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TV series about notorious murder of B.C. teen to premiere in April

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A television miniseries about one of the most notorious murders in British Columbia history will premiere next month on streaming service Hulu.

The eight-part series Under the Bridge will tell the story of the 1997 killing of 14-year-old Reena Virk, who was swarmed and beaten by a group of teenagers and drowned in the Gorge waterway near Victoria.

The series is based on the book of the same name by author Rebecca Godfrey, who grew up in Victoria and later settled in upstate New York before her death in October 2022.

In the series, Lily Gladstone, who was recently nominated for a best actress Oscar for her performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, plays a police officer working on the murder case, while co-star Riley Keough plays the role of the author.

The production was filmed on B.C.'s South Coast in late 2022 and early 2023.

Chris Horsley, a retired staff sergeant with the Saanich Police Department who was the media liaison officer when Virk was killed, told CTV News in December 2022 that the show's creators consulted with the department on the production.

"It shocked the community and it also shocked the country," Horsley said at the time. "You have these landmark cases that form the roadmap of your career. And this case, although it was 25 years ago, was certainly one of those incidents in my own career."

The former detective, who was interviewed extensively for the book that forms the basis of the screen adaptation, said he wouldn't pass judgement on the production until he sees the finished product.

"The author did a lot of research and really worked hard to make the book accurate to the events that took place," Horsley said at the time. "However, I think having a production at all about something that was so tragic in our area is only going to – for people who live here – bring up some bad memories."

Available in Canada 'soon'

Kerry Sim, who was formerly known as Kelly Ellard, was 15 years old when she and a group of teenagers swarmed and beat Virk. Her trial heard that she and co-accused Warren Glowatski then followed the 14-year-old girl to continue the beating and drown her.

Both Sim and Glowatski were found guilty of second-degree murder.

Under the Bridge debuts on Hulu on April 17.

While the streaming service is not available in Canada, a representative from Disney tells CTV News the series will "soon" be available to stream for Canadian subscribers of the Disney+ service.

"A Canadian premiere date has not been confirmed yet," spokesperson Peter Pitino said in an email. 

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