Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ revolves around James “Jimmy” Keene, an imprisoned drug dealer who works undercover for the FBI to elicit suspected serial killer Larry DeWayne Hall’s confession to killing Tricia Reitler. Larry became a prime suspect in Tricia’s case when detective Brian Miller found out about his possible connection to the murder of Jessica Roach. As the series progresses, several flashback scenes detail Miller’s investigation into Jessica and Tricia’s case, along with the FBI and federal prosecutor Edmund Beaumont. Since the detective played a significant part in the investigation that led to Larry’s conviction, the viewers must want to know whether the character has a real-life counterpart. Let us answer the same!
Is Brian Miller Based on a Real Detective?
Yes, Brian Miller is allegedly based on a real detective. The character seems to be a fictionalized version of Gary Miller, the chief investigator for the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois when Jessica Roach’s body was found in Perrysville, Indiana. During the investigation, Miller found that a van was seen around where the body was found. He tracked the registration number, which led him to Larry Hall. The detective then traveled to Wabash, Indiana, Larry’s hometown, and brought him to the police station in the region to show Jessica’s photograph. As per reports, Hall eventually confessed to raping and strangling Jessica.
Since Jessica’s case crossed state lines, Miller had to involve the feds. An agent named Mike Randolph accompanied Miller to take Larry’s lie detector test, only for the latter to inform the officials that he wouldn’t pass it. As per ‘In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption,’ written by James “Jimmy” Keene with Hillel Levin, the source text of the show, Larry revealed that he had “picked up” several girls like Jessica and Tricia, astounding Miller and Randolph. The FBI agent then wrote a confession himself for Larry to sign. Miller signed the same as the witness.
After signing the confession, Miller took Larry to Illinois from Indiana. Miller and Lawrence Beaumont, the inspiration behind Edmund Beaumont, were in communication when Larry got tried and convicted. The case became one of the most haunting experiences for the detective. “It [Jessica’s case] was six years from the beginning of that case to the end, but that’s a classic example of how there’s very little celebration getting a conviction when you look back and see what the family has been through,” Miller told The News-Gazette about the murder case of Jessica Roach.
Where is Garry Miller Now?
Gary Miller resigned from Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department as the chief investigator in January 2004. “All things considered, it was a good time to go,” he told The News-Gazette in the same interview, after serving the department for 31 years. After his retirement, Miller became a marshal for the Illinois Supreme Court to continue working in law enforcement. Miller is still seemingly working in the Illinois Supreme Court. Recently, former Illinois Supreme Court judge Rita B. Garman thanked Miller for his services as a marshal in the wake of her retirement. The former detective has chosen to keep his personal life private as well.
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