Hulu has spent a lot of time and money trying to catch the streaming giant, Netflix, in the true crime docuseries space. You have a series with an awful title that’s quite good with Web of Death or oddly specific ones like Death in the Dorms. Even ABC has gone as far as to recycle materials from past 20/20 episodes like an updated true crime special, like Where is Private Dulaney? However, Hulu and ABC News have found a high point with their new true crime docuseries, Killing County, a series that is frighteningly good while also being about something alarming that is intricately put together for more significant effect.
Killing County follows the case of the Ramirez family, who tragically lost their son during a police shooting. They have been grieving the loss of their son Jorge for nearly a decade. What transpires over time is frightening, even jaw-dropping, and goes beyond even a case of racially motivated police shootings. It takes place in Bakersfield, California, where being a police officer is a form of birthright. Well, if you are white and know the same people. Even from the 90s to the 2010s, Bakersfield had a population boom but still had the same small-town roots.
The documentary, when talking about the police force, has a Western genre feel to it, where the police are known as the judge, jury, and executioner. The county in the title of the series is Kern County, one that needs a serious overhaul at the top of its power structure. A town that lives under a dome whose politics and idealism have never changed at the top of the leadership structure. No matter the current population, per the U.S. Census, the Hispanic and Latino population in the city is at 52%, and the white population sits at 31%.
Killing County was executive produced by Robe Imbriano (Soul of a Nation) and Colin Kaepernick (with an expert narration by actor Andre Holland, who has the greatest voiceover timber since Morgan Freeman). As the story unveils itself, each layer pulled back is as fascinating as the next. Layered in between are other stories that are equally as astonishing and stomach-churning. The directors and producers have laid out an intricate, even labyrinthine, plot that comes together in a way where everyone who watches it should demand answers.