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TV highlights May 4 

Annie Oakley
  • Annie Oakley

NATURE: CRIME SCENE
CREATURES
7 p.m. Sunday, May 7
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

n Anybody who has watched 10 minutes of any episode of CSI knows that the little no-see-ums that come looking for lunch when a human being drops over dead are often vital to a forensic pathologist looking to determine a cause and time of death. Yeah, that’s real gross, but the truth is, things you’d probably rather not think about — a maggot, beetle, or other slimy critter — can be the difference between a case closed and a killer gone free. Here, experts talk about the value of bugs, rats, maggots, flies, small mammals, and other creatures in helping solve crimes. Included is a discussion of instances when the plant world has helped in-vestigators out as well, including crimes solved by way of seeds, pollen, mold or leaves found on the victim or perpetrator.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE:
ANNIE OAKLEY
8 p.m. Monday, May 8
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3,
Broadcast Ch. 2)
n In the lore of the American West, few women are as well known as Annie Oakley. She was the fifth of seven children born to Pennsylvania Quakers, and the death of her father in 1866 forced Oakley to take up hunting at a young age to help support her near-destitute family. Soon, she was one of the best marksmen in the country, a fact proven when — at 17 — she defeated a traveling sideshow marksman named Frank Butler. After marrying Butler, she joined the world famous Wild West Show of Buffalo Bill Cody, where she thrilled crowds with her feats of seemingly impossible skill. Tune in and learn more about the life of this leg-endary shootist and early paragon of women’s equality.

FATAL CONTACT:
BIRD FLU IN AMERICA
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 9
ABC (Comcast Ch. 8,
Broadcast Ch. 7)
n Like “The Day After,” this one falls into the category of “What if?” movies — as in, “What if the ol’ poop really ever hit the fan?” This time, instead of annihilation by Ruskie ICBMs, the poop in question is the avian flu, which has played the role of frequent boogeyman in the press this year as isolated cases have slowly marched across Asia. Here, calling on top scientists as script advisers, ABC presents a fictionalized account of what might happen if avian flu ever went fully airborne in America, complete with scenes of troops in the streets, riots, forced quarantines, dump trucks hauling off stacks of deceased taxpayers and dozers digging mass graves. Not for the faint of heart (and not something I’ll be watching unless there’s a gun pointed at my head), but who knows? You might be the glutton-for-punishment type.

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