FRONTLINE | My Brother's Bomber
The first episode of this three part documentary will be available for early streaming for one week beginning Monday, September 21, 2015.
Watch starting Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 10pm on WMHT-TV
When filmmaker Ken Dornstein was 19 years old, his older brother David was one of 189 Americans killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Some 25 years later, only one suspect — a Libyan man named Abdel Basset al Megrahi — was ever convicted of the terror plot, which killed 270 people in total. He was sentenced to life in prison but later released.
Who was really responsible for one of the worst terrorist attacks on Americans before 9/11?
In My Brother’s Bomber, an emotional and suspenseful three-part series that will open FRONTLINE’s 34th season, Dornstein embarks on a quest for answers.
Over the course of three one-hour episodes, he dives deep into the case files, assembles a list of suspected plotters, and realizes just how much about the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 has remained unresolved.
“The case isn’t finished, because all those responsible for the crime have not been identified and prosecuted, much less convicted,” Brian Murtaugh, the top U.S. prosecutor in the case against Megrahi, tells Dornstein.
“Lockerbie is still an open case,” agrees Richard Marquise, the retired FBI special agent who helped to lead the international investigation of the attack. “If I was writing the novel version, we would have identified not only the people who put the bomb on the plane, but those who ordered it up the chain of command.”
So Dornstein, who worked as a private investigator after graduating from college and later spent years at FRONTLINE as a senior producer, picks up where the official investigation left off.
Leaving his home and family in Boston for the ruins and chaos of post-Qaddafi Libya, Dornstein hunts for clues to the identities and whereabouts of the suspects, who he tracks for almost five years across the Middle East and Europe.
“If you talk to people who work with victims and survivors of crimes, having a satisfying account of what actually happened is really important,” says Dornstein. “I think there never was a satisfying account for me or for many of the other Lockerbie families.”
With each week’s episode, Dornstein, who previously wrote a book about his brother’s life (The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky: A True Story, Random House, 2006), encounters new witnesses and unearths fresh evidence that brings him closer to the truth about what really happened.
“I started this process with questions that were significant enough to get me to go over the Tunisian border into Libya,” he says. “I don't have those questions any more.”
Unfolding in three one-hour installments on Tuesday, September 29, 2015; Tuesday, October 6, 2015; and Tuesday, October 13, 2015, My Brother’s Bomber is a rare, real-life spy thriller, but also a timely reflection on the legacy of America’s long war on terror and a lyrical meditation on loss, love, revenge, and the nature of obsession.
My Brother's Bomber, Part 1 | Tuesday, September 29 at 10pm
Follow a brother’s gripping search for the terrorists who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Filmmaker Ken Dornstein sets off to war-torn Libya in search of the men who killed 189 Americans, including his brother, in 1988.
My Brother's Bomber, Part 2 | Tuesday, October 6 at 10pm
Track Ken Dornstein’s continued search for the terrorists who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. In this second episode, the filmmaker follows the evidence to Zurich and and back to Libya, where he comes closer to the truth.
My Brother's Bomber, Part 3 | Tuesday, October 13 at 10pm
Follow Dornstein’s continued search for his brother’s killers, the terrorists who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. The filmmaker uncovers new information about a suspected Lockerbie bomb-maker and attempts to make contact.