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Behind Closed Doors

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In 2008, 13-year-old Aarushi Talwar, and her family's servant, Hemraj Banjade, were found dead in their home in Noida, India. More than a decade later, the case remains unsolved.

Directed by P.A. Carter ("Inside The Storm"), the two-part documentary BEHIND CLOSED DOORS examines the mystery of the double murder, which sparked a media frenzy and continues to haunt the nation today.

Part one of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS debuts TUESDAY, JULY 16 (8:00-9:20 p.m. ET/PT), followed by part two the following night, WEDNESDAY, JULY 17 (8:00-9:20 p.m. ET/PT).



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Remind me not to get accused of a crime in India.  The way so many people being interviewed were discussing the police torturing those in custody was horrible.  It was so matter of fact.

It's terrible that no one will ever know who killed them because the police bungled the investigation so terribly.  No control of the crime scene, no control of the evidence, just appalling.  Use of the drugs they were calling "narco" can be regarded as a form of torture as well.

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My husband used to say of shows like this, “It must be an adult,” meaning hard to comprehend or ending in an odd or unsatisfactory way. I’m a bit hard of hearing and the closed captions weren’t working, so I really struggled to follow much of what was said. Nonetheless, it was clear that the investigation was a complete shambles that made finding the truth and punishing the guilty next to impossible. 

One thing that puzzled me: didn’t some investigator explain in depth how they knew from computer usage that the father had to have entered the daughter’s bedroom after her time of death?  And also that the mattress was damp, and the girl had been dressed after death?  Did those points get refuted?  They’re pretty convincing that the parents were somehow involved, but I didn’t catch if anyone on the defense ever addressed them at all. Sloppy forensics notwithstanding, I’d have a tough time acquitting without all that being explained. 

In general, I am not fond of stories where the truth is still undetermined. Like my husband, I really prefer an ending with questions resolved, or mostly so. Did not really care for this show; greatly preferred the suicide/texting one. It was an interesting look at class differences in India, though. 

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I felt like after 3 hours of filming, I should have had a better understanding of the facts surrounding the crime. Namely, were there other avenues of entry into the apartment? If not, there were only two people it could possibly be, right? The front door appears to have been locked. But even more tellingly, the terrace door was also locked from inside the apartment. So who did that and when? It had to be after the servant's murder. Was the terrace usually locked? If so, how did a stranger unlock it to take the victim up there?  If not, why was it locked after the murder (and why wouldn't the parents have immediately noticed that it was locked when it usually wasn't and pointed this out to police)? If it was the family's lock, why didn't they provide the police the key instead of them having to break the lock? If it wasn't theirs, this clearly points to premeditation (the perp would have to know they were going to need a lock and to bring it with them!). Since the murder weapon appears to have been in the apartment (the golf club), it seems unlikely it was a premeditated murder. 

I never heard the parents or their supporters offer any theories on how the actual perp would have gotten in and out, and doing so without being seen. (The fact that they didn't HEAR the murders was less compelling to me. One blow to the head and then a slit throat wouldn't necessarily make a lot of noise.)

In the absence of any way for an unknown party to be in the apartment, it seems the parents (or at least one of them) must have been the perpetrators. However, given that the parents have been released, I'm assuming it is a failure of the documentary to give an alternative narrative. If there were no possible way for a third party to be involved, surely the case would not be so controversial. Therefore, I think the documentary must not be giving the full story.

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