As the old adage goes, truth is often stranger than fiction. However, in the case of HLN’s Original Series Real Life Nightmare, the truth might also be much more terrifying than anything our imagination can create.
Real Life Nightmare presents heart-wrenching stories of mysterious disappearances and unexplained deaths that continue to boggle the minds of police investigators and leave entire communities reeling. In turn, the series also functions as a call-to-action for reviving interest in what would otherwise be considered “unsolvable” cases.
Real Life Nightmare continually encourages its audience to become a part of their featured investigations by providing never-before-seen evidence and interviews. Now returning for a second season, the upcoming six episodes delve into cases that have baffled investigators, associated community members, and the entire nation for years on end. The first episode of the series premieres Sunday, November 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will cover the case of a gruesome beheading on a lake in Georgia.
However, we at Murder Murder News were privy to a special preview of Real Life Nightmare’s second episode which premieres Sunday November 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The episode, titled “Vanished from School,” covers the inexplicable disappearance of seven-year-old Kyron Horman in Portland, Oregon — my hometown.
Kyron vanished from Skyline Elementary School’s science fair on the morning of June 4, 2010. On that same morning, my best friend dropped her little brother off at the fair to present his own science project before meeting me just over 10 miles away at East Sylvan Middle School. Kyron’s stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, allegedly drove her stepson to the fair, snapped a photo of him in front of his poster about tree frogs, and left. Unbeknownst to Terri and everyone else, this was the last picture that was ever taken of him.
When Terri and Kyron’s father, Kaine Horman, went to meet Kyron at the bus stop at 3:30 p.m., the second grader was nowhere to be found. Upon calling the school for more information, Kyron’s parents discovered that their son had been absent from school all day. That evening, every student in the Portland Public Schools system (including myself) received a haunting voice message: “Kyron Horman did not arrive at home today.”
After Kyron vanished, search and rescue teams combed through the northwest hills of Portland while witnesses of the science fair tried to pin point the exact moment that the seven-year-old was last seen. Rumors speculating that Terri was responsible for her stepson’s disappearance began to swirl around Portland until they became the dominant narrative.
In revisiting Kyron’s case, Real Life Nightmare cultivates a semblance of hope that the now 17-year-old may one day be brought home safely to his family. The series parses out each and every notable detail of the investigation’s timeline and takes care to highlight any discrepancies that may spark a viable new lead in the case. In addition to providing the opinions of several lead investigators, “Vanished from School” also includes brief discussions with Terri’s defense lawyer and snippets of her 2016 interview circuit with People Magazine and Dr. Phil. By seamlessly weaving these multiple perspectives together, the series successfully constructs a more complete image of what might have happened on June 4, 2010
“Vanished from School,” features brand new interviews with Kaine and Desiree as they reflect on the harrowing events of the last decade whilst maintaining hope that their son is alive. Despite 10 years of dead ends, Real Life Nightmare reveals that the investigation is still ongoing and that new leads are actively being followed. As I’ve watched my best friend’s little brother grow up and graduate high school without his friend and classmate alongside him, I constantly wonder what happened to Kyron and what he would be like today. Now, thanks to Real Life Nightmare, I have newfound optimism that even the case’s most critical questions will be answered as more and more people become involved in the investigation.
Real Life Nightmare will stream live on CNNgo (available for subscribers at CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, and Roku) and on the CNN mobile apps for both iOS and Android. For those with cable/satellite systems, the episodes will also be available on demand the day after their broadcast premiere on HLN.