The murder of teenager Victoria Reena Virk is the subject of a new TV series

The murder of teenager Victoria Reena Virk is the subject of a new TV series

One of British Columbia’s most notorious murders is the subject of an upcoming television series currently in production in the province.

Under a bridge will tell the story of the 1997 killing of 14-year-old Reena Virk, who was swarmed and beaten by a group of teenagers and drowned in the Gorge Waterway in Saanich, BC.

The series is based on the book of the same name by author Rebecca Godfrey, who grew up in Victoria and later settled in upstate New York before her death in October.

Publisher Simon and Schuster says the story “takes us into the hidden world of seven teenage girls—and a boy—accused of a savage murder,” adding that the series will be available on streaming service Hulu.

Episode eight Under a bridge is now filming in BC and is slated to remain in production until April, according to Creative BC.

A filming announcement posted online showed the production last week filming scenes on residential streets in New Westminster, B.C.

Retired Saanich Police Detective Sgt. Chris Horsley told CTV News on Wednesday that the Saanich Police Department consulted on the show.

“It definitely took off and was a much bigger story than I think anyone expected,” Horsley said. “I suppose the unusual nature of the crime is a testament to why they’re still producing now, 25 years later.”

Actors Lily Gladstone, Riley Keough, Chloe Guidry and Archie Panjabi have been cast in the series, according to entertainment news sites Deadline and Variety. Actor Ezra Faroque Khan will play Virk’s father, while Keough will play the book’s author, Variety reports.

Production company Stage 49 Ltd. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Parole Board of Canada extended one of Virk’s killers in September, nearly 25 years after the murder.

Kerry Sim, formerly known as Kelly Ellard, was allowed to remain on parole, but with several conditions.

In addition to conditions to avoid drug and alcohol use, the parole board ordered Sim to undergo psychiatric treatment to address her anxiety and other mental health issues.

Now 40, Sim was 15 when she and a group of teenagers swarmed and beat Virk, and her court heard she and a co-accused later followed the 14-year-old girl to continue the beating and drown her.

“It shocked the community and also the country,” Horsley added. “You have these high-profile cases that map out your career. And this case, although it was 25 years ago, was certainly one of those incidents in my own career.”

The retired detective, who was interviewed at length for the book that will be the basis of the screen adaptation, said he won’t judge the production until he sees the finished product.

“The author did a lot of research and worked really hard to make the book fit the events that happened,” Horsley said. “However, I think to even have a production about something that was so tragic in our area is going to bring back – for the people who live here – only bad memories.”

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