THE TRUTH ABOUT JIM on Max is a new HBO documentary production. It’s a True Crime docu-series in four parts, where relatives of an abuser look into whether he is also a serial killer. Read our The Truth About Jim documentary series review here!

THE TRUTH ABOUT JIM is a new HBO documentary on Max. It’s true crime and the investigation is covered in four episodes that show what they find out. The crimes investigated in this docu-series were committed by Jim Mordecai. The known crimes include abuse (physical and psychological) as well as rape.

The question is whether he is also a serial killer. Specifically, could Jim Mordecai be the serial killer responsible for the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders? Just as was the case with They Called Him Mostly Harmless, we follow the investigation chronologically. We watched all four episodes for this review.

Continue reading our The Truth About Jim docu-series review below. Find it on Max from February 15, 2024.

Was Granddad a serial killer?

In The Truth About Jim, we follow amateur investigator Sierra Barter as she confronts a traumatic past. One that includes a lot of secrets that have plagued her family for generations. Her mother’s stepdad – which makes him Sierra’s step-granddad – was a man named Jim Mordecai.

He was a cruel man, who enjoyed being in power and hurting people around him. There are many examples of this, which we hear concrete examples of from both his biological children and his step-children. Sierra Barter’s grandmother was his third wife. If you Google his name, you’ll probably also come across his firstborn biological son.

His name is Drue Mordecai and he’s a Santa Rosa resident. He’s not in the documentary, but he looks like Jim, and he was arrested on sexual abuse charges at the very beginning of 2021. His crimes sound all too similar to those we hear Jim committed. Including the age range of his victims.

Leading the investigation in the docu-series is 32-year-old Sierra Barter, who has the support of her mother Shannon Barter, and her grandmother Judy Mordecai. While the documentary focuses on the healing of the family, part of this comes from making sure the police look at Jim Mordecai.

Many family members feel confident that he just might be a serial killer. Too many things just line up, and they need the police to open an investigation into their relative before they can move on.

The Truth About Jim – Review | True Crime Docuseries | Max/HBO

Who was Jim Mordecai?

Jim Mordecai is the subject of the documentary. He passed away in 2008, which made many feel safe. This alone is not the kind of legacy anyone would want to leave behind. However, hearing what people – mostly women, but also his stepson – experienced when he was alive, he might have wanted to be feared more than loved.

While Jim Mordecai could be charming, he was also an abuser in many different ways.

One of those ways was being a serial rapist, and his family (blood relatives and step-relatives) suspects he may also have been a serial killer. One episode even goes down a Zodiac Killer rabbit hole, as the timeline of Jim Mordecai’s life seems to make this possible. The ultimate goal is to get law enforcement to look into his crimes.

What I really liked about The Truth About Jim is how Sierra Barter (step-granddaughter of Jim Mordecai) is always quick to point out issues. Like when she commented that Jim’s look in the 1970s matched the description of a serial killer. She’s very quick to also note that the description could fit most men at that time.

Watch The Truth About Jim on Max

The Max Original four-part documentary series from Investigation Discovery (ID), was directed by Skye Borgman. This is a name that should ring a bell for anyone who’s a fan of true crime documentaries. She previously directed episodes of docu-series like Unsolved Mysteries and Trial by Media. Also, Sins of Our Mother which is scary!

Also, Skye Borgman has directed some amazing documentary feature films that I have not been able to forget. Usually, because they feature true crimes that are either crazy and unbelievable or just downright scary. They include Dead Asleep (2021)Girl in the Picture (2022), and Abducted in Plain Sight (2017).

The latter case was turned into the 2022 Peacock limited series A Friend of the Family. Whether The Truth About Jim will also become a TV series is difficult to say. First, however, we need more answers as the series ends with some answers but also a whole lot of questions.

For the family, it’s about moving on as well, but I hope there’s a follow-up episode to The Truth About Jim. As DNA investigation is underway, maybe we’ll be getting a bonus episode not unlike the Max documentary series I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2020-2021).

All four episodes of The Truth About Jim will premiere exclusively on Max on February 15, 2024.


Amateur investigator Sierra Barter confronts a traumatic past and secrets that have plagued her family for generations.

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 "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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