Under the Bridge: The True Story Behind the Murder of Reena Virk


There is something inherently captivating about crime shows. The American public is obsessed with them. It doesn’t matter if the crime shows are fictional, like Law and Order, or accurate crime retellings of actual cases.

The New Hulu miniseries Under the Bridge is a true crime drama based on a novel by Rebecca Godfrey (1967-2022). It highlights the Canadian novelist’s investigation into the gruesome murder of Reena Virk in Saanich, British Columbia, in 1997.

The crime rocked the Saanich area and much of Canada primarily because the Reena Virk killers consisted mainly of a group of teenage girls.

The Under the Bridge miniseries dramatizes the events somewhat as it looks at what happened when Godfrey went to Sannich to investigate the details of the crime and write her novel.

Here’s what we know about the miniseries, which focuses primarily on how Godfrey (Riley Keough) and Officer Cam Bentland (Lily Gladstone) investigated the case.

Who Was Reena Virk?

Reena Virk was a troubled teen who had strained relationships with both her parents and her peers. She rebelled against the restrictions required by her parents’ religious beliefs several times.

At one point, Reena told the authorities that her father molested her. She was temporarily removed from her home and strict environment but eventually returned when the allegations were deemed unfounded.

Meanwhile, like a plot out of a Lifetime Movie, Reena’s life also included many other challenges.

She was an outcast at school. She desperately wanted to fit in, but other kids constantly teased her about her weight and religion. They also preyed upon her other general insecurities.

The young girls in Reena’s life were especially vicious.

They lived in British Columbia, Canada. However, some of them were involved in gang culture similar to that found in large cities like Los Angeles. Yet, Reena longed for their acceptance.

How Was Reena Virk Killed?

Reena’s insecurities and longing to belong ultimately led to her death. She trusted the wrong person when she accepted an invitation to a party by the Craigflower Bridge on Friday, November 14, 1997.

During the party, six teenage girls surrounded Reena and began harassing, beating, and burning her with cigarettes. They were dubbed the Shoreline Six later.

Reena might have recovered after one of the girls broke up the fight, but two teens followed her as she was leaving. They were Kelly Ellard and Warren Glowatski, a boy involved in the battle at some point.

Glowatski and Ellard killed Reena together by beating and drowning her on the opposite side of the Bridge from where the first beating took place.

Thus, they cemented their places among some of the most notorious murderers, such as Robert Durst.

How is the Under the Bridge Miniseries Going to Play Out?

Unlike many true crime shows, this one focuses on a solved crime, so viewers may wonder what they can learn from the miniseries. The answer is quite a bit.

Under the Bridge will be released on April 17, 2024, on Hulu. It has been greenlit as an eight-part miniseries, providing a lot of time to dig into the nuances of the crime.

What Can Viewers Expect to See?

Little is known about how the show will play out, but the crime and Godfrey’s book are each expected to influence it heavily.

It is also interesting that the miniseries takes a look at the crime from the perspectives of the investigators.

Through the eyes of Officer Cam Bentland (Lily Gladstone) and author Rebecca Godfrey (Riley Keough), viewers can get a real sense of what it was like to investigate the crime.

It is believed that Reena Virk’s killers did not attack her purely because she was unpopular.

The crime seemed to have racial motivations. It is unclear how much or how little the series will address the racial aspects of the crime.

Who Are the Stars of Under the Bridge?

There are many great shows on Hulu with big-name stars, but this miniseries includes some relative unknowns.

Pritika Gupta was featured in the 2022 fantasy movie Power Down, but she had mostly acted on stage and in short films prior to her role as Reena Vilk.

Izzy G., who plays Kelly Ellard, has not appeared on television since playing Maddie in the series B Positive (2020-2021) and had few on-screen credits before that.

It will be interesting to see how both young women handle their Under the Bridge roles.

More popular actors involved in the miniseries include Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton and Riley Keough.

Walton has had several notable roles before playing Warren Glowatski, including voicing Pugsley Addams in The Addams Family 2 and playing Ashtray on Euphoria.

Keough has appeared in 43 movies and shows before Under the Bridge, including playing Daisy Jones in the series Daisy Jones & the Six (2023).

Is Under the Bridge the True Story of Reena Virk?

It remains to be seen how closely the series will mirror actual events.

It is bound to have some added dramatic elements. However, given the vast quantity of information on record about the case, it will likely come close.

Only time will tell.

Viewers who want to know more can view the official trailer for a hint of what will come.

Jessica Kosinski is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow her on X.

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