Available on Netflix.
This is a documentary-film that you can find on Netflix, and it also tickles an interest in Urban Legends. It shows the story of Joshua Zeman, and Barbara Brancaccio and their journey to Staten Island. Following up the story of an Urban Legend that was spread by the kids who grew up on Staten Island during the childhood of Joshua Zeman. The legend was that a ‘Slender Man’ type figure was roaming around the island, who people referred to as ‘Cropsey’. As Statin Island used to home a mental asylum there were rumours that when the asylum closed some of the patients escaped and began living in the surrounding wooded area. Cropsey was one such patient, who preyed on children and would kidnap then, and eventually murder them. In 1987 the legend became true when 13-year old Jennifer Schweiger vanished, and was later found murdered. Andre Rand was the living Cropsey, and Zeman and Brancaccio follow the journey of the murder trial, and interview locals who are still affected by the Urban Legend that seemingly came to life.
Child Of Rage; A Story Of Abuse
Available on Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2-Re_Fl_L4
Child of Rage is not one for people who are upset easily. Based on an interview with subject Beth Thomas, who suffers reactive attachment disorder from knowing no other life than being sexually and physically abused, the documentary follows young Beth as she begins treatment at a children’s center. In the interviews Beth speaks about the abuse that she puts her younger brother through, and discusses, in complete seriousness, that she wants to kill him and her parents. As I said, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Playlists available on Youtube of full episodes; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX4YfPuEY24&list=PLEi83IaZq0XWJ0tKfSQ1QnRRFm5Tn2Hfv
Deadly Women is a documentary series that has been aired on ID (214 for Virgin Media viewers) for eight series. It’s a fascinating look at what drives women to kill, with a subjects such as ‘Killer kids, ‘Fatal attraction’, or ‘Kills for thrills’, hosted by criminal profiler Candice DeLong. Female killers make up a very small percentage of murders, so this series is deeply interesting to those who are fascinated by what drives people to kill.
Playlist available on Youtube of full episodes; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM94j4x_2S8&list=PLD75qpSXCKDDfj1R4jJG2dYVMZ7g7jOOo
Joe Kenda is an ex FBI detective with at least 400 homicide cases solved under his belt. If you’re interested in forensics, and what goes into solving a crime then this is the perfect series for you to watch. It’s one of my personal favourites, and it will have you hooked on every episode.
The Real Billy The Kid
Available on Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbSAEwV6GFA
The story of Billy the Kid is really interesting, and I don’t want to give away too much by giving a long description. I’m really interested in historical crimes, and how they were solved before we had forensics and computers, it’s also an interesting insight to the ‘wild west’ and how the story of Billy the Kid actually ended.
The Murder of Emmett Till
Available on Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-X4is9jMYk
This is the last one I’m going to post here, and I have saved the most thought provoking and upsetting one till last. In 1955 14-year old Emmett Till (who was African-American) wolf whistled at a white woman who worked at a store where he was buying from. When the woman complained, two men found Emmett Till and beat him to a bloody pulp. He was unrecognizable, the gory details of his injuries are all listed in the documentary. The men were found, put in front of an all white jury and found not guilty of the crime, despite the overwhelming evidence against them. It acted as a spark to the Civil Rights Movement, and it shocked me as to how short a time it was ago that coloured people were being lynched in America for such small things, including children.
If you would like any more suggestion follow me on Twitter (@sammightsay) and I’ll be happy for you to pick my brains…. not literally.