Oxygen Media, the network for high-quality true crime programming, takes a deep dive into the horrific December 2014 murder of Jessica Chambers, the Mississippi teen who was doused with gasoline and set on fire, in the active crime investigation docu-series “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers,” premiering on Saturday, September 15, at 7pm ET/PT. Inspired by the reporting of BuzzFeed News’ Investigative Reporter, Katie J.M. Baker, and directed by Emmy Award®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated Joe Berlinger (BROTHER’S KEEPER, PARADISE LOST TRILOGY), the five-part series explores the murder of 19-year-old Chambers and takes an inside look into the trial of Quinton Tellis, a local black man accused of the crime. With tensions high, a small Mississippi town seeks the truth while facing a growing racial divide over guilt or innocence.
“This case has many layers of mystery, but at the heart of it all, it’s about finding justice.” said Rod Aissa, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media. “BuzzFeed Studios, Joe Berlinger and Wilshire Studios, have done a beautiful job telling Jessica’s complex story in real time, and in the end, we hope to find peace for her family and her community.”
The investigation of Chambers’ murder reveals this small-town cheerleader was a good girl with many secrets. However, the search for justice takes a turn when the authorities charge Tellis, who fiercely maintains his innocence, causing racial tensions to escalate in this rural community that’s suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. The series documents the shocking jury decision of Tellis’ trial earlier this year, and what lies ahead for the Tellis and Chambers families in the upcoming re-trial. In addition, “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers,” unfolds one of the most talked-about cases on the internet with unprecedented access to Chamber’s family members, including her parents, Lisa Daugherty and Ben Chambers; Tellis’ mother, Rebecca Tellis, and sister, Laqunta Tellis; the first responders who may have heard Chambers utter her killer’s name; BuzzFeed News’ Baker, who reported Jessica Chambers’ story and the frenzy behind an army of online armchair detectives trying to help find her killer; local journalist Therese Apel; and legal analyst Beth Karas, who has covered the case and trial extensively. But one question remains unanswered: Is the right man on trial—or is a murderer on the loose?
Saturday, September 15 at 7PM: Who Killed Jessica Chambers?
When 19-year-old Jessica Chambers is set on fire inside her car and burned to death, the question of who did it quickly becomes a nationwide obsession all while wreaking havoc on a small Mississippi town.
Saturday, September 22 at 7PM: A Dying Declaration
As the trial unfolds, shocking testimony from first responders reveals that Jessica uttered a dying declaration that may spawn new leads.
Saturday, September 29 at 7PM: An Issue of Black and White?
As the defense continues to poke holes in the prosecution’s theory, many wonder if the right man is on trial, all while racial tensions in the town are thrust into the national spotlight.
Saturday, October 6 at 7PM: The Prosecution’s Theory
The prosecution presents its star witnesses and includes intense interrogation tapes and complex cell phone data that give the trial an unexpected turn.
Saturday, October 13 at 7PM: Chaos in the Courtroom
The jurors hear closing arguments, and as deliberations begin, the judge’s instructions appear to confuse the jury and create total chaos in the courtroom.
"Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers" is produced by Wilshire Studios, Third Eye Motion Picture Company and BuzzFeed Studios with Joe Berlinger and Matthew Henick serving as Executive Producers, Lisa Bryant serving as Co-Executive Producer and Directed by Joe Berlinger.
About Oxygen Media:
Oxygen Media is a multiplatform crime destination brand for women. Having announced the full-time shift to true crime programming in 2017, Oxygen remains one of the fastest growing cable entertainment networks with popular unscripted original programming that includes the flagship “Snapped” franchise, “Cold Justice,” “Killer Couples,” “Criminal Confessions,” and breakout hit event series such as “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” “Dahmer on Dahmer: A Killer Speaks,” and “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered.” Available in more than 77 million homes, Oxygen is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Oxygen anywhere: On Demand, online, or across mobile and connected TVs.
About Wilshire Studios:
Wilshire Studios develops and produces a diverse slate of original unscripted programming for multiple platforms, aligning with award-winning producers and innovative storytellers to create compelling content that explores reality through a variety of formats. From E!’s signature “Live from the Red Carpet,” USA Network’s “The Cromarties” and Oxygen’s “Mysteries and Scandals,” to the upcoming “Real Country” for USA, “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers” for Oxygen and the debut “People’s Choice Awards” on E!, Wilshire Studios produces series that are informative, revealing, thrilling and entertaining. Wilshire Studios is part of the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio.
About BuzzFeed News:
In the past five years, BuzzFeed News has grown from a small social news upstart into an international news organization with original reporting and programming and a reach as wide as any other legacy media company. BuzzFeed News now has more than 250 reporters, editors, and producers worldwide, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Toronto, São Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo, and foreign reporters based in Istanbul, Brussels, Mexico City, Beijing, Mumbai, Delhi, Dakar, and Nairobi, with more plans for expansion. BuzzFeed News stories are viewed more than 250 million times a month, and more than 60% of its audience is in the coveted 18–34 age demographic. BuzzFeed News now accounts for a third of all traffic to BuzzFeed’s content and social platforms. According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult, among 18–29-year-olds, BuzzFeed News is more trusted than outlets like MSNBC, Politico, NPR, the Guardian, and others.
About Joe Berlinger and Third Eye Motion Picture Company:
Third Eye Motion Picture Company is Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy® and Peabody-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s film and television development company. Berlinger has been a leading voice in nonfiction film and television for two decades, with a particular emphasis on the criminal justice system. Berlinger's films include the landmark documentaries Brother's Keeper (PBS), a Sundance audience award winner; the Paradise Lost Trilogy (HBO), which helped lead to the release of the wrongfully-convicted West Memphis Three after 18 years of incarceration; and Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger, a searing investigation into law enforcement corruption at the highest levels (CNN). Six of Berlinger's documentary features have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Berlinger has also been a creator of hundreds of hours of nonfiction television series, including six seasons of the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts; the Emmy®-winning Ten Days That Changed America for The History Channel; the Emmy®-nominated series Oprah's Master Class. Berlinger's most recent TV series include the critically-acclaimed Killing Richard Glossip, about an innocent man on Oklahoma’s death row for Investigation Discovery; Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, about the opioid epidemic, for the Paramount Network and Wrong Man, an investigation into three cases of potential wrongful conviction for Starz. Berlinger also just wrapped production on a feature film about serial killer Ted Bundy starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, John Malkovich and Jim Parsons slated for release early next year.