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Series / Murder In Small Town X

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"In the quiet town of Sunrise, Maine, a killer is on the loose. A reward has been offered to 10 ordinary people. They have been sent to Sunrise, to play the killers twisted game." "Now, they must enter a mind of a killer, and solve the mystery, before they are eliminated, one, by, one."
Opening narration
Murder in Small Town X was a one season reality/game show mystery where a group of contestants try to solve a grisly murder in a small fictional town in Maine, on the East Coast of the United States. Throughout each episode the contestants would go through clues but eventually two contestants would be sent off to two different locations, and one would retrieve the next clue while at the other location the other the killer would be waiting for them, never to be seen again... Winner Angel Juarbe Jr., a New York City firefighter, died in the collapse of the World Trade Center only a week after the final episode was broadcast, which has probably accounted for a lack of any sequel, though the UK did see a different version in 2003 known as The Murder Game. Also compare and contrast Whodunnit.

This show provides examples of:


  • Alas, Poor Villain: The killer's motivation is understandable, if way way past the line of Disproportionate Retribution, (Killed 15 people, and most of them unrelated to the OSL, only due to a deadly game YOU caused.) and his/her death ends the show on a note of melancholy.
  • Anyone Can Die: The point of the show, as the murderer can pick off any contestant.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rev. Rusty Crandall becomes more and more unhinged as the series progresses. In the penultimate episode, he claims he committed the murders, but when he's interrogated by the investigators his story doesn't match up and is subsequently cleared.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kristen, one of the investigators/contestants, is perpetually sent by her peers to look for the killer's clue in hopes that she gets ambushed by the killer (she eventually did). Jeff, another investigator/contestant, especially had it out for her.
    • Only once was she not sent out, at the discretion of the first investigator to be eliminated.
  • Cool Old Guy: C.R Flint, at least at first.
  • Cult: One of the suspects has a cult full of people dressed in suits and who constantly sweep the sidewalks. When said suspect eventually gets killed, his followers go nuts and start burning and breaking everything.
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  • Friend on the Force: Dudley Duncan, the police chief of Sunrise.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: It's practically impossible to deduce who the killer is because most of the truly incriminating evidence doesn't show up until the final episode.
    • One of the clues recovered at the murder scenes is actually a Jigsaw Puzzle.
  • Kill the Cutie: Some of the killer's victims, including his/her first one Abby Flint.
  • Maine Doubling: Sunrise, Maine is really Eastport, Maine.
    • Doubles as a Meaningful Name, Eastport is the first part of the continental US to see Sunrise.
  • Large Ham: So many of the citizens of Sunrise, almost to the point it becomes a World of Ham. The most notable examples though are Rev. Rusty Crandall and Gen. Hayden De Beck.
    • This also applied to the investigators as well. Jeff, in particular, spent his first two trips on the Killer's Game hooting and yelling at the killer to come get him. For his third time, he has a feeling that he picked the map where the killer would ambush him and is much more quiet and reserved. He does indeed get axed.
  • Luck-Based Mission: What the killers game was, boiled down, there was no factor in where the clue/killer was going to be most of the time.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Burnt Man murdered Oscar Blodgett, and became so consumed with guilt that he killed himself.
  • Point of View: You know the killer is near every time you see a POV shot through the night vision camera.
    • The investigators also wear Blair Witch-style cameras when playing the Killer's Game.
  • Product Placement: In every scene at the main house, at least one investigator has a Taco Bell cup. Taco Bell was the show's major sponsor.
  • Reality Show: A mix of reality and game show. The murders of course are fictionalized.
  • Red Herring: G.D. Thibodeaux is an aggressive, creepy Jerkass with an obvious motive. However, he is not the killer.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The killer is William Lambert, who was always viewed as one of the more shadier suspects. However all of the possible motives the investigators floated for him were business related, when the true motive was a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The fact that the victims also happened to be standing in the way of his business aspirations was more of a coincidence than anything.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: We eventually find out that the killer's M.O is to avenge the murder of his/her family.
  • The Scrappy: A rare in-universe example in the form of Kristin who was pretty much hated by everyone after the first episode (she would later reappear on The Apprentice with similar results).
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Pretty much everyone in town has some sort of shady past.
  • Wrench Wench: Prudence Conner
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Subverted with Kristin, who treated the show (particularly her interaction with the other investigators) as a Survivor-like affair where the goal was to be the last person standing. The problem was that was more or less all she treated it as, while the rest of the team was more concerned with trying to solve the murders. Also note that she wasn't particularly effective either as she was sent out to play the Killer's Game five times before finally getting axed.


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