The Most Terrifying Fact about ‘Black Bird’ Is That It’s All True

Black Bird is a dreadful tale of a convict who agrees to a plea deal but ends up with more than what he bargained for — in the worst possible way. Apple TV certainly has a knack for producing shows that can tell an electrifying story in just six episodes, so it’s no shock that Black Bird too has been well-received by viewers.

Nowadays, there’s hardly any show that isn’t based on or inspired by something, and Black Bird is no different. So what is this Apple TV show based on?

Black Bird is based on James Keene’s true-life story as outlined in his autobiographical novel “In with the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption.” He co-authored this book with investigative journalist Hillel Levin.

Even when written works are adapted, not all of it is properly translated to the screen. Plus, adapting a novel is vastly different from depicting real-life events as is. So let’s look into how much of Black Bird actually transpired in real life. 

How much of Black Bird is true?

Scarily enough, all of it! The show is adapted from James Keene’s 2010 autobiography, “In with the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption,” which he co-wrote with investigative journalist, Hillel Levin.

The Most Terrifying Fact about ‘Black Bird’ Is That It’s All True
Black Bird

While this is Keene’s story, it is important to look at Larry Hall, who was locked up in a high-security prison in Springfield, Missouri, in 1995, for the abduction and murder of a 15-year-old girl.

Hall was someone who flabbergasted the police with fake stories and clues, and the odd thing is that this was the only crime he properly confessed to, even though he tried to deny it later.

Because of this, police were under the suspicion that Hall was a serial killer. Here’s where Keene comes in. He wanted to cut down his prison sentence and so makes a deal with the police to be their inside man and befriend Hall.

The show only takes a slight detour when they depict Hall openly confessing all of his crimes to Keene. In reality, Hall guarded the truth heavily which is why his exact body count or where his victims are buried is still unknown.

This also segues into the turning point of the show — on screen Keene “breaks” his friendship with Hall because he refuses to come clean after intensely pleading with him.

The Most Terrifying Fact about ‘Black Bird’ Is That It’s All True
Black Bird

In real life, Keene, who had been feeling the pressure of this unholy situation, just bursts out, calling Hall a “sicko,” which sadly blows his cover.

After this, the show’s denouement is quite painful, closely mirroring its real-life counterpart. The only silver lining is that the show makes the world largely aware of Keene’s side of things.

Watch Black Bird on:

About Black Bird

Black Bird is an American miniseries developed by Dennis Lehane. The crime drama first premiered on Apple TV+ with weekly episodes in a six-part limited series. The show is based on the 2010 autobiography of James Keene.

As Jimmy Keene begins a 10-year prison sentence, he gets an incredible offer: If he can elicit a confession from the suspected killer, Larry Hall, he will gain his freedom. Completing his mission becomes a challenge of a lifetime. 

The show stars Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, Paul Walter Hauser as Larry Hall, Sepideh Moafi as Lauren McCauley, Greg Kinnear as Brian Miller, and Ray Liotta as Big Jim.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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