New docu-series will focus on Chillicothe women

Posted at 8:20 AM, Mar 31, 2016

Conscious of the success of long-form crime mysteries like "Serial" on NPR and HBO's "The Jinx," the Investigation Discovery network says it will air its first-ever serialized drama later this spring.

The six-part docu-series, "The Vanishing Women," will focus on six women who have gone missing or have been found dead in Chillicothe, Ohio, over the past few years. It will debut June 6, ID announced Thursday.

ID's focus on crime and mystery stories made the network a nearly instant success upon its launch in 2008, particularly among older women. Lately the HBO and NPR projects, as well as Netflix's "Making a Murderer," have attracted followers to the genre with innovative storytelling techniques.

"All of this has shone a klieg light on the world of mystery and suspense and true stories and crime," said Henry Schleiff, network president. "There's never been a better time to be a leader of this business."

ID shows are traditionally closed-ended — the mysteries are solved at the end — so "The Vanishing Women" will be something new.

"We don't know where the story ends," he said.

The six women died or went missing in the city of about 22,000 people an hour south of Columbus, where heroin use has been a problem. Some residents have worried about a serial killer, although police suggest the women's troubled histories played a role in their fates.

The two missing women — Charlotte Trego and Wanda Lemons — haven't been seen by loved ones since 2014. Schleiff said he hoped the attention created by the series helps to solve their cases. ID has teamed with the families and law enforcement to bring the individual stories to life.

In a similar vein, Schleiff said ID's series about missing persons, "Disappeared," will be back for a new season on April 11. The series has been on hiatus for two years.