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American Justice Season 5 Episodes

32 Episodes 1995 - 1995

Episode 1

Cop Killers

Wed, Jan 17, 1996 60 mins

Chronicling examples of cop murders, what host Bill Kurtis calls "the ultimate criminal act." In one case, a dashboard-mounted videocam recorded the shooting of a Texas trooper. Included: police re-creations; interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers.

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Episode 2

Chicago Mob

Wed, Feb 7, 1996 60 mins

"The Chicago Mob" profiles Windy City crime bosses, including Al Capone, who became Chicago's gangland kingpin in his 20s; 1960s gangster Sam Giancana; and Anthony Accardo, reportedly the trigger man at the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 3

The Sam Sheppard Story

Thu, Feb 15, 1996 60 mins

A detailed examination of the case of Dr. Sam Sheppard, the Cleveland surgeon convicted of murdering his wife in 1954. Included: crime scene photos; the investigation and trial; legal appeals resulting in Sheppard's release; his son's effort to exonerate him. Hosted by Bill Kurtis.

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American Justice, Season 5 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Murder in the Family

Wed, Mar 6, 1996 60 mins

Investigating homicides committed against parents by their children. Included: the case of David and Brian Freeman, who killed their Allentown, Pa., parents in 1995; Jeffrey Howorth, who shot his parents in 1995.

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Episode 5

Vegas and the Mob

Wed, Apr 10, 1996 120 mins

How organized-crime figures built a "Niagara Falls of money" in Las Vegas in the 1930s and '40s, which they enjoyed until "paradise came crashing down." Included: an interview with casino manager Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who inspired the Robert De Niro character in "Casino."

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Episode 6

Long Island Railroad Massacre

Wed, Apr 24, 1996 60 mins

An examination of the 1993 "Long Island Rail Road Massacre," in which six commuters were killed and 19 wounded by gunman Colin Ferguson, who was convicted of six counts of murder. Included: talks with eyewitnesses, jurors and police officers.

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Episode 7

Bounty Hunters

Sat, May 11, 1996 60 mins

A look at the work of bounty hunters, or "fugitive recovery agents," who track down individuals who jump bail. Included: interviews with bounty hunters and footage from actual arrests. Also: training and licensing. Bill Kurtis is the host.

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Episode 8

Crime of Passion: The Pamela Smart Story

Sat, May 25, 1996 60 mins

An examination of the Derry, N.H., murder case, in which a former high-school media director, Pamela Smart, convinced her teenage lover to kill her husband. Included: an interview with Pamela Smart and footage of her trial. Bill Kurtis is the host

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Episode 9

John Wayne Gacy: Buried Secrets

Wed, Jun 5, 1996 60 mins

Profiling serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a building contractor who, in 1980, was convicted of murdering 33 people, more than anyone in American history. Included: an interview with Gacy in prison; comments from prosecutors. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 10

When Cops Kill

Wed, Jun 19, 1996 60 mins

Examining cases in which police actions resulted in the death of a citizen. Included: trial footage; police photos; interviews with police officers. Also: weapons designed to stun, not kill. Bill Kurtis is the host.

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Episode 11

Hot Pursuit

Wed, Jul 17, 1996 60 mins

An examination of high-speed chases conducted by law-enforcement agencies via land, air and sea, with an analysis of five pursuits. Also: the policies governing chases and the techniques utilized to ensure safety.

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Episode 12

Great Crimes & Trials: John Christie of Rillington Place

45 mins

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Episode 13

Dennis Nilsen: The Kindly Killer

Sun, Aug 18, 1996 60 mins

The case of Dennis Nilsen, a one-time British police officer who became known as "the kindly killer" after killing as many as 16 young black men in the 1970s. Nilsen was convicted of six murders in 1983 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Bill Kurtis is the host.

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Episode 14

Mob Hit Men

Wed, Aug 21, 1996 60 mins

Recalling Philadelphia's bloody mob wars of the 1980s and early '90s. Interviewed are Mafia hit men who later became witnesses against their former bosses. Included: comments from prosecutors and FBI agents. Bill Kurtis hosts.

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Episode 15

Bamber Family Murder

Sun, Aug 25, 1996 60 mins

An investigation into the 1985 Bamber family murders in England, in which Jeremy Bamber killed his adoptive parents, his sister and her twin sons in hopes of inheriting his family's fortune.

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Episode 16

Richard Ramirez: Night Stalker

Sun, Sep 1, 1996 60 mins

An examination of the "Night Stalker" murders that haunted Southern California during the summer of 1985, in which Richard Ramirez killed 13 persons. He was subsequently sentenced to death for the crimes.

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Episode 17

Menendez Murders

Wed, Sep 4, 1996 60 mins

A report on the 1989 killings of Kitty and Jose Menendez, and the murder trial against their sons, Lyle and Erik. Included: the "abuse excuse" used by the defense; and comments from jurors, who discuss reasons why the brothers' first trial ended in a hung jury. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 18

Hammersmith Murders

Sun, Sep 22, 1996 60 mins

Recalling the case of the unidentified serial killer British police called "Jack the Stripper," who's believed to be responsible for the murders of six prostitutes in London in 1964.

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Episode 19

I Confess

Wed, Sep 25, 1996 60 mins

A look at the use---and abuse---of confessions in murder cases. The hour examines unique cases in which confessions played a key role, such as the "Central Park jogger" case. Included: examples of videotaped confessions.

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Episode 20

James Hanratty

Sun, Sep 29, 1996 60 mins

Recounting the case of James Hanratty, who was hanged, many believe wrongly, for the shooting deaths of two lovers in London. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 21

To Catch a Killer: Homicide Detectives

Wed, Oct 2, 1996 60 mins

Graphic footage accompanies this look at homicide detectives on the job. Among the cases investigated is a 1994 quadruple murder in Virginia Beach, Va. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 22

The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

Sun, Oct 6, 1996 60 mins

The unexplained disappearance of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa (1913-75?). Included: his controversy-filled life and evidence regarding his fate.

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Episode 23

Caryl Chessman

45 mins

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Episode 24

The McKay Kidnapping

Sun, Oct 20, 1996 30 mins

Recalling the 1969 kidnapping of Muriel McKay, the wife of a newspaperman. McKay's body was never found, and immigrants Arthur Hosein and his brother, Nizamodeen, were convicted of the crime.

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Episode 25

Black Panther

45 mins

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Episode 26

Free to Kill: The Polly Klaas Murder

Wed, Oct 23, 1996 60 mins

Using the slaying of Polly Klaas, the Petaluma, Cal., 12-year-old, to examine law-enforcement methods designed to deal with repeat offenders. Included: aggressive policing techniques and laws around the country. Bill Kurtis is the host.

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Episode 27

Kennedy Assassination

45 mins

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Episode 28

The Massacre of the Tsar

Sun, Nov 17, 1996 30 mins

The execution of Nicholas II and his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

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Episode 29

Death Row Women

Wed, Nov 20, 1996 60 mins

A look at the daily routines of women sentenced to death includes interviews with condemned inmates, and families and friends of victims. Also: a visit to death row in an Alabama prison. Host: Bill Kurtis.

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Episode 30

Neville Heath: The Lady Killer

Sun, Nov 24, 1996 30 mins

The case of Neville Heath, a British Air Force officer executed in 1946 for the murders of two young women.

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Episode 31

The Defenders

Wed, Dec 4, 1996 60 mins

Judging the effectiveness of publicly funded defense lawyers for poor and indigent defendants. Host: Bill Curtis.

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Episode 32

Mafia Story

Sun, Dec 8, 1996 60 mins

Chronicling the power struggles between New York's Gambino family and rival clans. Included: the conflicts among top Gambino bosses that culminated in the 1985 murder of Paul Castellano on the order of John Gotti. Bill Kurtis hosts.

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