Welcome back! If you’re reading this then you survived the first round of Serial Killer Sunday, which is no small feat! We see your addiction to the macabre matches ours, so put on the kettle, get comfy, and feast your eyes on some of Netflix’s most shocking series that are out right now.
This crazy true crime show appeared on Netflix in 2018 and, much like the lady it revolves around, the production is chilling and constantly raises questions. The four-part series surrounds Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Brian Douglas Wells and Bill Rothstein, an unlikely trio harbouring some very dark secrets. The documentary begins with footage from August 28th 2003 when Douglas, a pizza delivery driver, walks into a bank with a bomb around his neck. After he pulls off the heist, he is shortly surrounded by State Troopers. He claims the device was forced onto him by strangers, who coerced him into committing the robbery. It is only when the device starts beeping that Douglas realises that his survival was never part of the plan. With endless shocking twists and a moral compass spinning out of orbit, its not hard to see why Diehl-Armstrong has been dubbed an evil genius. Oh, and did we mention her boyfriend’s dead body in a freezer?
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Ted Bundy is a household name, whose abhorrent crimes leave a terrible chill down the spines of many. Bundy completely changed the public perception of serial killers, and as this five-part series unfolds, it’s easy to see why people find this true crime case so fascinating. What’s great about these episodes is the way that they allow room for each victim to tell their story, with the sound of a tape being changed every time a new victim is brought into the fold. The series provides a respectful boundary that allows every victim’s voice to be heard, instead of bundling them altogether, which happens all too often with documentaries. The accounts provided by investigators, survivors and Bundy himself make for compelling viewing, painting a dark timeline for Bundy from childhood up until his incarceration in 1976. Bundy’s case proves that brutal serial killers can be charming, charismatic and respectable, even when they have murder in mind.
I Am a Killer
In most true crime series, we are usually privy to tape recordings or maybe some camera footage from police interviews or court rooms. Accounts are fed to us third-hand by people involved, be they investigators, witnesses or experts in the field. Netflix’s 18-rated series boasts two seasons showcasing some extraordinary interactions with dangerous criminals. We are provided with a one-on-one monologue from the prisoners talking directly to us about everything they did and, even more compellingly, why they did it. The series offers a rare and candid insight into the minds of some seemingly ordinary people who committed some extraordinary crimes. Each subject provides a vivid and often raw account of what drove them to take a life. The series poses the question to the viewer: do we believe their apparent remorse? Given the same circumstances, could any one of us end up on the other side of that glass?
This four-part series focuses on one of the most notorious British serial killers, Peter Sutcliffe, A.K.A. The Yorkshire Ripper. Sutcliffe committed a string of brutal murders between 1975 and 1980. The series pinpoints every movement of the investigation. Girls were being slaughtered, slashed and displayed in various disgusting manners in order to cause posthumous humiliation to the victim and trauma for the person finding them. Various prejudicial factors ended up hampering this investigation. Sutcliffe was interviewed a staggering nine times throughout the atrocities. A toxic mix of misinformation and social ignorance led investigators to infer that this was a man that was only interested in killing prostitutes. Eventually Sutcliffe changed the narrative when he killed 16-year-old Jayne Macdonald in June 1977, who had no connection to sex work. The series charts the events leading up to Sutcliffe’s arrest, detailing the inequalities and prejudices of the era, which his crimes ended up shedding light on.
You, starring Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) and Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House), is a fictional series with some very real issues at its heart. The show follows Joe Goldberg, a man who forms unhealthy obsessions with the unsuspecting women whom he believes should be with him. Everything to Joe is a challenge and everyone else is just a barrier that he must destroy to get at what he wants. Joe’s sinister internal monologue carries us through two seasons of intense drama. We are privy to what he is really thinking behind his charismatic veneer, leaving us helpless as we witness his private obsessions evolve into living nightmares for all that cross his path. Joe can be as charming as he is insidious, so much so that star Badgley felt compelled to take to social media and address the popularity of his problematic character. Penn has stated that whilst he appreciates the love, he urges the audience not to romanticise Joe as he is in fact a serial killer. If you haven’t caught the series yet, fear not, as Netflix is still running both seasons whilst the eagerly awaited third season is lurking in the shadows ready to strike.
Congratulations – you made it through the second part of some pretty terrifying recommendations. We look forward to seeing you next week for another instalment for Serial Killer Sunday! Sleep tight.