An old theory behind a series of Minnesota drownings ruled as 'accidental' will be back in the spotlight this weekend.

The theory of the "Smiley Face Killer" is an eerie one. White college-age, Midwestern men go missing for days, sometimes weeks, only to be found drowned in a body of water somewhere after a night at the bar, usually with a graffitied smiley face nearby. More than 40 cases with similarities to this have been reported in a 20 year span along I-94. The urban legend states that serial killer roams the I-94 corridor from Fargo to Detroit searching for their next victim.


The new series will be on the Oxygen network, and feature St. Cloud State University professor, Lee Gilbertson.

Gilbertson told Fox 9 news:

“The goal of the series is to try and get justice for these families, whether or not they ever find out who the killers are remains to be seen.”

Four of the six episodes in this series are based on the book, Gilbertson wrote with a retired New York detective called “Case Studies in Drowning Forensics". Gilbertson believes that there is more than one killer, as the deaths are spread across the Midwest.

The show premiers January 19th on the Oxygen Network at 7/6 central.

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