Director Nanfu Wang’s “Mind Over Murder,” a six-part study of one of the stranger chapters in recent criminal justice, concerns the case of the Beatrice Six, five of whom pleaded guilty to a 1985 rape and murder in smalltown Nebraska. And none of whom were at the scene of the crime.
It’s a sad, weird and totally absorbing story, and though she isn’t a pronounced presence in the series (as she was in her Oscar-nominated “Hooligan Sparrow), Ms. Wang, born in China, brings an outsider’s astonishment to a case that still baffles native Nebraskans. “How could this happen?” asks former Gage County Attorney Randy Ritnour, ticking off the factors in the case—innocent people confessing, plea-bargaining their cases, testifying against one another and remaining convinced they were guilty after they were set free, and the actual killer was identified. “It just doesn’t make sense.”