Forensics television is more than gory titillation and casual senationalism. These programs scratch at religious itches: they try to see beyond death and long for ultimate justice.
Seventeen-year-old Liam Q. joined the U.S. Navy to see the world. His test scores marked him for further training in a technical specialty, but Liam wanted to steer an aircraft carrier, so the navy made him a helmsman. As every sailor knows, shore leave is the most dangerous part of any cruise, and this turned out to be true for Liam. He fell in love with an older woman and was convicted of shooting her husband. In 1983, at the age of 19, he embarked on a different kind of cruise: a life sentence “up the river.”