BBC Three has ordered The Idaho Murders: Trial by TikTok from Summer Films, a show that will follow documentary maker, Zara McDermott as she heads to the small town of Moscow, Idaho to uncover the story of the social media frenzy that sprung up following the tragic murders of four Idaho University students.

The victims, Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were all stabbed to death in November 2022. From the very first reports of the crime, to the news of the arrest, Zara will see how every detail of the investigation in to their murders was turned into social media content and meet those who took it upon themselves to try and identify the killer.

Zara McDermott says: “I’ll be investigating the social media interest around the tragic murder case of the University of Idaho students which captured the minds of many around the world. I’m keen to find out why true crime is such a big topic online and the impact on those involved.”

Lucy Hillman, Executive Producer, Summer Films says: “This was a desperately tragic event for the families of the students and the community of Moscow, Idaho. In a world where every high-profile crime will now be scrutinised online, Zara has once again shown her ability to get inside a story with freshness, sensitivity and insight by discovering some of the ambitions and motivations behind the self-styled internet sleuths.”

Nasfim Haque, Head of Content, BBC Three says: “Zara has presented a number of powerful documentaries for BBC Three which relate to young audiences. With her great ability in exploring sensitive subject matters, Zara approaches this film with a deep level of care and understanding for the victims and the case as a whole.”

The Idaho Murders: Trial by TikTok (1 x 60’) is a Summer Films production for BBC Three and iPlayer and was commissioned by Nasfim Haque, Head of Content for BBC Three and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries. The Executive Producers for Summer Films are Lucy Hillman and Sam Whittaker. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Fran Baker.


Jon Creamer

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