» » American Justice A Son's Confession (1992– )

American Justice A Son's Confession (1992– ) Online

American Justice A Son's Confession (1992– ) Online
Original Title :
A Sonu0027s Confession
Genre :
TV Episode / Documentary / Crime
Year :
Type :
TV Episode
Time :
Rating :
American Justice A Son's Confession (1992– ) Online

On September 28, 1973 Barbara Gibbon is brutally murdered in her Falls Village, Connecticut home. Immediately police focus on her 18 year old son Peter Reilly, and after 25 hours of interrogation Peter confesses to the crime. He was sentenced to 6 to 16 years for the murder of his mother, but with the help of an outraged community and playwright Arthur Miller, Reilly is granted a new trial and his conviction is overturned. American Justice examines this controversial case and interviews Peter Reilly who is now seeking DNA testing to clear his name.

User reviews



I really despise the "True Crime" genre. Every story about "True Crime" always comes down to money or passion. But what went on here?

This particular episode of "American Justice" involves the examination of what appears to have been a mother-son dispute which led to the death of the mother. But is that what happened?

The episode revolves around the disposition of the son and the examination of the captain who was in charge of the investigation. It also examines the use of the polygraph and the attention the case got by way of local popular media personalities.

The thing to remember about this episode is that polygraphs are used as a bluff against people who are subjects of investigation.

They do not work.

They way the polygraph is used is to convince the subject of the machine that the machine can actually read their mood, and in this way determine whether the subject of interrogation is telling the truth or not. Again, it's a bluff because there is no machine on the face of this Earth that can do this. The way the polygraph is implemented is to place the subject into a state of doubt by way of the interviewee stating that there is a discrepancy in the readout, suggesting that there is a hidden truth, a told half truth, a lie, or some other deceptiveness on the part of the subject.

Again; they do not work.

They only work if you believe they work.

And that's what happened to the son in this particular case. And because he was so convinced, this led to a series of catastrophic events and a waste of resources by both sides of the equation.

Who actually killed this mother? Hopefully we'll know soon enough. But, the message of this program is that finding the right suspect through the wrong means, and railroading that person without determining the facts of the case is NOT justice at all.

The episode actually goes on to look at the actual forensics of all the police theories. The episode also looks at the forensics of the "newer" theories of how the crime was committed, and looks at evidence that the original prosecutor dismissed as subject to interpretation (or misinterpretation) and, as such, withheld it. The episode also posits a possible Stockholm like syndrome after a sleep deprivation scenario just prior to the polygraph.

All in all its up to the viewer to decide as to whether the son is guilty, or whether there is other evidence to suggest the probability of another suspect.

Me, personally, I don't think he did it, and I can see rage in him being redirected as he's interviewed. But that's my gut emotional response, which is also tempered by some of the evidence not provided in the initial trial.

A very compelling episode.