Review: Unusual Suspects, “Overkill”

on June 7, 2011 in Serial Killers, Video Reviews by

One of the countless true crime shows on TruTV is “Unusual Suspects”. It’s fairly straight-forward, without the hype and superlatives you find on some of these shows. I’d not actually seen the show before, but the schtick is just what the show name says: suspects you would not expect.

The show was broken into two parts. I missed the first half, because I had to feed and walk the dog. It wasn’t about a serial killer in any case.

The second half was about Dana Sue Gray. As an extremely violent, female serial killer, she certainly counts as an unusual suspect.

A community in Canyon Lake, California is shocked by a brutal murder of an elderly woman. She was stabbed more than ten times, and then strangled by a phone cord. Another, similar murder happens two weeks later, and police know they have a serial killer on their hands. And one with a very short fuse!

With the substantial overkill in the murders, police suspect that the unsub is someone close to the victims. They interview everyone they can find who was in the area, including the former daughter-in-law of the first victim, who lived close to the second victim. But everyone came up clean.

A third, failed murder attempt confirms what the police had suspected: the killer was a woman.

Purchases made on credit cards stolen from the victims eventually lead to the killer, Dana Sue Gray. Unfortunately, they were a few hours too late to save a third murder victim, but I’ll let you watch the episode to learn about that.

It was an informative, entertaining show. They laid out the case in a clear manner, without any extraneous hype. They also did a solid job of explaining why Gray did what she did, at least as well as we are able to understand.

There was very little information on Gray upbringing that would explain how she became a killer, but that’s a common fault with all these shows.


  • t says:

    I hope one day you can do a podcast on a female serial killer.
    Or a discussion podcast on the psychopathy of female serial killers.

    love your site and podcasts! Thank you!!

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