Starting in late 1997, four or five apparent drownings within a period of months in La Crosse led to theories that young men were victims of murders made to look like drownings.
The theories have grown to include other drowning deaths around the country, and the Oxygen Channel has a new reality series in which detectives examine how several young men died.
The show, called “Smiley Face Killers,” begins this Saturday night on Oxygen.
The title of the series refers to spray paintings of smiley faces which reportedly have been seen at the locations of drownings in La Crosse and elsewhere.
La Crosse police and the FBI have long declared that evidence from the city’s drownings showed them to be accidental, sometimes involving drinking.