American Experience 1988 | TV Show Watchlist

American Experience

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This much-honored PBS documentary series explores American history, one topic or person at a time. Its Peabody Award winners include profiles of FDR and Malcolm X, and such diverse topics as Nixon's 1972 trip to China, the controversy surrounding `Citizen (more…)

Premiered: October 4, 1988

Rating: TV-PG

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Season 15, Episode 13 Murder at Harvard

First Aired: July 14, 2003

Historian Simon Schama (“A History of Britain”) plays sleuth---searching, he says, “not for literal truth, but for poetic truth”---as he speculates about whether an innocent man was executed for a 154-year-old “Murder at Harvard.” The victim was prominent Boston physician-turned-businessman George Parkman, who disappeared on Nov. 23, 1849. Remains thought to be his were found a week later in the Harvard Medical College's basement, and chemistry professor John Webster, who owed Parkman money, was convicted of the crime on the basis of circumstantial evidence.