Is The ‘Black Bird’ Based On James Keene’s Book ‘In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero’?

Who Is Blackbird Based On

Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay for the criminal thriller miniseries “Black Bird,” which had its debut on Apple TV+ on July 8, 2022. Eight episodes made up the entire season, which ended on August 5, 2022. The show centers on Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), a former high school football star who, after receiving a 10-year sentence in a minimum-security facility, is given a choice as to how he will spend his time.

He can either move to a maximum-security facility for the criminally insane and make friends with suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) in an effort to persuade him to confess to another crime, or he can remain there and serve his 10 Years with no possibility of parole. The series also stars the late Ray Liotta in his penultimate role before passing away, as well as supporting turns from Sepideh Moafi and Greg Kinnear in addition to Egerton and Hauser.

The show received overwhelmingly positive reviews; it presently has a Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes of 97% and an audience score of 96%. Overall, it’s evident that both viewers and critics were moved by the intriguing plot. For those who are interested, “Black Bird” is based on a real story.

Is Black Bird Based on a True Story?

Who Is Blackbird Based On

The 2010 autobiographical book “In with the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption” by James Keene and Hillel Levin served as the inspiration for the movie “Black Bird.” The book describes Keene’s actual experiences trying to coax serial killer Larry Hall into confessing to his crimes.

Keene, who was operating as a drug dealer, was apprehended by local law police and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) in 1996 and given a ten-year term with no chance of parole, according to Newsweek. Just like in the TV show, Keene had the chance to avoid serving his prison term if he could convince Larry Hall to confess.

Keene was initially hesitant to take part, but after his father suffered a stroke, he decided to do it because he wanted to spend time with him. On the basis of a confession that he later tried to retract, Hall was apprehended in 1995 for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old called Jessica Roach.

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Who Is Blackbird Based On

Lawrence Beaumont, an assistant US attorney, became determined to persuade Hall to confess once more to killing Roach and the numerous other young girls for whom he was wanted, including Tricia Reitler, who vanished in 1993.

After some time, Keene was able to persuade Hall to admit to killing both Roach and Reitler. Early January 1999 saw Keene’s release from prison after his criminal record was cleared. Keene was fortunate to spend five years with his father after being freed before his father passed away.

What is Black Bird About?

Once upon a time, James Keene was a high school football hero. Keene chose to become a drug dealer rather than lead a regular life, which led to his incarceration. He is given the chance to regain his freedom after receiving a ten-year sentence if he agrees to go to a facility for criminally insane inmates and become friends with Larry Hall, a possible serial murderer.


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Keene can clear his name and obtain an early release by getting a confession about the whereabouts of other missing ladies. He would have to serve the remainder of his sentence without the possibility of release if he rejected the offer. Hall claims to be telling the truth, but is he a habitual liar? In this compelling Apple TV+ series, stars other than Egerton and Hauser also appear.

James “Big Jim” Keene appears in Black Bird Ray Liotta’s final TV acting job. He influenced his son James Keene’s decision to accept the offer because he is James’ father. Brian Miller, played by Greg Kinnear, is a small-town detective who is hunting for the remaining missing women while also investigating Hall’s crimes.

He collaborates with Agent Lauren McCauley, who is an FBI agent who was present during the raid on Keene’s home and is portrayed by Sepideh Moafi. She makes the transaction with Keene and acts as his point of contact. Joe Williamson plays Carter, the prison’s commanding officer.

Who Is Blackbird Based On

Though not much is known about him, the trailer gives the impression that he is aware Keene is a traitor. Gary Hall, portrayed by Jack McLaughlin, is the last character. He will do whatever it takes to secure Larry’s freedom because he and Larry are not identical twins.

Where Is Jimmy Keene Now?

The son of a former police officer who was detained and sentenced to 10 years, Keene, was arrested. However, Keene was presented with an odd proposition midway through his sentence. Keene would be let out of jail earlier if he could make friends with Larry Hall and get enough proof linking him to at least two attorneys.

In the end, Keene was able to extract some information from Hall before the other man noticed what was happening. With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption, by Keene and Hillel Levin, which served as the basis for Black Bird, is based on this horrifying tale.

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In 2010, Keene wrote a book on his experience called In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption. In order to assure factuality, he continues to make every effort to participate actively in every book, film, or television show that explores what occurred. In fact, he served as an executive producer for Black Bird.