Hosted by award-winning journalist and MTV News host Dometi Pongo, True Life Crime is an eight-episode docuseries covering high-profile murder cases and harrowing crimes affecting young people. The debut finds Pongo in his hometown of Chicago investigating the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Westside teen Kenneka Jenkins. Her lifeless body was found in a walk-in freezer at a hotel in Rosemont, Illinois.
The fallout sparked a viral frenzy with internet sleuths spending countless hours searching for answers. Community activists led protests in Rosemont following concern among Kenneka’s family and friends that law enforcement was not giving this case the attention it warranted. Asked why he decided to take on this project when it came across his desk in 2018, Pongo said:
“Long before I knew I’d be doing this kind of work, I made a promise to myself to champion relevant Black media and authentic narratives. I got my start in broadcasting at a Black-owned radio station on the Southside of Chicago so I had to be intentional about keeping that promise when I moved on to other networks. This series provides a unique opportunity to highlight issues relevant to the community most viscerally affected by this case. In fact, the victims in almost each one of these cases come from marginalized communities in one way or another. Part of my work’s mission is to show the world that all of our stories matter.”
Other cases this season:
- Suicide or Sinister Scheme? The Sarah Stern Case – Neptune, NJ
Police discovered a car belonging to 19-year-old Sarah Stern abandoned on a bridge but she was nowhere to be found. They suspected suicide, but why would she withdraw thousands of dollars before she vanished? Sarah’s ex-classmate goes undercover to reveal the truth and discovers a twist no one could have expected.
- Gang Target or Mistaken Identity? The Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz Case – Bronx, NY
15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz leaves home to meet with a friend but ends up brutally murdered. The violent crime is recorded by security cameras and bystanders causing the story to go viral on social media driving a community to seek #JusticeForJunior.
- Runaway or Targeted Runner? The Jerika Binks Case – American Fork, UT
24-year-old Jerika Binks disappeared while out for a jog in a Utah canyon and no one hears from her again. As a recovering addict, did she relapse and runaway or was she another tragic victim of violence against women? A surprising discovery during the investigation changes everything.
- Skipping School or Silenced Forever? The Mujey Dumbuya Case – Grand Rapids, MI
16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya leaves her home to catch the bus for school and vanished. Days later, her body resurfaced in a wooded area 45 miles from her home. The search for her killer reveals a shocking twist that devastates her family, friends and investigators.
- The 5-million-dollar Hack
When 5 million dollars goes missing from dozens of unsuspecting victims, police uncover a massive case of identity theft committed by a 20-year-old hacker in order to bankroll his lifestyle of partying, lavish trips and designer clothing. This case reveals the extreme dangers facing everyone with a phone.
- The Kedarie Johnson Case- Burlington, IA
Shots ring out in the middle of the night and minutes later the body of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, a gender fluid teen, is discovered. Was Kedarie a target because of their gender identity or did the teen have a secret connection to the killer? The hunt for answers leads to a shocking discovery.
- Mom Gone Missing: Runaway or Murder Victim? The Hanna Harris Case- Lame Deer/Billings, MT
Hanna Harris, a 21-year-old mother went out to celebrate the Fourth of July with friends, but never returned home. Hours after, police discovered her car abandoned and five days later her body is found in a remote field. What happened to Hanna Harris?