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True crime investigation of "The Horrifying Texarkana Phantom Killer" draws millions of viewers

Apr 19, 2022
Three years ago today, BuzzFeed's "Unsolved" True Crime program released a video investigation of Texarkana's famous Phantom Killer titled "The Horrifying Texarkana Phantom Killer."

At the beginning of the program, they called the Phantom Killer: "The number one unsolved murder case in Texas." The video has been viewed about 9 million times on YouTube, but it has been available on several platforms. For instance, colossal viewership has also been reported on Facebook.

It's apparent that the hosts  - Shane and Ryan - have never been to the Twin Cities, but the pair seem to enjoy calling Texarkana a "rowdy town" back in the 1940s and today. They repeat the phrase so often that viewers unfamiliar with Texarkana may get the wrong impression of the area.

However, the two hosts have a good rapport and offer good-natured banter in their discussion of grisly crimes. And the video would be a good refresher course for anyone not intimately familiar with the Phantom Killer's reign of terror.

Indeed, the video also mentions the sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults of victims left out of the film versions of the murder spree.

One of the interesting aspects of the video is that it actually adds visual elements that re-create the Phantom Killer's crimes - including a very eerie representation of the Phantom Killer himself - among other things.

The video wraps up the investigation by saying Texarkana was and is a dangerous place. The wrap-up said: "The Texarkana Phantom murders stand out as managing to stoke a frenzy of fear in a community that had been numbed to violent crime."

It's definitely worth a watch if you will not easily get your feelings hurt about Shane and Ryan's insistence that yesterday and today's Texarkana is a violent town "numbed" to any violence except brutal serial murders.

So we can't give the video an endorsement because of the misrepresentation of our Twin Cities today. However, the video is worth watching for locals interested in the Phantom Killer.

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