Directed by David Monaghan (who previously showed interested in the topic with the doc "Murder Hotel: The Story of America's First Serial Killer"), the film details the story of Glen Rogers, a man now sitting on death row, who has been convicted of five murders, is suspected of dozens more, and claims himself to have killed more than 70 times. Rather than talk with the authorities who investigated his various cases, experts in the field or really, anyone who could look at the story with a certain distance, 'My Brother' is told through the eyes of his older brother, Clay Rogers. And it's a fundamental mistake by Monaghan because the film gets lost in an odd balancing act of trying to remain objective, while Clay essentially offers up any number of reasons as to why his brother turned out the way he did, in a bid for a bit of sympathy for a man who ruthlessly butchered (mostly) women. So what are those explanations?
At one point during 'My Brother,' Clay shares an anecdote about the time he and Glen were hitting the road on a mini-crime spree, and one night, he arrives at their motel to find their room in shambles, his brother covered in blood. Does he call the cops? Nope. Even after Glen boasts of having killed before, Clay just orders him to clean up and they get out of there. Another time, Glen tells Clay he has a body in his car. Even later, Glen calls Sue to tell her he's just killed two women. On none of these occassions do the siblings either call the cops, vaguely offering up some kind of moral quandary about turning in their brother. Really? We understand that the bond between siblings is strong, particularly in Southern families, but the line can be drawn at multiple murders right?
First off, it's presented during 'My Brother' that Glen's focus on killing mostly women largely had to do with his own bitter feelings toward his mother, for not protecting him from the abuse of his father as a child. It's noted that the women he often took up with looked like his mother (Nicole doesn't) and one expert speculates he was essentially killing his mother over and over again. Second, it's quickly established that Glen was savvy enough to know how to dispose of bodies, cross state lines and manipulate the system to stay out of trouble. Everything about the Brown/Goldman slaying -- it takes place out doors, it was somewhat premeditated -- doesn't seem to fit the profile of Glen, who usually had some kind of relationship with his victims (rather than just a passing aquaintance), with the slayings usually fueled by a sense of betrayal. Moreover, the theory presumes that O.J. was someone who knew Glen well enough that he could entrust him with this robbery scheme, when there's nothing to really put them together at all aside from the fact Glen did some work in his house once. In fact, one prosecutor suggests it was actually Faye Resnick who knew Glen more closely, not Nicole. And that's not to mention there is zero forensic evidence putting Glen at the scene.
There is no doubt that Glen Rogers is an evil person who has done some horrific things. And maybe he found his way into the orbit of Nicole and O.J. Simpson. But the casual stitching together of largely circumstantial evidence in order to propose a not-quite-halfway-plausible alternate theory to the killings never really comes together. Had Monaghan chosen to truly investigate these claims, putting the family narrative aside, he might have found a way to present this proposal in a clear headed way that asked serious questions about how the entire case was handled. But 'My Brother' isn't that movie. Instead it seems happy enough to play in the sandbox of possibility, coupled with the high of being attached to a celebrity crime story, without ever really taking seriously what effect the posits it throws around has on the victims, their families or the accused. [C-]
"My Brother the Serial Killer" airs tonight at 9 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.