THE MURDERS AT STARVED ROCK on HBO is a 3-part documentary series in the true-crime genre. It spans several decades and will probably divide viewers. Read our full The Murders at Starved Rock review here!

THE MURDERS AT STARVED ROCK is a new HBO docu-series that has been many years in the making. Not just because the true-crime case it covers is from 1960, but rather because the documentary filmmaker abandoned the project more than ten years ago before picking it up again recently.

The three-part documentary series explores the brutal murders of three women in 1960. Their bodies were discovered in Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County, Illinois. They were put on display and the search for the killer ended when Chester Weger was arrested.

The main subject of this docu-series is this; Did he commit these heinous murders or was he an easy target?

Continue reading our The Murders at Starved Rock review below and find all three episodes on HBO Max now.

Was Chester Weger just very unfortunate?!

In 1961, Chester Weger was convicted of brutally murdering three women who were visiting Starved Rock State Park. The women were Frances Murphy, Lillian Oetting, and Mildred Lindquist. They were visiting Starved Rock State Park where they were hiking and bird-watching.

However, ever since Chester Weger was convicted of these murders, many have tried to get him out; They simply could not believe he would do this and the “evidence” in this case is lacking. To put it mildly.

But, does that mean Chester Weger is innocent? Well, who among us is truly innocent?! It’s rarely that black or white. And it certainly wouldn’t appear Chester Weger was innocent in many other aspects either. But whether he committed these murders is another thing.

There are many elements of this case, that reminded me of Making a Murderer. Not least the part about once you’re convicted, you are sorely out of luck. Getting anything overturned is nearly impossible since it requires the system to admit that it made a mistake.

The Murders at Starved Rock – Review – HBO True Crime Documentary

Will we ever know the truth about Chester Weger?

Whatever you think of Chester Weger, the so-called confession certainly seems to be full of holes. Not surprising if it was, in fact, the product of threats, and violence, as Chester Weger has since claimed. Even the prosecutor (who’s the father of the man searching for the truth now) didn’t believe much of that confession.

Well, except the part where he “admitted” to the murders, of course.

Personally, I am never fond of picking through evidence and using what you like, and discarding the rest. That just doesn’t sit well with me. Also, it seems almost impossible that he did it alone.

But hey, that’s just what I got from watching The Murders at Starved Rock. Much like the Netflix documentary series The Staircase, this true-crime documentary will probably have viewers divided.

Especially as far as the main question is concerned; Did Chester Weger kill three women in the Starved Rock National Park in Illinois or was he framed?

Also, can the answer even be simple all these years later?!

Watch The Murders at Starved Rock on HBO Max now!

Unlike what you might think when you’re watching The Murders at Starved Rock, David Raccuglia isn’t the director of this HBO true-crime documentary series. He is quite simply an “armchair detective” trying to find the truth.

Especially since he grew up with this case as the son of prosecutor Anthony Raccuglia who sent Chester Weger to prison for life. Admittedly, he does seem to get a somewhat different take on the case after his father passes away. He is more open to his father’s side of the story, which is probably to be expected as respect of sorts.

The actual director of The Murders at Starved Rock is Jody McVeigh-Schultz, who was also an editor on the HBO docu-series McMillions (2020). Mark Wahlberg is one of the executive producers on this HBO documentary series, which isn’t surprising since he did the same on McMillions.

For any fan of true-crime documentaries that attempt to look at a case from all sides and angles, this HBO Max production is definitely worth checking out.

The Murders at Starved Rock was released on HBO Max on December 14, 2021.

Plot

This three-part documentary series explores the brutal murders of three women in 1960 in Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County, Illinois, and the decades of questions and doubts that have haunted the son of the prosecutor in the case, as the man found guilty seeks to clear his name after 60 years in prison.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina