Netflix Documentary Takes A Closer Look At A Heinous Crime

Popular Netflix documentary released in September of 2020

Popular Netflix documentary released in September of 2020

Chiara Douglas, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Many crime documentaries relieve fans of their longing for gruesome details, but can not capture the injustices to their full capacities. These documentaries typically remain over-dramatized and unorganized, but Netflix’s new addition proves to be more informational and captivating than ever before. The Watts murders are revisited in the bone-chilling documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, which premiered on Netflix in September of 2020. 

As spectators across the globe continue to debate over the brutal murders of the Watts family, the accused holds his residence at a prison in Wisconsin. The former Colorado resident Christopher Watts underwent investigations and questioning, where he later pleaded guilty to murdering his pregnant wife, Shanann, as well as their two daughters. It was disclosed that he then disposed of their bodies in an oil field where he was conducting business. He buried his wife’s body off-site and threw his children into an oil rig.

Despite the gruesome and undeniable fear that erupted throughout many after the reveal of the investigation, many pieces of entertainment previous to Netflix’s new debut emerged. The Lifetime movie Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, Dr. Phil encounters, and more, showcased the horrid aftermath of the families and surrounding communities, but simply rejected the timeline Netflix’s documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, explores. 

British filmmaker Jenny Popplewell included specific dates, dialogue, emotional interviews, police body-cam footage and much more, to make the documentary more realistic than ever. We are able to see the real footage and form our own opinions and beliefs based on the hard facts. This controversial documentary introduces us to Chris Watts and his family and friends, personal conversations between officers and surrounding civilians during the investigation, a one-on-one look at Watts failing his polygraph test, and the conversation between his father and himself before being whisked away. 

Between a combination of previous social media encounters with Shanann and secretive messages between Chris Watts and his other love interest, this documentary showcases the betrayals in marriage, the unpredictability among people you’ve known forever, and an insight into secrets that will be taken to the grave…