“Wanted: Killer Chef” tells the tale of Margie Danielsen, a single mother who believes she’s met her match when she encounters Sean Lanier in a Salt Lake City bar in 1987, and marries him the following year. However, Margie later sees an episode of the famous true crime series America’s Most Wanted and she realizes that Sean is actually Paul Mack, a rapist and murderer.
If her name sounds familiar, that’s because Danielsen wrote a book about her experiences 21 years ago. Tainted Roses: A True Story of Murder, Mystery and a Dangerous Love was published in March 2000. It received mixed reviews, with many readers commenting on her choice to tell her story in the third person.
Charmed to Death is still a relatively new series, but this is another episode with a case that’s been publicized before. This particular one is now over two decades old, too, so there’s the challenge of making it relevant to today’s true crime audience.
The previous episode with the Linda Kinkade story was relevant because American Greed had done that case about a year ago, putting it back into TV viewers’ minds, but what will producers do to make Margie Danielsen’s story feel like it didn’t happen quite so long ago? Or that it has some relevance in a world where we’ve now heard plenty of stories about love gone wrong?
The show stands a better chance of being successful if it finds stories that are unique to it, or at least not as heavily promoted as the ones it’s chosen so far. But if you haven’t heard Margie’s story yet, then “Wanted: Killer Chef” may be worth a look.
Brittany Frederick has worked 20 years as a professional journalist, reaching millions of readers worldwide with thousands of articles. Her one goal is to meet Jonathan Groff, but she’s sung with Adam Levine and gone 200 MPH with Mario Andretti. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @tvbrittanyf.