48 Hours Mystery Fills Your Summer Nights With True Crime

Now that all the major network shows have had their season finales, it's time for me to look outside the box for things to watch over the summer. Juicy news magazine shows have always been a Saturday-night staple, and they can usually be found on weeknights as well. Since Dateline is usually busy catching predators (which is all very well and good, but you can only watch so many creepy-looking guys try to hide from Chris Hansen before it gets a little old), 48 Hours Mystery is prime time's most exciting true-crime offering.

Tonight's episode is about a successful software developer, Hans Reiser, whose Russian mail-order bride, Nina, left him for his best friend, then disappeared mysteriously. Sounds like you could point the finger at the husband, right? But the best friend has a penchant for sadomasochism, and claims to have murdered eight people. Still, Reiser was the one charged with murder. CBS News' site promises that we will hear about his eight-year-old son's "shocking" testimony. Further complicating things, a body has never been found, so there's a chance Nina might not actually be dead at all.

Each episode of 48 Hours Mystery is full of a similar assortment of twists and turns. The gruesome fates of Russian mail-order brides are practically a sub-genre. While Dateline focuses on catching would-be criminals on tape, 48 Hours is content to report on foul play that has actually already happened. Call me macabre, but I guess I'm more entertained by hearing about crimes than by crime prevention!

Although 48 Hours' schedule is unpredictable (I guess CBS broadcasts it when they have nothing better to show in the same way I watch it when I have nothing better to watch), it can usually be found on Tuesday and Saturday nights.

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.