Film crew returns to finish Jeff Davis 8 documentary

Film crew returns to finish Jeff Davis 8 documentary
Chaisson, Patterson, Gary-Lopez, Dubois, Brown, Benoit, Gary, Guillory
Chaisson, Patterson, Gary-Lopez, Dubois, Brown, Benoit, Gary, Guillory

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - The European film crew documenting the mysterious deaths of eight women in Jeff Davis Parish has returned to Jennings to complete their project.

Since May 2005 their have been eight unsolved deaths: Loretta Lynn Chaisson, Ernestine Marie Daniels Patterson, Kristen Gary Lopez, Whitnei Dubois, Laconia "Muggy" Brown, Crystal Shay Benoit, Brittney Gary and Necole Guillory. A Task Force, which includes the FBI and other agencies from across the state, was formed to investigate, but still no arrests have been made. The victims are connected in several ways - all were known drug abusers and traveled in the same circles.

It was 18 months ago that Paul Nixon and members of Kodiak Productions began filming. After returning home to Switzerland and reviewing their footage they realized they weren't finished.

"Having been in the edit for the best part of the year, we realize what we are still missing. We are still missing certain perspectives. We are still missing certain interviews and we are still missing images of our lead character, which is Jennings," said Nixon. "This story has developed from being just about the unsolved homicides to a much larger slice of life of modern day America and Jennings is our lead character and the supporting cast are the families, the law enforcement and the other citizens of Jennings, Louisiana."

According to Nixon some of the most compelling footage is when they visited the locations where the victims were dumped and the interviews with their family members.

"Everybody is affected by it and I think that the most compelling thing for me was to see the look in peoples' eyes when they are telling you about either losing their loved one or not being able to crack a case or the fact that the place where they grew up is in trouble." said Nixon.

During their first visit they spent a lot of nights filming on South Main Street - a place all of the victims were known to frequent for drugs. During this visit they've returned to the streets and like before have found lots of conspiracy theories.

"A lot of people talk about corruption. And there is rumor on every street corner. So for us the hard part is digging through all of that," said Nixon.

Since their last visit the case appears to have gone cold and despite the FBI's involvement with the Task Force, Nixon is surprised the story hasn't garnered much national attention. He hopes to change that by sharing the story with the world.

"As we have said right from the beginning if we can do this story justice and the town justice - we have done our job," said Nixon. "This story should not go cold. This is a news story that needs to be told, but it's a tragedy. It's a family tragedy story that needs to be told and we are doing our best."

Nixon and his crew will be in Jennings until next Thursday before flying back home to finish the documentary. They hope to complete it by the end of the year and enter it in film festivals.

Meanwhile Kodiak Productions has organized a "Remembrance Day" for the victims' family members and friends. They invite anyone who has stories to share and pictures. The event is scheduled for Wednesday April 6th at 5 p.m. at Founders Park in Jennings.

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