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Episode 10: Nightmare's End

In the season finale of Southern Nightmare, Timothy Spencer has an imminent date with the Virginia electric chair. But can FBI profilers and a State Police agent get him to talk about his crimes before he dies? 


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Episode 9: The DNA Legacy 

In 1989, stay-at-home mom Debbie Smith was abducted from her Virginia home and raped by a masked assailant while her police officer husband was fast asleep in their bedroom. Was history starting to repeat itself?  Or this time, would law enforcement be able to prevent another South Side Strangler-style tragedy? 


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Episode 8: The Wrong Man

Someone raped and strangled talented young Washington, D.C., attorney Carolyn Hamm in her home. When detectives questioned a neighbor, his sister pointed them to David Vasquez, a mentally challenged fast food worker who had moved out of the area seven months before the murder. 


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Episode 7: The Trials 

On July 11, 1988, opening arguments were delivered in accused serial killer Timothy Spencer's landmark trial for the bondage rape and murder of Arlington, Virginia, magazine editor Sue Tucker. It would be the first time in U.S. history that DNA tests were used as evidence in a capital murder trial. And if the jury couldn't be convinced that this new scientific tool was accurate, then the South Side Strangler would go free.


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Episode 6: The Match

With the South Side Strangler still at large, Medical College of Virginia lab tech Rena Chapouris didn't show up for work and wasn't answering her phone. A too-familiar horror story seemed to be playing itself out once again in Richmond. 


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Episode 5: a.k.a

In the wake of the sadistic rape and bondage strangulation murder of magazine editor Sue Tucker, Arlington County homicide detective Joe Horgas re-examines old cases from years before and finds some striking similarities: “Everything just seems to fit the puzzle. The pieces are all coming together now.” This episode continues the story of the South Side Strangler serial killings.


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Episode 4: Her Last Debt

On Thanksgiving weekend 1987 a quiet townhouse community in suburban Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., is rocked by the bondage strangulation murder of a woman in her home. A hundred miles north of the state capital in Richmond, Arlington only saw a handful of murders a year but officers there had encountered a murder exactly like this before -- three years earlier and just a couple miles away. This episode continues the story of the South Side Strangler serial killings.


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Episode 3: Escalation 

The Cho family immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea in search of the American Dream. Instead they found a Southern Nightmare. Fifteen-year-old Diane Cho was a typical 1980s teenager, arguing with her little brother, hanging out with her friends at the mall and dating a boy behind her parents’ backs. She would become the next victim of the South Side Strangler, raped and murdered in her bedroom while her parents and brother were sleeping in the next rooms. This episode features interviews with Diane’s mother and brother, as well as her friends.



Episode 2: Powder Keg

A promising young neurosurgery resident at the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Susan Hellams was breaking ground at a time when there were very few women in her field. She was also fated to become the South Side Strangler's second victim. And with the revelation that a serial killer was on the loose in Richmond, the city erupted into fear. 


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Episode 1: The Empty Car

Debbie Davis was a quiet, single woman who liked baking cookies and reading mystery novels. What a police patrolman found in her apartment bedroom on the morning of Sept. 19, 1987, would mark the beginning of a nightmare that would haunt and terrify the city of Richmond, Virginia, for months to come. Featuring interviews with retired homicide detectives, FBI profilers, prosecutors and friends and family of the victims, Southern Nightmare is the story of how the South Side Strangler serial killer was brought to justice by the use of DNA evidence, years before the O.J. Simpson trial or TV shows like CSI popularized the use of DNA as a forensic investigative tool.


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