On Thanksgiving Day 1987, residents of Neskowin, a small town on the North Oregon Coast, discovered the savagely murdered body of Alain Malessard, a French citizen, in a closed, U.S. Forest Service campground.
He was bicycling across North America, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
An investigation ensued, suspects were identified, but no one was ever charged.
The story of the murder gradually disappeared.
Old-Growth Murder retraces Malessard’s five-month journey across North America, interviewing a number of family friends, as well as the countless Oregon authorities that handled the yearlong investigation.
Interview and b-roll locations include British Columbia, Alberta, and France.
The film weaves together extensive interviews with previously unseen crime scene material, family photos, home movies, and a decade worth of investigative artifacts that help propel the exhaustive two-part police procedural.
The film’s climax is the 1993 visit to Oregon by Malessard's parents to meet with investigators and visit the now shuttered campground where their son was murdered.
The film's audience will surely wonder why with today’s advanced forensics, digital investigative tools, DNA testing, and almost monthly headlines of decades-old unsolved homicide cases being closed, this murder remains unsolved in 2021.