Welcome back for part three of our killer content list (get it?), brought to you by The Squid. This week, we’ll be putting the spotlight on some truly shocking tales from around the world, both real and fictional, as well as some of the most controversial cases the media has ever covered.
White House Farm
Dramatised British true crime series White House Farm is widely recognised for being utterly chilling whilst leaving you on tenterhooks throughout. The twisted tale follows a seemingly normal family riddled with endless trauma. The tragedy surrounds a set of brutal shootings that take place on a sleepy farm at the supposed hands of Sheila Caffell, an ex-model with severe mental health issues. She is accused of murdering her parents and children before taking her own life. The murders spark a media frenzy with shocking exposés of the accused’s past. Both the police and the public believe this is an open-and-shut case. However, DS Stan Jones (Mark Addy, The Full Monty), a clever cop with keen instincts, is convinced that there may be more to the case than meets the eye. He embarks on a monumental journey, determined to prove that Caffell was innocent and bring the real killer to justice.
There’s nothing like a good bit of British crime drama to start your week off, and Unforgotten did not disappoint. The series landed on our TVs in 2015 and follows two detectives, Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker, Spooks) and Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar, Goodness Gracious Me), on an endless hunt for answers. The duo are tasked with investigating cold cases, facing constant challenges in their quest to bring killers to justice. Every episode is laced with intrigue and tension, and their determination to finally knock on the door of the culprit is palpable. This wholesome – if not occasionally gruesome – programme is currently on its third series. Fans are eagerly anticipating the fourth instalment.
Psychological true crime thriller Mindhunter was a game-changer when it landed on Netflix in 2017. We were treated to two series surrounding FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), Bill Trench (Holt McCallany) and psychology professor Wendy Carr (Ann Torv) as they pioneer the use of Behavioural Science to profile serial killers. We are given a chilling fly-on-the-wall perspective as the cast interview some of America’s most infamous murderers. Their quest to understand the inner workings of these twisted individuals leads our protagonists into some dark, uncharted territory. Not only are the trio conversing well-known faces, but we witness some truly shocking scenes both in their professional and personal lives. The show has been highly commended for its eerily accurate casting of killers such as the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz), Charles Manson and Ed Kemper, and the actors’ ability to mimic them to the letter. Rumours have it that Mindhunter was put on hold for reasons unknown, but we are hopeful to see the hit show back on our screens soon.
This bizarre case follows writer Micheal Peterson, a well respected family man accused of murdering his second wife Kathleen Peterson after her body was found splayed at the bottom of the stairs at home following a mysterious fall. We follow him and his entourage of lawyers through the 13 episodes, as well as his children (aside from one) who protest his innocence over some 16 years. With some epic twists and turns including some serious debt, affairs, and shocking revelations, this in-depth series documents how the scandal, and the resulting media circus, deeply effected his children. The case is so emotionally turbulent that it’s hard not to become completely engrossed with every new discovery. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the exhumation of his first wife’s body, who just so happened to die in the same way as Kathleen.
American Murder – The Family Next Door
Sinister documentary American Murder – The Family Next Door took the socials by storm when it came to Netflix in Autumn 2020. This deeply dark documentary has you frazzled from the start when Shannan Watts, mum of two, inexplicably disappears one morning with her children, leaving all her possessions behind including her phone. Even more bizarre is her quiet, nonchalant husband Chris Watts, who, upon learning of her disappearance, is more than willing to accept the suggestion that she just left him and took the kids. His odd behaviour soon raises alarms for the police and the viewers as we collectively scratch our heads over why this man isn’t frantically searching for his missing family. Whilst Netflix delves into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and uncovers footage throughout the journey, nobody is prepared for the horrific truth surrounding this grisly case.