Catching Killers A Docuseries About How Four Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers Were Captured

Catching Killers is a four-episode docuseries that examines how a few of the most infamous serial killers in American historical past have been lastly tracked down and caught by regulation enforcement. The three instances examined are the Inexperienced River Killer, the Aileen Wuornos case, and the Comfortable Face Killer case, which is break up into two components.

Opening Shot: “Seattle, Washington. 1988.” We see a bunch of police detectives stationed round computer systems in a studio designed to seem like a police station.

The Gist: The primary episode is in regards to the Inexperienced River Killer, who murdered over 49 younger prostitutes and buried them in wooded areas in and round Seattle between 1982 and when he was lastly arrested in 2001.

The episode begins off with scenes from the 1988 particular Manhunt Dwell! Seek for the Inexperienced River Killer, hosted by Patrick Duffy. One of many individuals on the particular was Dave Reichert, the lead detective on the duty drive created by the King County Sheriff’s workplace to seek out the Inexperienced River Killer. He’s considered one of three investigators interviewed for this episode: Fae Brooks, who was on the duty drive resulting from her expertise with intercourse crimes, and Tom Jensen, who joined the duty drive resulting from his potential to prepare the mountains of suggestions and proof that was gathered.

The investigation is examined by way of using these interviews, media protection on the time, and a few reenactments. It particulars how one physique after one other was discovered within the time interval between 1982 and 1984, and the way the cops had narrowed on a few suspects on the time, together with Gary Ridgeway. However as a result of they couldn’t pin bodily proof to Ridgeway, the case grew chilly till Reichert turned sheriff in 1997, when DNA know-how had been developed. It nonetheless took 4 extra years to nail Ridgeway, primarily based on that proof.

Catching Killers
Photograph: Netflix

What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? Due to its anthologized nature, Catching Killers is comparable in format to Netflix’s model of Unsolved Mysteries.

Our Take: Produced by Louise Norman, Tom Keeling and Lydia Delmonte and directed by Suemay Oram, Catching Killers is a reasonably easy tackle the true crime docuseries. There’s nothing notably outstanding or distinct about the way it presents every case, and since every episode is barely round 40 minutes, the filmmakers make some exhausting decisions about what components of the case to look at.

That’s one of many large issues with the sequence. Within the first episode, as an illustration, there may be little or no clarification about what occurred between 1984 and 1997, when Reichert turned sheriff. After which once more there’s no particulars about how, after the search was revived resulting from DNA know-how, it took one other 4 years earlier than Ridgeway was arrested. These particulars might have taken perhaps two to 3 extra minutes to elucidate, however it was determined to skip proper over them.

What we did recognize was the main focus of the episode on three of the principle job drive members, as a substitute of the filmmakers getting interviews with a dizzying array of journalists, victims’ relations, and regulation enforcement. That is about how the killers have been caught, so the attitude of the principle investigators is what was wanted to concentrate on. Too typically, filmmakers do an excessive amount of to cowl all the edges of a specific story, making the speaking heads blur collectively. Right here, there have been solely three, they usually have been distinctive sufficient to recollect how every was concerned within the case.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: None.

Parting Shot: Jensen talks about how the youngest sufferer was lastly recognized in 2020, which supplies him closure, as a result of, as he says, “I used to be there to choose up the bones.”

Sleeper Star: Each Jensen and Reichert nonetheless get emotional about discovering these ladies’ our bodies all these years later, which is one thing we appreciated. Not all cops are robots, they usually didn’t dismiss the victims simply because they have been prostitutes, which frequently occurs in instances like this.

Most Pilot-y Line: Exhibiting the interviewees shift round or, within the case of Brooks, run off to silence a mobile phone, earlier than their interviews begin seems like a gimmick to us. It’s a gimmick that appears to be infiltrating docuseries these days in an effort to make them look much less formulaic, however we expect it provides nothing to the narrative.

Our Name: STREAM IT. It is a bizarre factor to say a few present involving serial killers, however Catching Killers is a light-weight watch, akin to what you would possibly see on Dateline48 Hours or cable true crime reveals. There’s simply sufficient data to make the present entertaining, however there’s no depth to any of the tales.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Occasions, Slate, Salon,,, Quick Firm and elsewhere.

Stream Catching Killers On Netflix | Stream It Or Skip It?


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