A murder mystery turned crime drama, the limited series shows how crime doesn't just involve the victim and the perpetrator.
The Taron Egerton starrer Black Bird makes the first impression of a normal murder mystery but as the story peels away the layers of the characters, we find that there is something deeper afoot. We are met with James ‘Jimmy’ Keene recently incarcerated for 10 years in prison. However, as soon as he starts his term, an FBI agent comes to him with the proposition of getting a serial killer to confess his crime.
Based on the memoir In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption, the show invokes the style of quasi-documentary crime thrillers like True Detective and Mindhunter. Jimmy reluctantly accepts the proposal in front of him but he never expects it to change his life as it does. If Larry Hall, the serial killer played by Paul Walter Hauser confesses to his crimes James Keene can walk out scots-free.
BLACK BIRD (Apple+): Brilliant and riveting. A Dennis Lehane masterpiece. All episodes now available.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 6, 2022
It takes a village to commit a crime and that is exactly what we see in Black Bird. The perpetrator's brother Gary maintained till almost the very end that Larry could never commit such heinous crimes. However, it is the fear that Lauren and Brian (Jimmy’s handlers) are right that stops him from fully accepting it and being in denial. Although, he does remember an instance where Larry assaulted a hitchhiker, a violent act that sends Gary down the spiral of blame. He feels responsible for those acts and when Lauren convinces him that he is not, he convinces Lary to confess.
Alas, this win was almost tossed out when Larry’s confession was considered coerced. However, Jimmy was able to put together enough evidence to put him away for good. Additionally, he also explores how Larry knew very intricate details about the victims and the crime scene that the perpetrators would know. While there was a map of all the victims murdered, it was likely destroyed by his brother or someone and is still missing.
Speaking of the maps and the victims, Larry carved 21 wooden birds that he would have sent to his brother with the map so he can paint and put one over every victim’s burial site. He adds that the birds would "guard their spirits to make sure they are okay." It is this little detail that made the title of the show Black Bird and not the name of the book. This extremely harrowing and downright creepy story is true. The serial killer is still in a medium-security prison in North Carolina, he is 59 years old. While he still hasn’t been charged with any murders, the series shows Gary convincing Larry to confess to fifteen murders. The FBI has managed to keep him contained, stopping him from committing any more crimes.