Southern California is known for high-speed police chases. In 2020, the California Highway Patrol recorded more than 2,200 police chases in Los Angeles County alone. On average, that's about six chases per day.
Most of those police chases never make it on broadcast television. But some chases are watched by thousands on TV, the internet and social media. Some, like the police pursuit of O.J. Simpson on June 17, 1994, become a part of history. Roughly 95 million people watched police pursue the white Ford Bronco carrying Simpson through the streets of L.A.
But why are we so fascinated by a criminal act that can potentially end in a violent crash?
The data behind police chases
In 2020, one out of every four pursuits in L.A. County ended in a crash. In 40% of those crashes, at least one person was injured, and 15 people died - some of them were innocent bystanders.
"True Crime: On the Run" is an in-depth look at our obsession with police chases and what's going through the minds of everyone involved.
Alisha Mankins explains why she led police on a chase from the Antelope Valley to Ventura in a stolen U-Haul truck in 2009. She shares how she overcame addiction and started a new life in a small Oklahoma town.
Plus, how the man behind @LAPolicePursuits Twitter page amassed more than 40,000 followers tweeting about chases in Los Angeles.
In San Bernardino, a remote training center is dedicated to teaching San Bernardino County deputies high speed pursuit techniques and how to handle the extreme stress in those unpredictable moments.