As Apple TV+ Celebrates the Series Finale, What Happened to the Real People Involved with ‘Black Bird’


Today Apple TV+ has released the series finale for Black Bird and it is sure to keep you glued to your seat. For those that haven’t watched it yet, I will do my best not to spoil anything. Of course, the series is based on a non-fiction book, so astute viewers are likely to figure out mostly how the series ends. Of course, the series finale is still incredibly likely to shock viewers, and it may not end exactly the way one would think.

With that, today we’re going to look at what happened to four of the people involved with Larry Hall’s real case, including Larry Hall. With the series being based on James Keene’s non-fiction work In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption, the Apple TV+ series did have to take a few liberties concerning the story of Black Bird.

‘Black Bird’ Season Finale: Looking at the People Involved With a Serial Killer

Starting with Keene (Egerton), it seems he has been relatively quiet after his time in MCFP Springfield. According to his Facebook page (it is public, but link not included out of respect for privacy), Keene now lives in Chicago as a free man. Interestingly, it seems Keene has now republished In With the Devil, and has rebranded it to fall more in line with the Apple TV+ series.

Of course, after his release from prison, Keene was able to enjoy five years of spending time with his father.

According to his Facebook page, Keene is a fan of REO Speedwagon.

Is Lauren McCauley a Real FBI Agent? (No.)

When it comes to the writing of Black Bird, it seems the creative team took the most liberties concerning FBI member Special Agent Lauren McCauley (Moafi).

Within Keene’s novel In With the Devil, FBI agent McCauley is actually Janice Butkus, who is likely based on Janet Butkus, an actual FBI agent. While McCauley is partially based around the FBI agent, there are several differences.

Lauren McCauley is based off the real life FBI agent Janet Butkus. (Photo Credit: Apple TV+)

For example, McCauley does not meet Keene in a Michigan prison. Rather, real life attorney Lawrence Beaumont (inspiration for Edmund Beaumont), was the one to strike the deal with Keene. Additionally, the book does not mention Butkus being involved with the initial investigation of Jessica Roach’s murder.

Reports indicate that the real Butkus worked for the FBI from 1991 to 2002. This includes Jimmy’s time in MCFP Springfield. Interestingly, during her time as an agent, she played a key role in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. Butkus also investigated several cases concerning counterterrorism, counterintelligence, violent crimes and more.

The real Butkus retired from the FBI in March 2016. Afterwards, she joined Indiana University as a Physical Security Analyst.

Larry Hall Somehow Worse than ‘Black Bird’ Portrayal

Looking at Larry Hall, the Black Bird finale details that Hall’s twin brother Gary would convince Larry to confess to fifteen murders, he would later recant this confession.

In 2011, Hall made a confession concerning the disappearance of Laurie Depies in 1992. Hall shared details of the case with investigators that were not known publicly, much like how he lost his appeal in the series. Currently, police are stilling looking for physical evidence linking Hall to the crime.

The real Larry Hall continues to confess to crimes and then recant his accounts. (Photo Credit: Apple TV+ and North Carolina’s Federal Corrections Complex)

In 2016, Hall also became a suspect in the 1986 killing of Eulalia Mylia Chavez. Like many of his other exploits, Hall eventually recanted his statement.

Currently, Hall is serving a life sentence at a medium-security federal prison in North Carolina. He has still only been charged with the murder of Jessica Roach.

The location of the majority of his victims still goes unknown.

Taking a Look at Sheriff Brian Miller: From ‘Black Bird’ to Reality

Lastly, taking a look at Brian Miller (Kinnear), the character is actually based off the real-life Vermilion County Sheriff’s Investigator Gary Miller. Miller did indeed work on Hall’s case.

In an interview with Illinois newspaper The News-Gazette in 2004, Miller briefly spoke about his part in investigating Roach’s death. Miller stated:

It was six years from the beginning of that case to the end, but that’s a classic example of how there’s very little celebration getting a conviction when you look back and see what the family has been through.

It’s very self-satisfying to arrest a person who committed a crime, but it doesn’t change what’s happened to the victims. Although you’ve solved it, you wish it had never happened.

Miller retired in 2004. Concerning this decision, he stated, “All things considered, it was a good time to go”.

Now that Black Bird is over, fans may have to find something else to binge-watch. Based on reception, it would not be surprising to see Black Bird finding itself with a host of award nominations.

What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? What did you think of the series finale of Black Bird? Let us know in the comments.

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