The systemic erasure of queer killings is investigated in the HBO docuseries “Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York.”
Directed by Anthony Caronna (“Susanne Bartsch: On Top,” “Pride”), the four-part series exposes the homophobic lack of police effort to find Richard Rogers, a serial killer who targets gay men in the scene of New York City Nightlife in the Early 1990s. The documentary is based on Elon Green’s book Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York.
According to the official synopsis, in the early 1990s, with homophobia and hate crimes on the rise as the AIDS crisis worsened, a serial killer preyed on gay men in New York City, infiltrating queer nightlife to find his victims. ‘Last Call’ dives deep into the prejudices and attitudes of the times, when deeply rooted biases in the criminal justice system and the media’s skewed public perception of victims undermined investigations and allowed a brutal killer to prey on a marginalized population .
The intricacies of the cabinet, combined with a long-standing distrust of law enforcement, further complicated the case. The documentary series also highlights the heroic efforts of activists, including the NYC Anti-Violence Project, to force law enforcement to recognize and protect the queer community.
“Last Call” features interviews with Matt Foreman, Bea Hanson and David Wertheimer’s
NYC Anti-Violence Project, which was instrumental in expressing the need for attacks against the queer community to be recognized by law enforcement.
The docuseries is produced by two-time Academy Award nominee Howard Gertler
(“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” “Crip Camp”), director Caronna, author Green, Liz Garbus, Dan Cogan, Jon Bardin and Kate Barry.
Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, AJ Dix, Matt Maher, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller and Tina Nguyen are also executive producers.
“Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York” premieres July 9 on HBO and Max. Check out the trailer below.