Photo courtesy of Paul Schiraldi Photography/A&E
Chloe Sevigny and Omid Abtahi, the main characters of “Those Who Kill,” in a scene shot in Downtown Pittsburgh last November.

 

By Kristin Douty

Pittsburgh neighborhoods take center stage in the first episode of the new television crime drama, A&E’s “Those Who Kill” – the first prime-time crime drama to be filmed and based entirely in Western Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Catherine Jensen (Chloe Sevigny) lives and breathes criminal investigation as a rookie police officer.

Her obsession with hunting down criminals emerges in the episode’s opening scene at a shadowy East End mansion, where Jensen stalks an unidentified man – presumably a relative- with the fervor of a police officer on a mission.

Jensen’s obsession with crime scenes drives her to investigate the towering Carrie Furnaces along the Monongahela River in Rankin, Pittsburgh, where she discovers four murder victims hidden in the furnace vents.

Jensen’s pursuit of the crime scene at the rusted blast furnaces leads to her promotion and assignment to the serial killer case.

Recently named a National Historic Landmark in 2006, according to its website, the Carrie Furnaces provide the high degree of eeriness and mystery that define “Those Who Kill.” The site is the focal point in the plan to create the Homestead Works National Park.

After work, Jensen retires to her Spring Hill condominium, where Downtown Pittsburgh and Northside light up the night from her porch. The condo serves as another crime scene later in the episode.

The show progresses when Jensen teams up with forensic psychologist Thomas Schaeffer (James D’Arcy) to track down a missing student from the Community College of Allegheny County.

Schaeffer is the male version of Jensen – he is even more infatuated with criminal investigations in Pittsburgh than his work partner.

Whereas Jensen seems to pursue a career as a detective for personal reasons, Schaeffer is on a quest to understand the mentality of serial killers.

Later in the episode, Schaeffer proves to be a bit too keen in this pursuit when his obsession affects Jensen. Together, the pair proves unstoppable in their pursuit and eventual discovery of the serial killer.

Jensen and Schaeffer work together in subsequent episodes, where their personal histories come to the forefront of their investigations with the backdrop of Pittsburgh.

Stay tuned for the next few episodes, which showcase the Mexican War Streets, the old Carnegie Library at Allegheny Center, and other Northside haunts. Familiar Pittsburgh sites, including Western Penitentiary and the Allegheny County Courthouse, will also be featured throughout the first season.

Want more of “Those Who Kill?” As of March 12, 2014, there is a new time slot for the show that is still being determined. Click here for more details.