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Documentaries: True Crime For Your Eyes

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I'm hoping this is the right thread to ask this question, Apologies if it's not. But a friend of mine recommended I watch Making A Murderer (yeah yeah I know so late to that party). Anyway, today I was telling him how much I was enjoying it and he recommended that I also watch another series (I'm assuming its a series). He couldn't recall the name of the show but his description of it was that it followed discovering who the real killer was (I'm assuming it was a murder) and it turns out it was some rich guy who was able to 'get away' with it due to it being rich. And by the end of the show the rich guy is found guilty. Does any of this vagueness ring a bell. I'm sure I could vague it up a bit more if required.

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50 minutes ago, Bill1978 said:

I'm hoping this is the right thread to ask this question, Apologies if it's not. But a friend of mine recommended I watch Making A Murderer (yeah yeah I know so late to that party). Anyway, today I was telling him how much I was enjoying it and he recommended that I also watch another series (I'm assuming its a series). He couldn't recall the name of the show but his description of it was that it followed discovering who the real killer was (I'm assuming it was a murder) and it turns out it was some rich guy who was able to 'get away' with it due to it being rich. And by the end of the show the rich guy is found guilty. Does any of this vagueness ring a bell. I'm sure I could vague it up a bit more if required.

"The Jinx"? It's an HBO documentary about Robert Durst.

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Anyone know of true crime documentaries on the murders of Channon Christian and her boyfriend Chris Newsome? The only documentary I could find was more of a tribute and remembrance of these 2 young people than the actual facts and details of the murders. 

Just a warning, this particular murder case is REALLY disturbing. 

Edited by chenoa333
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On 11/13/2018 at 1:20 AM, GaT said:

"The Jinx"? It's an HBO documentary about Robert Durst.

Yes, I agree,  that sounds like the HBO series about Robert Durst

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On 10/3/2018 at 4:27 PM, funky-rat said:

I can't recall if you joined in on this thread over at the HBO Documentaries board or not.

My vote is for psychotic break.  Something was seriously wrong with her that she kept buried deep, and I think it all has to do with her mother (who has since passed away).  Very little is said about her mother, except that she had real issues with her, and didn't deal with her.  Her high school friends say that her mom ran off with the neighbor, and left the family, leaving Diane to be the mother figure at a fairly young age (which is never a healthy situation).  There HAS to be more to that story, but he high school friends say no more.  The friend as an adult they interview says she knows the whole story, but doesn't speak about it.  Any time her mom is brought up, whoever is being spoken to says it wasn't something discussed, other than she had NO relationship with her.  Her brothers, however (including the father of the 3 nieces), did have a relationship with her, and I would be that deep down, that steamed her.

High school friends say that they had a good relationship with her, up until she meets Danny (who she is introduced to by one of the high school friends).  All of a sudden, she does a complete 180 and stops associating with any of them very abruptly, and with no reason given.  She does invite the one who introduced them to her wedding, but she doesn't go out of principle, for the way she's dropped all of them.  Again, not normal behavior.

Everyone says that all she wanted was a family.  It's a chance for her to not repeat the mistakes she experienced growing up.  Her mother-in-law laughs and seems proud that Danny was Diane's "first child".   Danny doesn't want kids.  Diane throws herself in to her career, and makes good bank, allowing Danny to work a job that doesn't pay well and has odd hours, and they're on opposite schedules.  He finally relents on kids, but he flat-out tells her that it's her thing, and her responsibility.  So now she has everything she thinks she wanted.  But she's alone.  He doesn't help with the kids.  He doesn't help with the house.  Mother-in-law says that she would get up, get the kids around and off to school/daycare (fellow daycare mom says kids were impeccable and not a hair out of place or dried toothpaste on their face).  Then go work a high-pressure full time job.  Then get the kids, get them home, feed them, bathe them, and put them to bed.  Then she'd spend the night doing housework, or making gifts for people, etc.  When Danny would get home early in the morning, she'd make him something to eat, then go to bed while he stayed up.  It's a lonely existence.  But she gets attention from people, who shower her with attention and platitudes (I don't know how you do it all!!).  You can keep up the good front....for a while.  When cracks start to appear, you start self-medicating, and do it in relative secret, lest people see you aren't the perfect mom/wife you purport to be.  Once the kids are asleep, and before Danny gets home, there is plenty of time to drink/smoke/etc.  All of this is spelled out pretty clearly in the documentary, supported by friends and relatives.  The weekend in question is where you get to having to inject opinion with what facts there are.

One thing the doc didn't address that I always wondered is if the nieces going along camping happened before, or if this was a new thing.  It also didn't mention if bringing the nieces was Diane's idea (telling her SIL that bringing the girls would be fun), or if the SIL asked Diane to take them because she needed to go somewhere or run errands, etc.  I can't imagine anyone with a do-nothing husband and two small children wanting to add 3 more kids to the mix willingly, unless they had another plan in mind.  Danny says he went to camp the night before in his pick-up, taking with him only the dog and some supplies.  There were reports that EZ Pass showed him not getting to camp until the morning, a little before Diane arrived, but there was some controversy to that info at one time - whether it was accurate or not.  Not sure what was ever determined.  Photos taken that weekend show what appears to be a good time.  Sunday morning, they pack-up and head out.  Danny, again by himself with the dog and laundry, and Diane with 5 kids, all under the age of 12, I believe.  The campground owner says goodbye and claims to not smell any booze, but there's no way for her to be sure, realistically.  Danny heads home, and Diane heads to McDonald's.  Personally, I wonder why she didn't just serve the kids cereal or something, as their drive home was just a few hours, and would have held them until lunch.  She sends the kids off to play, and is flat-out insistent on getting her son the McD's version of chicken fingers, for breakfast.  She's insistent it's his favorite, and it's what she wants (again, this is odd to me, and to many).  There are conflicting stories about whether she was calm or agitated, but they finally gave in, her son got his chicken, and she sat and drank a large orange juice, which many believe she spiked with Vodka.  Their next confirmed sighting was the gas station.  She's on video going in, taking a few steps, turning around, saying two words to the clerk, and leaving.  She's looking for something.  What that is, is up for debate.  It's purported to be Tylenol Gelcaps - supposedly the "only" thing she takes for pain.  That's oddly specific, and something a convenience store is not likely to carry.  Many believe she's looking for booze.  The store clerk refuses to cooperate with police.  The documentary shows her pulling out, but that footage is slowed down.  The real footage shows her pulling out with force, and cutting off other drivers.

At some point, she talks to her SIL, and says they're on the way - the girls need to be back for play practice.  Apparently nothing seems amiss to SIL.  After that, there's eyewitness reports of her driving erratically, and being seen standing in grass medians, looking like she was going to throw up.  I thought I recalled reading somewhere that at some point, one of the nieces was speaking to a parent in a panic, and Diane said the kids were "just playing", but I don't recall where that was.  There were some "wrong number" calls made as well, to a man who lived near where she worked.  I've always wondered about that.  We do know that she pulls off at the end of the Tappan-Zee, talks to her brother, calls him "Danny" and leaves her phone behind, driving off, and in to history.  The nieces did talk with their dad, because he asks them to describe where they are.  He should have told them to get out of the car, but he didn't.  He did tell Diane to stay put, but she didn't.

My opinion is that something happened to push her over the edge.  She'd been riding the edge (and hiding it well) for some time.  She drove around, and drank her conscience away, until she reached the point of no return.  There have been some good armchair sleuth theories that hold water, all of which go right back to her mother and her family growing up, and Diane losing her status as perfect super mom.

1) Either Diane or Danny (or both) were having an affair, which was leading toward divorce.

2) One of the nieces repeated something they heard an adult say that upset Diane (something unkind said by their mother or father, etc)

3) The nieces were to be in a play, and it's not out of the question for their grandmother to be there, as their father and their family had a relationship with her - this could have triggered questions from Diane's kids, Diane could have feared having to face her mother, etc.

4) One of the nieces caught Diane drinking or getting high, and threatened to tell an adult.

5) She had just come to the realization that everything she had thought she wanted in life was not what she really needed, and she saw no way out - divorcing/leaving her husband would make her no better than her mother.  And that could have lead to her realizing she'd been wrong about her mom all along.  That's a tough pill to swallow.  She could have been thinking this out for some time.

6) Being caught drunk/high could cause the authorities to take her kids from her.

As tight lipped as everyone is on this, we'll never know for sure - and even if people did open up, we might not know for sure.  The case reminded me a lot of Diane Downs.  She attempted to kill her 3 kids because they were essentially cramping her lifestyle.  While I don't think that could be said of Diane Shuler, there are parallels.  Diane Downs picked a day when she'd off the kids.  She took them out for a day of fun, and bought a statue with the date engraved on it to commemorate a fun day.  For reasons I can't recall, she opted out of killing them that day, but she just picked another day, took them out for fun, and then when they'd fallen asleep in the car, she got out and shot all three.  She succeeded with one, but the other two lived, and fingered their mom.  Diane Downs then shot herself in the arm, and drove to the emergency room, where she played the part of the grief-stricken mom, saying a drifter shot her and her kids.  This is why I wonder whether the nieces going on a weekend trip was unusual or not.  Diane Shuler made sure there were photos of happy kids.  Her insistence at having chicken fingers at breakfast for her son.  Her taking the kids to play instead of giving them cereal and taking them straight home.  Her having a medical episode just doesn't ring true for me.  A medical episode would not be her fault, allowing her to just pull over and say "Something is wrong.  Please come get me."  I believe there was something far more sinister here.  She was a very broken person inside.  I went through two nervous breakdowns with my husband, who was very badly abused by his mother.  I know what that did to him.  I'm not saying her mother or father abused her, but she had trauma when her mother left, and it showed.  Sad all the way around.

Loved your post! This story has fascinated me since it happened. 

I do believe it was an intentional act. As you say a lot of it goes back to the mess with her mom. I also think there is a level of denial in this family that goes sooo deep. I think the brother and sister in law knew she was a pot smoker and secret drinker. There were soo many actual FACTS that Danny and his sister in law just REFUSED to accept, they just bull headedly kept to the story about a toothache. 

I won’t even give her the benefit of a psychotic break.  I think it was a suicide and she killed her kids deliberately because” NO ONE could take care of them like she did” Her nieces were either collateral damage or a punishment to her brother for maintaining a relationship with  mom or because in that phone call he confronted her about her drinking. 

The whole family was in denial about so many things, and after the accident it became even more important to keep those secrets. They just couldn’t bear to face the truth,fearing if they did they would have to accept their part in it for not stepping up and saying something that might have  rocked the boat, but could have saved so many lives.

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On ‎13‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 8:20 PM, GaT said:

"The Jinx"? It's an HBO documentary about Robert Durst.

Thank you for the title. Finally remembered to ask my friend today when I saw him, and that is the documentary he was talking about. I think I need to watch it just for the fact the killer is caught. After finishing Season 1 of Making A Murderer I need some sort of happy news about real life crimes.

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I don't know where to post this so if I'm in the wrong thread, I'm not apologizing! 

Anyone else interested in following the trial of Chase Merritt, the accused murderer of the McStay family: Summer, Joseph and their 2 toddlers Gianni and Joseph Jr?

I've read some recent articles mentioning a guy with the last name of Kavanaugh who was alleged by his gf to have admitted to killing the McStays. Sounds like this trial is going to last years and Chase Merritt may be dead from old age before he gets what he deserves. 

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On ‎11‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 2:00 AM, Bill1978 said:

Thank you for the title. Finally remembered to ask my friend today when I saw him, and that is the documentary he was talking about. I think I need to watch it just for the fact the killer is caught. After finishing Season 1 of Making A Murderer I need some sort of happy news about real life crimes.

Durst was arrested and is awaiting trial, but he hasn't been convicted...yet.  He was convicted for another murder, but of pathetically lesser charges, and barely served any time at all.

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Does anyone have links to documentaries about the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsome? I can find numerous links to the trial proceedings of the people who murdered these 2 young people, but no in depth documentaries about the entire events of the kidnapping, murder.   

ETA: I just fell down the "rabbit hole" of many documentaries about the murder(by victim's husband) of pregnant wife  Shan'anna Watts and their 2 little girls. Fascinating and tragic.

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47 minutes ago, chenoa333 said:

ETA: I just fell down the "rabbit hole" of many documentaries about the murder(by victim's husband) of pregnant wife  Shan'anna Watts and their 2 little girls. Fascinating and tragic.

Yeah. That happened in this area. It started as just a local "missing persons" case. The husband gave TV interviews to our local stations about his missing wife and children. I took one look at him on TV at that point and thought, "OMG, he killed her, and because the kids are missing he must have killed them too." It didn't take long for the truth to come out. Naturally, because this case involved pretty young white victims the national media got all over it.

BTW if you looked at their social media, they were just this dazzlingly happy couple. I sometimes think of that when I'm looking at stuff on Facebook and IG. In reality, they were  living beyond their means and in huge debt, and he had a woman on the side. Sometimes you just want to slap people and say, fuck this "perfect lifestyle" crap, live within your means and save yourselves from overwhelming stress and even disaster. I'm not saying it was the finances alone; lots of guys get into financial trouble and don't kill their families. But I have to wonder if poor Shananna may have seen his dark side  and wanted out, but because they were so stretched financially she stayed all in with him and was even pregnant again by him.

I haven't really followed the case enough to know all the details; it's just such a pointless sickening waste of lives I have tended to avoid learning more about it. He killed the kids, and I just don't want to think about that. Pretty much anything involving cruelty to kids, or killing kids, is just beyond my tolerance, although I really like crime documentary shows. I've been DVRing a British crime documentary series on the Justice Network channel. Yesterday I looked at the info on the two latest recorded episodes. They were each described as about child killers. I deleted them unwatched.

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1 hour ago, Jeeves said:

They were each described as about child killers. I deleted them unwatched.

I can't watch any true crime shows specifically about pedophiles OR any child murders either. I didn't realize, upon initially watching the Watts murder case, what I was getting into. 

However, my fascination was NOT about the actual details of the murders but the blatant idiocy and emotionless behavior of the husband and mistress. 

I've watched both British and Australian true crime shows as well and find them very interesting. Thanks for the links.

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20 hours ago, chenoa333 said:

I can't watch any true crime shows specifically about pedophiles OR any child murders either. I didn't realize, upon initially watching the Watts murder case, what I was getting into. 

However, my fascination was NOT about the actual details of the murders but the blatant idiocy and emotionless behavior of the husband and mistress. 

I've watched both British and Australian true crime shows as well and find them very interesting. Thanks for the links.

Yeah, I caught one a week or so ago about a Jehovah's Witness who got shunned because she and her husband wanted their kids to get a college education, and she couldn't take it, and eventually killed her husband, her kids, and before she killed herself, she shot the dog.  I was so upset after that one.  Just kill yourself and let everyone else alone.  Then again, she was messed up by the JW belief system.

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36 minutes ago, funky-rat said:

Then again, she was messed up by the JW belief system.

I think some people are just naturally, "born this way" , f'd up. And whatever they add to that, (religion, drugs) just escalates the crazy. Just MOO. I'm not educated in psychology/psychiatry.  

EA: One of my best friends was a Jehovah's Witness (she died in 2017) but she didn't try to convert me. She had an awesome snarky sense of humor, and believed her calling in life (and beyond life on earth) was caring for animals. So no judgement from me on JW. 

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17 minutes ago, chenoa333 said:

I think some people are just naturally, "born this way" , f'd up. And whatever they add to that, (religion, drugs) just escalates the crazy. Just MOO. I'm not educated in psychology/psychiatry.  

EA: One of my best friends was a Jehovah's Witness (she died in 2017) but she didn't try to convert me. She had an awesome snarky sense of humor, and believed her calling in life (and beyond life on earth) was caring for animals. So no judgement from me on JW. 

Like any religion, there are "cool" JW's, and there are hardliners.  I had a friend who was a JW, but her mom really didn't follow much.  Her grandmother was a hardliner.

It is in their theology that college is a waste of time, and kids should not be sent there, because they believe Armageddon is at hand.  They are encouraged to learn a trade which will help when the JW's are chosen to build the new world, but that's it.  The woman on the show didn't want her kids to go to college, but her husband insisted.  When word reached the elders, she was called in, and they were shunned.  I don't recall what the proper term is, but they can still attend the Kingdom Hall, but no one speaks to them, and no one speaks to them out in daily life either.  They also don't encourage you to make tons of friends outside of fellow JW's (again, the hardliners - I'm sure your friend was not one), and so when this woman and her family were shunned, she lost all of her friends, and her family, and had no one.

I can absolutely believe she had underlying mental health issues.  I'm not sure how JW's are on psychiatry (I would bet it's not allowed), but I know they have strict rules about transplants and transfusions - they are not allowed to have them, and judges have had to intervene over the years when children are concerned so they don't die of a curable medical condition.  This is why I would personally never participate in any religion where I'm encouraged to shun, etc, another member.  It could take someone unstable and push them over the edge.  They spoke with some people on the show who all said that she killed everyone because she believed it was the only way to get back in to the JW fold - that they'd go to heaven, and that's another reason she took the dog with them (I wasn't initially implying that JW's are animal abusers - absolutely not).  It was just that the image on the show of the dog coming up to her looking confused, then her bending down and petting the dog, who wagged it's tail, then you hear the shot - I just can't take it.  I also turn the channel when ID shows talk about how a killer abused a pet, etc.  I just can't deal.

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3 hours ago, funky-rat said:

I also turn the channel when ID shows talk about how a killer abused a pet, etc.  I just can't deal.

Me too! I'm done at that point. 

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Ooooh, I remember My Favorite Murder doing an episode about that one. I wasn't aware of it in real time, but it sounded crazy. So many people were ready to believe they just up and went to Mexico without telling anyone. 

I hadn't heard anything about it recently. Is Merritt pleading innocent? 

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On 1/30/2019 at 11:37 AM, chenoa333 said:

I think some people are just naturally, "born this way" , f'd up. And whatever they add to that, (religion, drugs) just escalates the crazy. Just MOO. I'm not educated in psychology/psychiatry.  

EA: One of my best friends was a Jehovah's Witness (she died in 2017) but she didn't try to convert me. She had an awesome snarky sense of humor, and believed her calling in life (and beyond life on earth) was caring for animals. So no judgement from me on JW. 

I feel the same way. I've had friends of different religions and we were able to ask each other questions about things we didn't understand. I didn't judge them and they didn't judge me, and we were able to learn from each other although there were times when the answer was "I don't know. We just always did that.". Unfortunately this type of behavior seems to have become the exception rather than the rule, with judgement being the more likely behavior. I'm sure if people saw my podcast library; MFM, ATWWD, Serial Killers, I'd be judged.

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It's been a year now since Christopher Watts murdered his pregnant wife Shannan and their two very young daughters.

We've discussed the case in this thread so I thought this would be the appropriate place to mention this newspaper article about the toll the case has taken on the investigators and prosecutors. 

Caution: It's not a story for the faint of heart. I cried. 

As I mentioned above, Watts reported his wife and kids missing, and since it's local, it started as a "missing persons" story in our local news. He stood in his driveway being interviewed for the local TV news and I just *knew* he was lying from the get-go. I would have loved to be wrong, but I wasn't. IMO this case has just so many horrific aspects that I've had a low tolerance for stories and TV shows about it. And I watch a lot of ID channel. Hence, my bolded caution above. 

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On 11/15/2018 at 8:31 PM, chenoa333 said:

Anyone know of true crime documentaries on the murders of Channon Christian and her boyfriend Chris Newsome? The only documentary I could find was more of a tribute and remembrance of these 2 young people than the actual facts and details of the murders. 

Just a warning, this particular murder case is REALLY disturbing. 

I could barely follow this case when it happened.  I couldn’t watch a documentary.  🙁😔

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43 minutes ago, ButterQueen said:

I could barely follow this case when it happened.  I couldn’t watch a documentary.  🙁😔

Yes. I agree. It was really one of the most horrific crimes ever. I don't think there are any documentaries about it and that's probably for the best. The perps were arrested. I do hope there is a hell.

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