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Chilling True Crime Series 'Buried In The Backyard' Is Coming Soon

Chilling True Crime Series 'Buried In The Backyard' Is Coming Soon

With lockdown continuing for the next few weeks, we're in need of all the binge-worthy telly we can get. And now, there's a new show coming to Crime + Investigation that looks *so* gripping.

One for all the true crime fans, Buried In The Backyard takes a look at a series of tragic murder cases in which the victim has been buried just a short distance from the home.

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The first episode focuses on 19-year-old Erica Miller who went missing in 1995. Erica lived with her mother, Brenda and Brenda's boyfriend, Vince.

Two months on and a local couple, Cheryl Smith and Thomas March discovered a body on their property.

Their friend - James Begley, who was Brenda's ex-boyfriend - had not only borrowed Thomas' shotgun weeks earlier, but had also asked if he could bury "a box of insurance papers" on their land.

Erica went missing in 1995 (Credit: Crime + Investigation)
Erica went missing in 1995 (Credit: Crime + Investigation)
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Erica's body was found in the exact location the 'papers' had been buried. Despite having an alibi, Begley was found guilty, but still denies the murder.

The eight-part show focuses on a series of other harrowing crimes, including a case that took 35 years to close.

It began in 1979, when Enrique Zuniga reported his ex-wife, Alma, had just called him from a pay phone. He said someone had attacked her.

Police found Alma's naked body in a shallow grave seven to eight hours later. A man named John Clark Russell had grabbed her from the phone booth, driven her to a field and raped her. Autopsy reports indicate she was also stabbed in the back and shot in her right temple.

The case was unsolved for 35 years, until re-examined DNA evidence matched semen samples to Russell. He was eventually arrested in 2012. Aged 65 at the time, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and faces life in prison without parole.

Another case in the series focuses on 14-year-old Amber Dubois who went missing from southern California in February 2009.

James Begley was found guilty of Erica's murder (Credit: Crime + Investigation)
James Begley was found guilty of Erica's murder (Credit: Crime + Investigation)

Just a year later, another young girl, Chelsea King, also went missing in a nearby area. Chelsea's parents managed to track her phone to a local park where the teenager had been running. Inside her car, they found her school uniform and mobile.

After two days of searching, police uncovered a pair of underwear found covered in blood, which matched both Chelsea's DNA as well as the DNA of a convicted sex offender, John Gardner.

Gardner denied involvement but during questioning, mentioned Amber Dubois. After police found Chelsea's body in a shallow grave, Gardner agreed to a deal in which the death penalty was taken off his case in return for the confession of Amber's murder and the location of her body.

Erica's body was found in the location where Begley had buried the 'papers' (Credit: Crime + Investigation)
Erica's body was found in the location where Begley had buried the 'papers' (Credit: Crime + Investigation)

In 2010, he was sentenced and charged for rape and murder of both teenagers.

The series follows each investigation from first discovery, to identifying the body, determining the cause of death and conviction.

It features re-creations of the chilling crimes, real life footage from each case and insight from those closest to the victims, including interviews with family members and friends.

Buried in the Backyard begins on Crime + Investigation, on Tuesday 12th May at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: Crime + Investigation

Topics: Entertainment News, True Crime, TV News, TV Entertainment

Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]

 

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