EXCLUSIVE: 'Killing Fields' Detective Says True-Crime Docuseries Has Helped Bring Attention to Cold Cases

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“At first, I was
nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and was afraid that we might be portrayed
in a bad light,” Major Ronald Herbert, head of the Criminal Investigation
Division, tells ET about Discovery Channel’s true-crime docuseries, Killing Fields, coming to his Louisiana
Parish to reinvestigate cold cases in the area.

However, his biggest
fear turned out to be the exact opposite as the show, now airing season two, has
brought extra attention not only to the cold cases, but has shed light on how
competent the authorities of Iberville Parish are. The reinvestigation into the
two cold cases featured on the show, Herbert says, has demonstrated the
importance of the team’s jobs and how far technology has advanced since Curtis “Cochise”
Smith went missing in 1991 and later, in 1997, when former Louisiana State
University student Eugenie Boisfontaine’s body was first found in nearby
swamplands.

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“The exposure has
helped connect us with the public who watch and call in tips,” Herbert
explains. “We run across people in local stores who tell us things that
otherwise we’d have no clue about. And
it’s turned out to be invaluable information. It’s just amazing how it worked
out.”

And in season two of
Killing Fields, which has expanded
the caseload for not only Herbert but original detective on the cases, Rodie
Sanchez and his new partner, Det. Audbrey St. Angelo, those tips have led to
major breakthroughs as the team gets closer to bringing justice to Smith and Boisfontaine’s
murderers.

“It would be like
winning the lotto,” Herbert says of finally bringing both cold cases to a
close. But as the docuseries has demonstrated, it takes time and patience
putting all the clues together -- and in the case of Smith, who is believed to
have been murdered by local businessman Tommy Francise, the key evidence
linking the two men together.

MORE: Amanda Knox, OJ Simpson and Our Fascination With True Crime

In the exclusive
clip from the latest episode of Killing
Fields
, the team looks for blood stains in Francise’s home that may prove a
murder took place there. The clip also gives audiences a glimpse at Herbert in
the interrogation room.

Known for his silver
tongue, Herbert takes pride in his interrogation skills and believes he can get
a confession out of anyone. “You need to have a game plan,” he explains to ET
about the secret to his success.

“You have to, number one, treat the suspect and witness with respect. You have to gain their confidence,
be persistent and never take no for an answer. You need to know what to ask and
stick with that plan,” Herbert continues. “And again, never take no for an
answer.”

Killing Fields airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT
on Discovery Channel.