When crime strikes, we often look for the usual suspects. Murderers tend to have violent criminal histories. They are mostly men with low to middle class upbringings. Serial killers in particular usually come from unstable families, live alone, and have trouble holding down a job. So we’re never surprised to learn that the predator behind a string of crimes is somewhat of an outsider who’s been living on the fringes of society. But sometimes, in rare shocking cases, all our suspicions are wrong. The killer turns out to be a prominent member of the community, a wealthy neighbour, an honoured citizen, a trusted authority figure. The least likely of all suspects. But in a way, their high standing has been cloaking their crimes, concealing an evil double life. For society, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, true devils in disguise.
A woman goes missing from a small village in Tuscany. Weeks later, after many false leads, Italian police discover her body near a historical religious shrine. The entire country is shocked when the investigation reveals that the man responsible for her murder is non other than Father Gratien Alibi, a respected priest at the local parish, the same priest consoling parishioners in their grief.
One by one, almost two dozen women are brutally murdered in remote Siberia. After investigating numerous leads, police feel their suspect is either a metalworker or a gravedigger. But new evidence eventually turns the police investigation upside down and incriminates one of their own. Local police officer Mikhail Popkov, dubbed ‘The Werewolf’, used his trusted uniform to lure his victims to their deaths, then helped investigate his own crime scenes.
Two murders and a string of bizarre break-ins plague a community in Ontario, Canada. After many twists and turns, police make an unbelievable discovery. The serial killer at large is none other than Col. Russel Williams, one of the country’s most decorated soldiers and the very man in charge of Canada’s biggest air force base. During the day, Col Williams had dressed in uniform and accompanied the Queen and world leaders to important events. Under cover of darkness, he was a predator who raped and killed.
A woman in Mexico poses as a government worker and betrays the trust of citizens through brutal murder. A security guard in Brazil turns out to be one of the country’s worst serial killers. Around the world, there have always been those rare killers amongst us, those who betray all trust. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers, politicians - all capable, under the right circumstances, of cold-blooded murder.
Driven by true and riveting international stories, many of them not widely known, each episode of Devil in Disguise will include interviews with key players close to the investigation and will be punctuated with compelling re-enactment. But in staying true to its subject matter, each episode will also unfold with plenty of mystery, leaving the viewer guessing as to who might be leading an evil double life. Early in the show, we will come across community members, a police officer, for example, canvassing for witnesses, a wealthy resident looking outside while other neighbours turn on porch lights and lock their doors, a male professor talking with female students about recent attacks, advising them to use caution when walking home. Each of these side characters will be woven into early parts of the episode, but as the investigation picks up pace, suspicions will eventually turn, and one of them will be exposed, his or her trusting face revealed to actually be the mask of a cold-blooded killer. Like the community itself, the audience will be left guessing, wondering who can be trusted.… wondering who might really be a devil in disguise.