MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — If you’re a fan of true crime shows or podcasts, then a new show called “FBI True” might be right up your alley.
WKRG News 5’s Digital Reporter Summer Poole spoke with some of the show’s producers about what viewers can expect.
How would you describe “FBI True” to someone who isn’t familiar with the show?
Craig Turk, executive producer: “FBI True” is a documentary series that brings viewers inside the FBI in a way that no other series has before. It’s FBI agents talking to FBI agents. We like to say, “elbows on the bar with a grit left end.” Really, incredibly personal. [There’s] footage that’s never been aired publically, so you get to see things and experience things from the first-hand point of view of an FBI agent in a way that no one has ever put on television before.
Craig, as a producer, what got you excited about this show?
Craig: I worked with Anne on the scripted show “FBI” that we do for CBS, and in the course of researching that show I met dozens, probably hundreds, of FBI agents and I started to notice that it was one thing when I would come in and ask them questions that were prepared, but when I listen to them talk to each other, sort of one agent to another agent or a group of agents, the rhythms of the conversations were completely different. There was honesty and there was this appreciation for the incredibly high stakes and what it took to do their job, that no outsider could ever really access. And I was talking about it with Anne and we decided “Gosh, this is something we really have to figure out how to put on screen.”
Anne, from your perspective as a former agent, what does FBI True offer audiences that other shows don’t?
Anne Beagan, former FBI agent: Well, to Craig’s point, the way agents speak to one another is one of the special ingredients to our show. And what our show also lets the viewer see is how an agent … deals with family issues and the tools of the job psychologically, emotionally, physically. Not just the story itself, but what the job is like and what the toll that it takes on you as a human being is really all about.
Tell us about the case featured in the season premiere, “The Boy in the Bunker.”
Craig: Absolutely. The episode is called The Boy in the Bunker, and we think it’s one of the best sort of untold, or at least not frequently told stories, really in the history of the FBI. We’ll set the stage for you. Essentially, a school bus pulls up at a crossing, An older man gets on, pulls out a gun and shoots and kills the bus driver in front of all these children. The guy grabs a five-year-old boy off the bus, pulls him out and takes him down to an underground bunker that he’s been specially preparing for over a year. And the clock starts ticking. And we have this. Yeah, this episode features the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. It features the FBI hostage rescue team. And the stakes absolutely could not be higher.
Anne: Yeah, it’s a true thriller Summer that really rocked the community. And we’re so excited to share this special story with you and the community. One thing that I remember from hearing the agents, you know, recounting this story to me was what the community did and how the community came out to support. I mean, these agents, this little boy was there, their child. They would say, Kit, you know, keep up, keep our boys safe. And back to my point about the toll and the human side of this story. I remember Molly, specifically, the profiler in the case, telling me that on most of these deployments, you’re exhausted, you’re tired, you’re never sleeping, and you lose weight. Right. We all have that story. But Molly said in this example, they all sort of gained a little bit of weight because the community was coming forward with this incredible, you know, meatloaf and spaghetti and anything they could do to help these agents. So it’s just such a beautiful story of how the community responded to this unbelievable story.
Can you tell me about some of the other episodes that we can expect to see?
Craig: We feel really privileged to be able to tell an incredibly wide range of FBI stories. So this season you’re going to see stories about spies and stories about terrorists, bank robberies, serial killers, and kidnappings. You know, we have coming up some episodes that we’re incredibly proud of. One has to do with the Chelsea bombing in New York where, you know, out of nowhere, this bomb explodes, throws one of these huge trash containers that they have in New York, like 200 yards up a street. So it’s a really powerful bomb. And all of a sudden, people realize there are other bombs planted in other places. And there’s a terrorist on the loose in New York City. As it gets closer and closer to rush hour and you get five or 6 million people on the move, they have no idea where this guy is or how they’re going to find him. So that’s a great one. The Golden State killer, you know, which you mentioned, which is like an incredible testament to the fact that a serial killer who is sort of terrorizing communities for years and then decades, the FBI never, ever, ever gives up and continues to track these people. So we love this sort of broad spectrum of cases that we’re able to cover.
Why should everyone tune in tonight?
Anne: It’s the best show on television!
Craig: It really is. You know, I think that the boy in the bunker case. Right. Which obviously takes place in Alabama is, as I said, such an increased evil demonstration of what the FBI can do, what it takes out of these agents to do it. And you will see footage that you’ve never seen before. You’ll hear stories that you can barely believe. I mean, when we were sitting in, you know, the room, when the FBI agents were talking about this, we all knew how this story resolved. And still everyone was kind of leaning forward and, you know, on the edge of their seats. So it’s it’s about as thrilling and incredible a story as I think is out there. And I think people will people will love it, I think.