Most true-crime shows dive deep into the minds of killers, but new series “Impact of Murder’’ instead focuses on restoring victims’ voices.
Sunday’s episode (airing at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery) centers on the 2013 murder of Amy Lord and stabbing of Kayleigh Ballantyne, two South Boston residents brutally attacked during a daylong crime spree.
Earlier that day, their assailant, Edwin J. Alemany, had attacked another Southie woman (not interviewed for the episode); in 2015, he was convicted of both assaults and Lord’s murder, receiving a life sentence without parole.
After learning of the case, “Impact’’ producer Pamela Deutsch reached out to Ballantyne, who agreed to participate after producers explained their hope to share her story without sensationalizing it.
“Kayleigh was not only able to fight back and survive her attacker, but she was also critical in bringing him to justice,’’ said Deutsch, a BU grad, by phone. “In the end, she speaks for his other victim, Amy Lord.’’
Victim impact statements, delivered during sentencing by victims and their loved ones, provide the frame for the show, offering survivors a chance to detail their experiences in their own words. The idea, explained Deutsch, arose out of producers’ attention to the US Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal, in which athletes’ testimony against Larry Nassar resonated nationwide.
The statements “are bookends that punctuate the impact of what these things can do to people’s lives,’’ said Deutsch. “It’s a ripple effect when a crime happens. It’s not necessarily just the victim but also everyone in their lives.”