True Detective, the highly-rated and much-buzzed-about HBO police vs. serial killer drama, airs its Season One finale tonight, March 9. While fans online and around the proverbial water cooler bat around all sorts of wild speculation as to how the series might end, a real-life case that was happening around the same time as the events in True Detective may give some clues as to what could happen.
Now, if you are not one of the 11 million people who has been watching True Detective every week across all of the platforms where HBO makes the show available, you might want to put this article aside, because it gives away some important details about the story. Consider this your spoiler alert.
But if you are caught up with the first seven episodes, you will probably be interested in the Hosanna Church scandal, which erupted in Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish in 2005.
While much of True Detective is an intense, brooding character study of the two detectives — Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson — who serve as the show’s dual protagonists, as usually happens, viewers are drawn in to the drama by the plot.
In the case of True Detective, that plot involves a serial killer or killers who murdered a woman in what appeared to be an occult ritual back in 1997, and may have been killing women and children ever since.
By the end of Episode Seven, the latest episode to air before the finale, the detectives have figured out that the murders are tied to a prominent church and its politically connected pastor who is covering up for a cult that pulls victims from its network of religious schools, the “Light of Way Academy.”
The Hosanna Church was also prominent congregation with about 1,000 members. But in 2005, two years after the church shut down — as a recent story by a reporter who covered the scandal recounted — Pastor Louis Lamonica turned himself in to the local sheriff, confessing to sexual acts with children — and even animals.
Lamonica later claimed to be part of a Satan-worshipping cult inside the church that began in 2000 with the ritual sacrifice of a baby girl. So will True Detective end with a startling confession by a member of the sacrificial church cult?
Here is one difference between the real case and the True Detective story.
In True Detective, it is made clear — or at least it appears to be clear — that the cult is real. But in the Hosanna Church case, questions still remain about whether the occult rituals ever really happened. Or whether it was all just a story made up to cover up the perversions of a pedophile ring. Lamonica was sentenced to life in prison. Six others were indicted in the case.
“This case, from our perspective, had nothing to do with a church or a cult or any sort of high pressure situation, said Scott Perrilloux, the district attorney who prosecuted Lamonica, of the case that apparently inspired the True Detective plotline. “This case is about child abuse and molestation.”
[Image Via punchdrunkcritics.com]