Developed by Dennis Lehane, Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ revolves around the true story of James “Jimmy” Keene, who gets sentenced to ten years in prison for drug trafficking charges. Jimmy is given a chance to get released from prison by FBI agent Lauren McCauley and attorney Edmund Beaumont in return for suspected serial killer Larry DeWayne Hall’s confession to the alleged murder of Tricia Reitler. As the series progresses, depicting Jimmy and Larry’s lives in different timelines, set in different regions, the viewers may want to keep track of the same. If that’s the case, let us help you! SPOILERS AHEAD.
When is Black Bird Set?
The principal storyline of the show, which begins with Jimmy Keene’s arrest, commences in 1996. Lauren and Beaumont first meet Jimmy regarding a mission to elicit a confession from Larry, along with the location of the suspected dead body of Tricia Reitler, seven months after the drug dealer has pled guilty to his charges in court. In reality, Jimmy first met Larry at the latter’s prison in 1998. According to the source text of the show, ‘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 undercover inmate became one of the closest acquaintances of Larry by November 1998.
Larry Hall’s storyline, which follows Detective Brian Miller’s investigation of Jessica Roach’s murder, begins on September 10, 1993, the day the authorities found Jessica’s dead body. Brian Miller investigated the Dodge van that was seen around the fields where Jessica’s body was found in October 1994, thirteen months after her body was found. Tricia Reitler, one of the suspected victims of Larry, was last seen on March 29, 1993, months before Jessica’s body was found. In reality, Jimmy’s mission concluded in January 1999, the month in which he was released from Larry’s prison.
Where is Black Bird Set?
The storylines of ‘Black Bird’ are set in different states. Jimmy gets arrested in Chicago, Illinois, the base of his drug dealings. He gets sentenced to ten years in prison in Milan, a city in the state of Michigan. After striking a deal with Lauren and Beaumont to elicit Larry’s confession, in return for his freedom, Jimmy gets transferred to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, located in the city of Springfield, in the state of Missouri. Meanwhile, Larry’s storyline is set in different places in Indiana and Illinois.
Larry’s storyline begins in the city of Georgetown, located in Vermilion County, Illinois. Brian Miller was serving as a detective in Vermilion County Sheriff’s office at the time. The opening scene of the show, which features Jessica Roach riding a bike, is set in Georgetown. Jessica’s dead body was found in Perrysville, in the state of Indiana. Larry lives in Wabash, a city in the state of Indiana. Tricia Reitler was abducted from the city of Marion, located in Grant County, Indiana, near the premises of Indiana Wesleyan University.
Even though none of the storylines is set in Kankakee, Illinois, the city is mentioned several times since Jimmy attended his high school in the city. Even though the majority of the show is set in Illinois, Indiana, and Springfield, Missouri, the principal photography of the true-crime miniseries was done primarily in New Orleans.
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