Oct. 25, 2011
As PBS’ premier public affairs series, Frontline’s stature is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human, social and political experience. Frontline airs on Tuesdays in October, 2011 at 9 pm on Eight.
Oct 11, The Anthrax Files – In the fall of 2001 envelopes carrying deadly anthrax were delivered to U.S. Senate offices, network news divisions and a tabloid newspaper. Five people were killed, many more were infected and the nation was terrorized. Seven years later, after the mistaken pursuit of one suspect, the most expensive and complex investigation ever undertaken by the FBI ended when the organization identified Army scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins as the sole perpetrator of the attacks — after Ivins had taken his own life. Now, new questions are being raised about the FBI’s investigative methods and whether Ivins really did it. Frontline, in a co-production with ProPublica and McClatchy Newspapers, takes a hard look at the FBI’s investigation of the country’s most notorious act of bioterrorism.
Oct 18, Lost In Detention – More than one million immigrants have been deported since President Obama took office. Under his administration, deportations and detentions have reached record levels. The get-tough policy has brought complaints of abuse and harsh treatment, including charges that families have been unfairly separated after being caught in the nationwide dragnet. The administration has promised to make the detention system more humane, and more selectively target the most serious criminals. But it faces Republican critics who urge stricter measures — and a growing backlash among Latino voters, a key 2012 electoral force. In a co-production with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, correspondent Maria Hinojosa investigates Obama’s enforcement strategies and journeys into the secretive world of immigrant detention, with a penetrating look at who is being detained and what is happening to these detainees.
Oct 25, Death By Fire – Did Texas execute an innocent man? Several controversial death penalty cases are currently under examination in Texas and in other states, but it’s the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham — convicted for the arson deaths of his three young children — that’s now at the center of the national debate. With unique access to those closest to the case, Frontline examines the Willingham conviction in light of new science that raises doubts about whether the fire at the center of the case was really arson at all. The film meticulously examines the evidence used to convict Willingham, provides an in-depth portrait of those most impacted by the case and explores the explosive implications of the execution of a possibly innocent man.