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Very Scary People

Very Scary People

  • Premiered: 
    March 17, 2019
    (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 Donnie Wahlberg, VERY SCARE PEOPLE is a two-hour documentary series that chronicles the twisted lives of some of the most frightening, diabolical characters in recent history. These biographies trace the crimes and evil deeds of bad people who were successful at eluding detection for quite a while and how they were ultimately caught and eventually brought to justice.

"John Wayne Gacy: Evil Secret" (March 17): This is the shocking and gruesome mystery of John Wayne Gacy, a popular Chicago businessman and part-time clown who was leading a double life in the 1970s. By day, Gacy was a community leader and helpful neighbor. But by night, he transformed into a monster who chose young male teens as his prey. How did this seemingly cheerful man become the most prolific serial killer of his day -- without anybody noticing and how he was ultimately caught?

"Charles Manson: The Devil's Work" (March 24): Charles Manson was born a bad kid, became a teenage thief and a violent predator, and in the end, spent far more than half his life behind bars. He had the ability to charm and developed amazing powers of persuasion, but he chose to use those talents for sinister purposes. This episode -- featuring Manson Family members, victims' families, witnesses, prosecutors, reporters, authors, and Manson in his own words -- details the horror of the vicious attacks and explains how Manson was able to convince his hippie followers to brutally murder celebrities and innocent strangers. The grisly killings terrorized Hollywood and remained unsolved until homicide detectives received a tip from a surprising source.

"NorCal Rapist: Phantom Predator" (March 31): Wanted for multiple sex attacks against women in Northern California over three decades, this masked predator meticulously planned his assaults by studying the habits and routines of his female prey. The NorCal Rapist entered homes in advance of his attacks, memorizing floor plans and planning exits to avoid being seen. Then, armed with guns and knives, he attacked the women at night, when they were alone. But after 27 years on the loose, police suddenly closed in on the man they believe is the NorCal Rapist. This episode features victims, detectives, prosecutors, and criminal profilers, who detail the horror of the attacks, and the new forensic science that led to the suspect's capture.

"Aileen Wuornos: Monster Made" (April 7): In 1990, Florida police were on a frantic search for a killer. Seven men were dead, their bodies scattered along state highways. Terrorized motorists heard of the bullet-ridden victims of the Interstate Killer -- but the investigative trail was cold and there was no end in sight. The killer behind the spree was Aileen Wuornos -- a complex, misunderstood misfit who hitchhiked near truck stops, selected her victims at random, and lured them to secluded locations. It took good old-fashioned police work, a little luck, and a lover's betrayal, to finally bring Wuornos' killing spree to an end. This episode features rare interviews with victims' family members, and Wuornos' best friend.

"Zodiac Killer: I Am the Zodiac" (April 14): He terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s, killing young couples at secluded lover's lanes. Not satisfied with just the murders, he also taunted the public with cryptic clues, threats of increased violence and most famously, ciphers that were supposed to lead police to his identity, but mostly went nowhere. Detectives, reporters, and even civilians, have worked for decades to solve the case -- but so far, no one has succeeded. Can new DNA techniques that were used to catch the Golden State Killer finally unmask this murderer, who is both infamous and completely unknown?

"Rev. Jim Jones: Unholy Massacre" (April 21): More than 900 Americans died in an isolated jungle in northern Guyana in November 1978. The man responsible, Jim Jones, has gone down in history as a madman who drove his followers to suicide. But the truth is more complicated, more horrifying, and more tragic than that. This episode dives deep into the life of Jones, from his lonely childhood to his spectacular rise as a charismatic minister sought out by politicians and film stars, and finally, to an almost unimaginable end: the mass murder of those who once called him "father."