Sword & Scale – Episode 1: Tracking Evil Image

Sword & Scale – Episode 1: Tracking Evil

By Alan Ng | April 4, 2024

The first episode of the Sword and Scale crime documentary directed by Mark Serao, Tracking Evil, investigates the tragic and brutal 1990 murder of Talana Kreeger. It opens in Wilmington, North Carolina, and centers on a group of women who regularly hang out at the local “The Park View” bar. Though not your traditional lesbian bar, it was a popular spot for women to feel safe and find camaraderie. On one fateful night, the bar would be visited by a lone trucker, Ronald Thomas Grimsley, who befriended the well-known and popular regular Talana Kreeger.

Grimsley seemed like a friendly guy who liked buying drinks and playing pool. When Talana and her friends head to a local restaurant for food, Grimsley offers to drive her there. She accepts the offer, but neither arrives at the restaurant, and Talana goes missing.

Hours later, Talana’s friends fear the worst, and a search begins for her and Grimsley. Talana’s body is eventually found gutted beyond all recognition.

Creator Ash Patiño’s Sword & Scale is incredibly ambitious as a series. We’re so used to HBO and Showtime dominating the documentary space. They certainly have the money to invest in their stories while at the same time being incredibly selective about the stories told.

“…a search begins for her and Grimsley. Talana’s body is eventually found gutted beyond all recognition.”

In the first episode of Sword & Scale, they narrate a story that may not be big enough for a TV network like HBO, but it sheds light on the cultural problem prevalent in small-town America. Sword & Scale delves deep into these stories and has exclusive access to Talana’s friends (who searched for her) and law enforcement officials who eventually convicted Grimsley. With insightful interviews and news footage, the series effectively supplements the visual gaps with well-selected stock video footage.

Sword & Scales delves into several unique issues surrounding Talana’s murder in great detail. For example, we look into the profile of the most likely serial killer…the truck driver. In fact, the FBI has a special department that studies truck drivers.

The other issue is the treatment of LGBT citizens in the 1990s. During this period, with the AIDS crisis running rampant, homophobia was at its all-time high. Grimsley is seen as a homophobic predator who got along with his lesbian victims but harbored great hatred, which led to his actions. Then, there is the difficulty for the LGBT community to be taken seriously during the investigation and in finding ultimate justice. In this case, finding a North Carolina church that would conduct Talana’s funeral was virtually impossible.

If you’re a fan of true crime documentaries and want more of them, Sword & Scale is a great destination to satiate your hunger for solving crimes. The series not only covers the facts and details of a crime but also delves into the why.

For more information about Sword & Scale, visit their official website.

Sword & Scale - Episode 1: Tracking Evil (2024)

Directed and Written: Mark Serao

Starring: Mike Boudet, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Sword & Scale - Episode 1: Tracking Evil Image

"…a great destination to satiate your hunger for solving crimes."

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