Adapted from Tony Hillerman's best-selling novel by James Redford (stepson of Robert Redford), Skinwalkers was the vanguard of the proposed PBS anthology American Mystery. Returning to the Navajo reservation of his birth after many years, police detective Joe Leaphorn (Wes Studi) investigates a series of bizarre murders. Though Leaphorn has no doubt that the killer is a human being, his young FBI-trained partner, Jim Chee (Adam Beach), has an entirely different theory. A medicine man-in-training, Chee believes that the murders have been committed by a mystical figure called the Skinwalker, who according to Navajo legend is an amalgam of all murdered Native Americans. Symbolic clues left at the scene of each murder -- some written in paint, some in blood -- confirm Chee's conclusion that the shapeshifting Skinwalker is seeking revenge on the modern-day despoilers of the Navajo's sacred land. Skinwalkers was filmed on location in Utah and Arizona by Native American director Chris Eyre, of Smoke Signals fame.
medicine-man, Native-American, Navajo, police-detective, serial-killer, shapeshifter