Much has been made of the connection between the first season of True Detective and Robert W. Chambers’ short story collection The King In Yellow, but the show has a darker real-life inspiration as well. The Real ‘True Detective’ is the first video in The Real, a new Vice series investigating the “untold and raw stories” behind famous films and TV shows. Future episodes will focus on Weeds and Eastbound And Down, but the first episode tells the (very disturbing) story of the Louisiana child molestation case that formed the basis for True Detective’s central mystery.
In the video, we meet the pair of small-town detectives responsible for breaking the case and take a peek into their storage unit full of evidence. As it turns out, the real-life Rust and Marty are less flamboyant than their TV counterparts, and the storage unit is actually a trailer, but some of the details—like the room covered with writing visible only by black light—are similar enough to be downright chilling. Be forewarned: The video comes with a well-deserved “graphic content” warning.