REVIEW: The Eleven is a thrilling serial killer investigation that will shock the world
For nearly fifty years, eleven murders of teenage girls in Texas went unsolved. In 1998, convicted murderer Edward Harold Bell claimed he had been brainwashed and committed the murders. This almost unbelievable claim and subsequent investigation is the focus of the shocking new murder documentary The Eleven, continuing tonight on Crime and Investigation.
The Eleven is a crime investigation documentary like one has never seen it before. It’s slick, dramatic and powerful, cleverly mixing reconstructions, interviews and news footage from the 1970s. It examines the history, setting, and major players involved in the crimes with unsettling dedication – thoroughly immersing the viewer in the world of 1970s Galveston, Texas. It is a horror movie, a history lesson and crime documentary all in one. These genres are moulded together, creating a chilling and detailed investigation into what happened in Galveston.
Despite being technically impressive, what makes The Eleven so truly shocking and powerful is a story that is its almost absurd narrative. How could eleven murders go unsolved? How did it take a written confession decades after the crime before a suspect could be found? How were the majority of the crimes not linked to one another? Is Edward Harold Bell even telling the truth? There are a thousand questions – making The Eleven prime material for a documentary series. The premiere episode barely scratches the surface.
The Eleven has everything required for a gripping documentary series. It follows a shocking serial killer enquiry largely unknown to the wider public. The sheer number of victims means that there is a wealth of information and witnesses to examine to link Bell to the crime. Even Bell alone would be an interesting subject of a documentary, obsessed with a brainwashing programme that he says made him a killer. Not to mention the fact that The Eleven is expertly crafted and a pleasure to watch as a television viewer. This is one crime documentary series not to miss.