A Murder in the Park

Watch A Murder in the Park

  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.3  (1,251)
  • 70

A Murder in the Park is a 2014 documentary-style film that follows the controversial case of Alstory Simon, a man who confessed to killing two people in Chicago in 1982. The film, directed by Shawn Rech and Brandon Kimber, provides a detailed and analytical examination of the events leading up to Simon's conviction and subsequent release from prison in 2014.

The movie opens with the story of Anthony Porter, who was convicted of murdering Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green in Washington Park, Chicago in 1982. Porter was sentenced to death row, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after Illinois abolished the death penalty. In 1998, Porter was set to be executed, but his lawyers managed to get a stay of execution at the last minute based on claims of intellectual disability.

The case received national attention after a group of journalism students from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, led by a professor named David Protess, began investigating Porter's case. They claimed to have uncovered evidence that pointed to another man, Alstory Simon, as the true killer. Simon confessed to the murders, and Porter was exonerated and subsequently released from prison.

However, in 2013, a new investigation into the case was opened, and it was revealed that Protess and his students had used unethical and illegal means to persuade Simon to confess. Simon claimed that he had been coerced into confessing and that his confession was false. After nearly two decades in prison, Simon was released in 2014 and filed a lawsuit against Northwestern University and the City of Chicago.

The movie presents a compelling and thought-provoking narrative that keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish. Through interviews with key players in the case, including Protess, Simon, and the families of the victims, the film explores the complex web of lies and deceit that led to Simon's wrongful conviction.

One of the most striking aspects of the movie is its use of archival footage and reenactments to recreate the events leading up to Simon's confession. The filmmakers use creative storytelling techniques to bring the viewer into the heart of the action and create a sense of tension and suspense that keeps the audience on edge.

The film also raises important questions about the ethics of journalism and the criminal justice system. The case of Alstory Simon is a stark reminder of the dangers of a flawed and biased criminal justice system, where the innocent can be wrongfully convicted and the guilty can go free.

Overall, A Murder in the Park is a well-crafted and engaging documentary that sheds light on a disturbing chapter in Chicago's history. Through its meticulous research and attention to detail, the movie offers a powerful critique of the criminal justice system and the media's role in shaping public opinion.

A Murder in the Park is a 2015 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 70.

A Murder in the Park
Where to Watch A Murder in the Park
A Murder in the Park is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent A Murder in the Park for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (1,251)
  • Metascore