You shudder at their names: John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Jim Jones. Those are three of the infamous predators profiled on HLN's Very Scary People, hosted by Donnie Wahlberg.
After nine years playing Det. Danny Reagan on CBS's Blue Bloods and researching crimes for the role, the actor, producer and New Kids on the Block singer says he "feels confident" he can do justice to the subject. "[There] are real victims, real bad guys and gals and real consequences," he says, "It's heavy stuff, and I take the responsibility seriously."
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Why should we watch Scary People?
Donnie Wahlberg: You'll learn a lot. In the first show, we see that Gacy wasn't just "the clown that killed people." He was a beloved member of his community who at night tortured and killed young men he hired for construction work. I liken the stories to a cold case that a detective reopens after many years with new technology and DNA evidence.
Why do you think true-crime TV is such a phenomenon?
When my son was young, he was obsessed with Godzilla movies and toys. He didn't love Godzilla; he was terrified of Godzilla and that was a way to control his fear. That's what crime shows do for us; they help us fear the unknown a bit less. HLN's Forensic Files is one of my favorite shows.
Done with 'American Crime Story' and 'Making a Murderer'? Try these next.
I would think his partner, Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez). They're so close and she would want to be there with him, knowing how emotional it will be without [his late wife] Linda.
Speaking of dates, how did you celebrate Valentine's Day with wife Jenny McCarthy?
Jenny's been desperate for me to see A Star Is Born, so I rented an entire movie theater for a private showing just for the two of us!
Very Scary People, Premieres Sunday, March 17, 9/8c, HLN
Blue Bloods, Fridays, 10/9c, CBS