EXCLUSIVE: The Chandra Levy case, which is back in the headlines this week, is the subject of a limited series in development at TNT. The project, executive produced by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), is co-produced by Sony Pictures TV and Turner.
Keith Huff (American Crime, House of Cards) is writing the script based on the book Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sara Horowitz. Kasdan and Huff executive produce with Judith Verno and Diane Sokolow. Kasdan may direct subject to availability.
Levy was 24 and an intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she went missing in May 2001. Her disappearance became a media sensation after she was romantically linked to Congressman Gary Condit. The missing person case became a murder investigation when Levy’s remains were found in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park the following year. Police acknowledged the Democratic congressman from California was at one point a prime suspect, but he was eventually cleared in her death.
The case went cold for six years. In 2007, two Pulitzer Prize reporters for The Washington Post, Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz, were assigned with revisiting the murder.
In a series of 13 articles, that became the basis for Finding Chandra, the two explored the bungled police efforts to catch a killer, the twisted culture of politics, the dark nature of political scandal, and the agony of parents waiting for answers. They focused their attention on an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, a young man in the clutches of alcohol, drugs, and violence who had been assaulting female joggers in the area where Levy’s body was found.
That man, Ingmar Guandique, was charged and sentenced to 60 years in prison after being convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010. He was granted a new trial last year after his lawyers said a key witness lied to the jury. Then yesterday, federal prosecutors made the shocking announcemnt that they were dropping charges against Guandique, sending the case back to square one.
Revisiting famous crimes in a limited series form has become a hot genre in light of the recent success of FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
Kasdan and Huff are repped by CAA.