Prosecutor Sunny Hostin's New True Crime Show Is Inspired by Her Traumatic Childhood
Senior ABC News correspondent and The View co-host Sunny Hostin has a new show called Truth About Murder.
The six-episode true-crime docu-series consists of hour-long episodes in which Sunny travels to various parts of the United States and explores the stories behind some of America's most notorious homicides.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Sunny's new show, Truth About Murder.
Sunny Hostin's new show gives a behind-the-scenes look at murder investigations.
Sunny uses her experience as a legal correspondent and federal prosecutor to connect with the forensic teams that worked on a number of cases, and is able to walk viewers through the process of gathering evidence for a criminal investigation.
She also interviews law enforcement officials, prosecutors and defense attorneys to show how a crime scene and its evidence is processed and then taken through trial, so Law and Order: Special Victims Unit fans might want to tune in and take notes.
Sunny's show also aims to show the realities of getting an arrest or conviction for murder cases. While many TV shows often suggest that a case can be wrapped up in a matter of days, Sunny explains that the reality is often the total opposite of what viewers see.
In Truth About Murder, she aims to show that police officers and prosecutors care about the cases that they're assigned to, but murderers are also often clever and it can be difficult, if sometimes impossible, to prove someone's guilt.
Sunny's childhood informed her interest in hearing victims' perspectives.
Unlike many of the other true-crime shows on air today, Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin is a little bit different. That's because Sunny provides a voice to the victims of these terrible and often brutal crimes.
While most TV shows only focus on the criminals, the crimes they commit and the legal system that attempts or fails to bring them to justice, Truth About Murder offers the perspective of the actual victims, people Sunny feels don't get enough of a voice on these types of shows. "This show is different," she tells Variety. "I don't think there's anything out there like it."
"I know how it feels to be a victim and I want others to understand it," she continues. A traumatic incident with her own family led Sunny to be interested in stories about justice from an early age. At the young age of 7, Sunny went through one of the most defining moments of her childhood when she witnessed her favorite uncle being stabbed with a butcher knife.
Although her uncle survived the initial attack, she says that he was changed by his stabbing and carried the physical and emotional scars from the incident. He died years later from complications caused by the violent attack.
While Sunny is opening up about her family's trauma now, she says that her family never spoke of the incident and the assailant was never punished for his crime. "These things affect the community, the cops, the doctors, for a lifetime," she told Variety. "I think people want closure. They want to know the person is in jail."
The lack of justice in the case her family experienced stuck with Sunny, who held that moment close to her heart as she went on to become a federal prosecutor. Sunny also wants to help families process their trauma through talking about it, because her own family was never able to. According to a Discovery group president, who heads ID, where her new show will air, "[Sunny's] empathy is absolutely vital."
"It comes across in the early shots and early tapes we are seeing," he said to Variety back in April. Above all, Sunny wants to continue to give a voice to the voiceless through her show so that more viewers can take action in their own lives.
Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin will not be about sensational cases that true-crime shows usually focus on. Instead, the team tells stories that are about the humanity of the victims so that everyday people can see themselves represented, and take their own recourse if they're going through similar events in their own lives.
Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin premieres Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. on Discovery's Investigation Discovery network.