Most know Hilarie Burton Morgan from her starring role on the hit teen drama One Tree Hill, or her appearances on Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead. However, did you know the actress is now using her fame to shed light on unsolved murders?
Morgan: ‘I Very Much Wanted To Catch Bad Guys’
Morgan, a fan of true crime, hosts True Crime Story: It Couldn’t Happen Here. The AMC/SundanceTV show follows Morgan as she interviews family, friends, and local officials about small-town crimes that weren’t heavily reported on at the time they occurred.
“I grew up outside of D.C., where everybody’s family either worked for the military or the government,” the actress explained to Marie Claire. “A lot of parents worked for the State Department, the Secret Service.”
Morgan’s backup plan for acting was going into psychological forensics. She studied at Fordham College and even thought about going to law school. “I very much wanted to catch bad guys,” she laughed.
A Local Case Made Her Start Asking Questions
Morgan’s acting career took off, but she never let go of her wish to bring down the bad guys. Shortly after moving to Rhinebeck, New York, a trial for a young woman named Nikki Addimando took place. Morgan noticed that Addimando was being treated unfairly by the prosecutors and judge, and found the situation “distressing.”
“I realized: If that conflict of interest could happen in my small town, it was happening everywhere,” Morgan shared. “So my team put out feelers. Sundance and AMC were really wonderful about, ‘Hey, go out, explore! See if this is happening all over America.’ It was—and it has been incredibly alarming.”
Morgan spoke about the injustices that many behind bars face, from cases that don’t get reexamined when a judge retires to a lack of resources that could help pay for a good lawyer. “In so many of the cases that we cover on our show, what we’re witnessing is a vilification of the victim because, largely, victims don’t have the resources,” the actress explained.
Morgan: ‘Our Show Is Really A Call-To-Arms’
Through True Crime Story: It Couldn’t Happen Here, Morgan hopes to make others curious about our justice system and question the officials elected into power. “We wanted our show to be deeply rooted in advocacy so that it became an easy thing to emulate,” she explained. “That is how you see something wrong in your community and you go out and you make a stink about it.”
“Our show is really a call-to-arms,” Morgan concluded. “We’re trying to lead by example so other people can be just as rowdy. We have to get rowdy and involved.” It Couldn’t Happen Here is a an excellent way to shed light on cases that have been overlooked, and many have praised Morgan for her dedication to finding justice.