Review: ‘My Brother the Serial Killer’

An articulate and candid central interviewee, coupled with the sensationalist claim that the eponymous murderer may have been responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, elevate Aussie-U.S. co-production "My Brother the Serial Killer" above most made-for-TV true-crime fare. Skedded for a Nov. 21 preem on Investigation Discovery, the pic is a solid fest choice that will segue to brisk tube sales.

An articulate and candid central interviewee, coupled with the sensationalist claim that the eponymous murderer may have been responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, elevate Aussie-U.S. co-production “My Brother the Serial Killer” above most made-for-TV true-crime fare. Skedded for a Nov. 21 preem on Investigation Discovery, the pic is a solid fest choice that will segue to brisk tube sales.

In November 1995, just over a month after O.J. Simpson’s acquittal, police apprehended 33-year-old Glen Rogers, a smooth-talking fugitive who had left a trail of at least five bodies that earned him the sobriquet “the Cross-Country Killer.” He subsequently claimed more than 70 victims, including Brown Simpson and Goldman. Rogers currently sits on Florida’s death row, awaiting an execution date.

Using interview and voiceover narration from Rogers’ brother Clay, a former partner in crime, helmer David Monaghan traces the subject’s troubled upbringing and gravitational slide into violent recidivism. “I wasn’t turning in my brother,” Clay says, with typical candor. “I was turning in a serial killer.”

Monaghan’s tidy and economical tech package renders the pic a more dignified affair than these things often are, eschewing cheesy shock effects in favor of incisive commentary from family, law enforcement, press and even victims’ friends. The evidence presented for Rogers’ possible role in the notorious Simpson/Goldman killings is persuasive and seemingly plausible, including local work receipts from that year, Rogers’ detailed account of the scene to a criminal profiler, and even a distinctive Brown Simpson earring found in his possession. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has declined to pursue new leads in the Simpson/Goldman murders, the helmer says.

My Brother the Serial Killer

Documentary - Australia-U.S.

Production

An Essential 11 Media presentation and production in association with Investigation Discovery. Produced by David Monaghan. Executive producer, Chris Hilton. Directed by David Monaghan.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Harry Frith, Craig Evans; editor, Karin Steininger; music, Davey Ray Moore; sound (stereo 2.0), Basil Krivoroutchko. Reviewed at Cockatoo Island Film Festival, Sydney, Oct. 26, 2011. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Clay Rogers, Sue Rogers, Tom Kilgour, Pat McKenna, Lea Purwin D'Agostino, Carolyn Evans, Chuck Lee, Theresa Whiteside, Kenny Hamm, Paul Schaefer, Edna Rogers, Bob Stephens, Chuck Lee, John Eckberg, Anthony Meioli, Pat McKenna, Marilyn Williams.

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