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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
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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 (Part 1): The Secret They Couldn't Talk About..." (Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 9pm): Susan Powell, a 28-year-old mother of two, goes missing in December of 2009. Her husband Josh claims to have taken their two young sons winter camping in the Utah desert and says he returned the next day to find her gone. Questioned by detectives, he doesn't behave like a concerned husband and his version of events doesn't match his son's. The mystery about where Susan's is deepens as more details about her marriage to Josh and their life behind closed doors emerge. Susan's family and friends do everything they can to find her while Josh insists that she ran out on him and their two little boys. The search for Susan Powell plays out on a national stage with everyone wondering: did she run off? Was she taken? Is Susan Powell dead or alive?

"Finding Susan Powell (Part 2): What the Children Saw" (Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 10pm): Authorities search for missing mother of two, Susan Powell, in every nook and cranny of the desert in Western Utah while her friends and family wait for a break in the case. Her husband Josh is named a person of interest as suspicion about his involvement in her disappearance grows. He and his father wage a counter-attack and a war between Susan and Josh's families erupts in the glare of the public spotlight. Shocking revelations about Josh and his family come to light...evidence of violence, obsession and sexual perversion. The family drama leads up to a shocking and unimaginable conclusion.

"Escape from Dannemora (Part 1): Killers on the Loose" (Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 9pm): Two dangerous killers break out of one of New York State's toughest prisons. Convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat cut through steel walls, crawl through steampipes, and snake their way through a maze of tunnels on their way to freedom. When authorities discover the details of their elaborate escape -- there are more questions than answers. Who are these men? How did they mastermind their plan? And can they capture them before they kill again?

"Escape from Dannemora (Part 2): Where's the Getaway Car?" (Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 10pm): The manhunt for escaped prisoners -- Richard Matt and David Sweat was growing, expanding from the Northeast United States to Canada and Mexico. Thousands of leads were being followed, but weeks into the search, there was still no sign of the missing men. Where are they? How much help did they have? And -- would they ever be captured?

"Bernie Madoff (Part 1): The Most Hated Man in America" (Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 9pm): Bernie Madoff was a legend on Wall Street. He helped create Nasdaq, served as its chairman, and operated a highly successful brokerage firm. But at the same time, Bernie Madoff was also running a secret hedge fund, a fund known only by word of mouth. As news spread about Madoff's steady returns, some of the wealthiest people were begging Bernie Madoff to invest their money. Billions of dollars were pouring in from around the world. But in 2008, when the financial crisis hit and Madoff's investors began demanding their money back, Madoff knew he wouldn't have enough to pay them. He finally confessed to his sons that he had been living a lie -- that his investment business was nothing more than a multi-billion-dollar fraud -- the largest Ponzi scheme ever.

"Bernie Madoff (Part 2): Who Else Knew?" (Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 10pm): The news of Bernie Madoff's arrest sent shockwaves around the world. His staggering crime affected thousands of victims, including charities, universities, celebrities and even Madoff's own family and friends. How did he do it? Why did he do it? Did he have any help? Investigators were about to unravel a scheme that went back decades and involved several loyal employees.

"The Last Days of Glenn Frey: Heartache Tonight" (Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 9pm): Glenn Frey was a multi-talented musician and along with Don Henley co-founded the legendary band, the Eagles. During the 1970's the Eagles released a series of hit songs...from Peaceful Easy Feeling, to Already Gone, to the classic hit Hotel California. Glenn Frey played piano, guitar, sang and wrote songs that stood the test of time. On stage fans always saw a fun-loving Glenn Frey but behind the scenes he had been dealing with a number of health issues. And ultimately when he died in 2016 his fans were shocked because he was still playing the music they loved.

"The Dartmouth Murders: Evil in a Small Town" (Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9pm): They were well-known and well-liked Dartmouth College professors. But on January 27th 2001, Half and Suzanne Zantop's incredible lives came to a shocking and unforeseeable end: found brutally murdered in their remote Hanover, New Hampshire home. The double killing quickly became national news. Who would commit such a heinous act, and more importantly, why? With few leads and few clues at the get-go, investigators were stumped. But some good old fashioned police work would lead detectives to a small town just across the border in Vermont...where they found an incredibly unexpected twist to this 'whodunit' mystery.

"The Jenny Jones Show: Fatal Attraction" (Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 9pm): In the early 1990s daytime talk television was on the rise. In an effort to capture high ratings shows began to push the envelope with outrageous stunts and controversial guests. Viewers liked watching the dramatic scenes play out, but critics called it trash TV. Then in March of 1995, after three friends went on The Jenny Jones Show to reveal a secret crush, one of them ended up dead and another was charged with murder. What lead to the killing and why did one of the friends feel the spotlight was too hot?


Other Titles

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