On the way home for Christmas, I listened to the first season of Serial, which I soon became obsessed with. After binge-listening to all the episodes, becoming frustrated with the outcome and wishing things had been different for Adnan, I began the Netflix smash-hit, Making a Murderer.
Again, I was conflicted. I grew up believing in law and order (and still do). I think most police officers are doing the best they can to protect people, but a few people really mess up the reputation for everyone.
Then I watch Making a Murderer where sketchy police work and blatant disregard for processes is evident. Do I think Steven is definitely innocent? Actually, no. I'm not so sure about him. I do think the police should have checked on the brother more because he seems like he could be hiding some crazy. Also, the police definitely moved evidence to help their case. They should never have been on his property, much less for eight days. But I digress...
Anyways, we finish Making a Murderer and then immediately binge watch the three-part documentary series Paradise Lost. My heart breaks. The message here is basically, be you and be unique, but be careful because all fingers will point to you if shit goes down. My heart aches for the West Memphis Three.
All these crime documentaries got me really thinking, mostly about how all of these stories are real life. It could happen to anyone. Some of us are more or less likely based on race, gender, history and social status, but really all of us could be wrongly convicted and totally screwed.
My other thoughts on the collective crime trifecta Making a Murderer, Serial: Season One and Paradise Lost:
- False confessions are possible, especially when the person is of a lower IQ. Those few hours can then take years to undo while you waste away in jail.
- As a juror, I would imagine it's hard to hear a false confession and strike it from your thought process. That confession is already in your head and you can't unhear it.
- If you really want to be married, just either go to jail or date someone in jail. Adnan, Damien and Steve all got married after getting sentenced. So either you can be one of those women who marry murderers (apparently that's common, but not mutually exclusive from also being crazy) or be a damsel in distress in jail and wait for a suitor to come to you. I'm definitely kidding, but really. Convicted felons sitting on death row have more of a romantic life than I do apparently.
- I would be absolutely horrible at solving crimes. I think the absolute best of people all the time. If someone tells me they didn't do it, my first instinct is to think, well, obviously they wouldn't have done it, let alone do it and lie about it. I let people have the benefit of the doubt more often than not. I was hired into a job and they told me to monitor for people stealing from them, and I assumed they were kidding because who would steal from their job? The answer: lots of people, surprisingly.
- Our justice system is a bit flawed. I definitely have no suggestion on how to make it better, but there is a clear lean to help those who fit in comfortably to society.
- The best chart ever made was made by John Mark Byers and is worth watching the third installment of Paradise Lost just to see it.
- The internet has let me down because I can't find the chart John made anywhere.
- Watching these documentaries are a lifestyle choice, because I can't talk to people without making references to them. Nor can I stop myself from insisting the same amount of commitment from everyone to watch them all.
- Spoiler, but I need to: I think Adnan seems more innocent than Steven. Steve strikes me as someone who could be a creep, but I also think he isn't that impassioned or meticulous to commit the crime in the fashion laid out to the jury. If he raped a girl on his bed and then slit her throat, there would have to be some amount of DNA in his house. He just wouldn't be able to clean it that well. And why was his blood inside the car? Or why was her body ever in her car if he was just carrying her a short distance out of the house? Adnan seems innocent, but I then would have to attribute his weird lack of any memory to a ton of weed. Weird things happen when a person is on drugs, so perhaps that's why nothing adds up. But he definitely didn't kill someone in broad daylight outside a Best Buy.
- Gift idea for me: I want to read Damien's book, Life after Death. You can buy it and mail it to me at any time. Please and thank you!
If you didn't guess it at this point, I'm really into this type of drama. Next up on my list is The Jinx! Leave your suggestions for further viewing in the comments because I need another crime documentary to fill my current void.