Ask the detectives who investigated the murder of Doug Estes and Jim Bennett if Jeff Titus is an innocent man, and you'll get two opposite answers. Convicted in 2002 in the deaths of the two Michigan men after a cold case squad dredged up Titus' name from the old 1990 case files, Titus has always maintained his innocence and his alibi. He has the original investigators on his side, but the cold case detectives are convinced they got their guy. But could a serial killer be the answer to the confusion? Killer in Question, premiering Sunday, Nov. 1 on Investigation Discovery, dives into all the evidence, which will be dissected even further on the popular true-crime podcast Undisclosed, running in conjunction with the show.
Ahead of the season premiere, Emmy-winning executive producer Jacinda Davis spoke with PopCulture.com about her team's mission to shed light on all the evidence before allowing viewers to come to their own conclusion. "[The Titus case] immediately caught my attention," Davis said, citing the "really rare" dynamic between the two sets of detectives who don’t agree.
"Both sets of detectives feel very strongly that they got it right," she continued. "They are very convincing in their arguments." Throwing another twist in the case is the theory that convicted serial killer Thomas Dillon was responsible for the deaths of the two hunters. Dillon died in prison in 2011 after shooting and killing five hunters, fishermen and other outdoorsmen across the state border in Ohio during the time Estes and Bennett were killed.
"I think it was a really interesting lead that hadn’t been fully closed, and during our investigation with [Undisclosed's Susan Simpson] and the Undisclosed team, we dug up some things that hadn’t been seen before," Davis teased, noting how difficult it is to come to a conclusion almost 30 years after the crime was committed. "How can you tell who’s right when you're not there to witness what happened? Who do you put your faith in? Who do you believe and why do you believe them?" Coming to a conclusion of the "complex and layered" investigation, Davis is withholding her personal conclusion — for now. "I hope if we’ve done our job well, the audience will go on their same personal journey," she hinted.
Investigating this case, Davis said she thinks a takeaway about the American judicial system is to trust the people involved, but be "open to them being flawed." Titus could have another shot at pleading his case, too, as the Michigan Convictions Integrity Unit has also vowed to take on his conviction. Killer in Question premieres Sunday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. ET, only on Investigation Discovery. For more from PopCulture about Investigation Discovery's latest shows, click here.