Fourteen years after someone shot Janette Osborne in the chest on the family farm in Farmington, the new Investigation Discovery Channel series “Love Kills” talked with her son, Josh Osborne, and his then-girlfriend, Donna Enman, about that day — and leaves it up to viewers to figure out who pulled the trigger.
Carl Schick, supervising producer with Indigo Films, said the episode, which debuts Tuesday night, was the only one of the six episodes filmed with an ambiguous ending and that twist was part of the draw.
"I feel as though (Josh and Donna) are the only two who are ever going to know and I think they'll both end up taking that secret to the grave," Schick said in an interview Monday.
For the new series, Indigo Films scoured the U.S. and Canada looking for crimes that had a love angle and in which both members of the couple were willing to appear on camera.
The Farmington shooting fit.
In 2003, months after his father, Oliver Osborne, died, Joshua's mother, Janette, returned from Colorado and announced she was selling the family farm — and, to her son's surprise, not to him. Josh had left school after sixth grade to work with his father, skipping an education on the belief that he'd inherit the farm.
A day after Janette was shot while hanging laundry, Joshua admitted to police that he'd tried to hire his cousin to kill his mom and then shot her instead when the cousin said no. (Janette, who had started the process to evict her son and Enman, survived the wounds.)
Police would later question whether Enman actually pulled the trigger.
In early 2004, Osborne pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation to commit murder, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and tampering with a witness in exchange for serving two years of a five-year sentence.
Enman reached a plea deal to serve two years of a five-year sentence on a charge of hindering apprehension after the state dropped an attempted murder charge.
"Something about just the fact it takes place on a farm and it's a small town and it's really kind of a bucolic setting, it was fascinating to us," Schick said.
The couple attempted a reconciliation but are no longer together, he said. They were interviewed separately at a Farmington hotel.
"The question comes up whether they conspired together to create this mystery so that neither one would be sent to prison for a long time for shooting Janette Osborne," Schick said. "Our producer who interviewed them found them both very intriguing, both very compelling, good storytellers. They really did weave together a really interesting, intricate story that I think made this episode a really great episode to watch."
Josh Osborne's aunt and uncle, Larry and Cheryl Barkow, also appear, as does Farmington police Detective Marc Bowering.
Schick said the show didn't reach out to Janette Osborne.
"You really want to see the real people themselves talk about what they went through psychologically and why they did what they did, what drove them, and in this case, their love for each other and why they felt desperate to do what they did," Schick said. "When you see the real people, it makes that story so much richer."