 2, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT): In the dark hours of June 23, 1993, in Manassas, Virginia, a man lies fast asleep on his bed, while a woman looms over his prone body with a kitchen knife and proceeds to slice off his manhood. A stunning end to the broken marriage of Lorena and John Bobbitt. But what outrageous situation led two young people to a horrifying silent scream in the night?


Other Titles

  • Also known as: How It Really Happened with Hill Harper