The Truth About Jim : Was Jim Mordecai a Zodiac Killer?

The Truth About Jim :  Was Jim Mordecai a Zodiac Killer?

Have you ever wondered if there are dark secrets in your family? Stuff that has been done or things said that don’t quite add up? That is what Sierra Barter has dealt with her whole life in relation to her step-grandfather Jim Mordecai.

Jim Mordecai, on the outside, was a well known athlete, teacher, and a well liked person in his community. Though on the inside he was an erratic abusive man to his family and others, including sexually assaulting his step daughters. This would make his family, especially the women, estranged from one another. After his death, his family began to reconnect after the division he created.

This led to what “The Truth About Jim,” directed by documentary director Skye Borgman, is about. While investigating, Barter begins to find clues that highly connect him to the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders in 1972-1973. The majority of this docu-series is the connections to that string of murders and Jim. Barter also begins to make connections to the Zodiac murders in the late 60s.

“The Truth About Jim” tells the true story of one woman’s search into the potential darkness in her family.

This series mainly focuses on the families stories and perspectives of Jim. We hear from his wife, former wife, biological children, and step children. They all have stories of him which are all unique but so similar in a creepy way, which adds to the suspicion. We do hear from one of his former students who was one of his sexual assault victims. I liked having heard her experience because it shows us as the audience that this is more than just domestic abuse. Which means there could be more than they ever knew.

I have to say my favorite aspect of “The Truth About Jim” was the cinematography and the way they were able to take old family footage/footage from the 60s-70s. It all can together be quite nice and visually appealing. It helped visualize what was happening. For example, they had shots of an actor portraying Jim to show the stories the family told the audience. This on top of showing the real footage and pictures of him really added to the story telling about who Jim was.

With the storytelling and while I did think this was an interesting series, I feel as though “The Truth About Jim” was lacking in some parts. There is so much information in it and it felt very rushed to get it all into four episodes. I was rewatching parts because I got lost and didn’t understand how we got from point A to B. If the information was more fleshed out instead of rushed it would have been easier to retain everything that was said. I think if this series had a couple more episodes, like 6 to 8 instead of 4, it would have been to the benefit of those making and watching it.

With that, I felt there were a lot of tangents that took time away from the main topic at hand. While some of them made sense in the grand scheme of their family, with only having 4 episodes about 45 minutes each, it just made everything again feeling rushed. This leads me to my last thing, this series I feel like didn’t finish what it started.

We go into investigating this man and his possible connection to these murders, thinking we’ll find out at the end. Then all the audience finds out is the DNA they got from him was sent to the police and they will investigate from there. I wished we could have gotten more information than that. Borgman left the door open for interpretation, which in some stories would add to the mystery, but with this I didn’t see the need. Now, if they are thinking of doing a follow-up season and see where the police take this to, I would love that as I do want to know more. If they chose to do a follow up, I hope they are able to tie up loose ends whether he is the killer or not, or even connected to other unsolved mysteries.

“The Truth About Jim” premieres on February 15th, 2024 on Max.

Grade: B

Check out more of Serena’s articles. 

Here’s the trailer of the film. 

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