HBO Original four-part true crime docuseries BURDEN OF PROOF, directed by award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Hill (HBO’s “Private Violence“), debuts with the first two episodes Tuesday, June 6 (9:00-11:00PM ET/PT) on HBO followed by the final two episodes on Wednesday, June 7. The entire series will be available to stream on Max beginning Tuesday, June 6.
When 15-year-old Jennifer Pandos went missing in 1987, her parents told everyone she ran away. Decades later, her brother Stephen begins a relentless odyssey in search of the truth. His investigation into the case threatens to destroy his family as he becomes strongly convinced that his parents are both implicated in the crime. As time passes, more threads unravel and new evidence comes to light, Stephen starts to question everything he has come to believe.
Shot in cinema verité over seven years, the series unfolds in real time as Stephen launches his own investigation into what he fears may have transpired in his parents’ house the night Jennifer vanished and a suspicious handwritten note left as the only clue. Sensitively illustrated with Jennifer’s intimate journal entries and letters, and thoughtfully crafted dramatic visualizations of shifting and conflicting memories from family and friends of the months leading to Jennifer disappearance, the episodic flashbacks paint a portrait of a complex teenager dealing with a troublesome family dynamic. As missing evidence is uncovered, lie detector tests are failed, and past abuses are revealed, a rich, complicated narrative emerges while Stephen is left to wonder the price he has paid by pursuing this painful search for closure.
Debut date: Tuesday, June 6 (9:00 – 10:00PM ET/PT)
In 1987, Ron and Margie Pandos awake to find their daughter Jennifer missing from her bedroom. Decades later, Jennifer’s older brother Stephen believes their parents are responsible for her disappearance and has the investigation re-opened.
Debut date: Tuesday, June 6 (10:00 – 11:00PM ET/PT)
With the police focus on Ron and Margie, investigators scrutinize Ron’s past as a Vietnam veteran and his criminal record. Margie is offered immunity in exchange for testimony against Ron. After decades of estrangement, Stephen confronts his father. But when new information emerges, the investigation goes in an unexpected direction.
Debut date: Wednesday, June 7 (9:00 – 10:00PM ET/PT)
A trove of Jennifer’s personal writings paints a picture of a struggling teenage girl. The re-appearance of lost evidence refocuses the investigation on an original person of interest. Stephen continues to believe his mother holds the key to the truth.
Debut date: Wednesday, June 7 (10:00 – 11:05PM ET/PT)
As the police investigation heats back up, Stephen learns about secret legal proceedings and a police subpoena regarding someone from Jennifer’s past. New evidence takes an emotional toll on Stephen and his family.
Participants: With revealing commentary from a wide cast of characters, the interviewees include Jennifer’s parents Ron and Margie Pandos, family members, high school friends, current and former investigators, among others.
Credits: HBO Documentary Films presents BURDEN OF PROOF, a Markay Media production in association with Field of Vision, in association with The Concordia Fellowship. Directed by Cynthia Hill; produced by Christine Delp, Cynthia Hill, Andrea Weigl; executive produced by Charlotte Cook. For Concordia Fellowship: executive producers, Rahdi Taylor, Davis Guggenheim. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.
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