Surviving R Kelly and the unstoppable power of true-crime documentaries

As R Kelly’s fall from grace continues – amid fresh allegations of psychological and physical abuse detailed in the Lifetime series Surviving R Kelly – the role TV documentaries and podcasts play in reopening apparent cold cases is being reassessed, too.

The RB star – who has been accused of subjecting women to mental, physical and sexual abuse, and of operating a “sex cult” – is the latest figure to face fresh investigation after series shed new light on their cases. Following the premiere of Surviving R Kelly, prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are seeking new information from potential victims of the singer who have not yet come forward. (R Kelly has consistently denied any wrongdoing.)

In the new golden age of TV and podcasting, one of the byproducts of the boom is an increased workload for police detectives who

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