Catching Killers is a four-episodes documentary series which focuses on the most vicious serial killers in America and how they were eventually captured by police. Good news for the true-crime and cold cases fans out there, Netflix is streaming it. The first episode is about the Green River Killer case, second episode is based on Aileen Wuornos and the last two episodes whose subject is Smiley Face Killer is divided into two parts. In most Netflix true crime documentaries there are interviews with multiple people, a glance at news reports, real crime scene photos display and re-enactments to keep the storyline engaging. A mental picture forms in the mind of viewers when they see the narration by those associated with these cases. Catching Killers is straightforward and doesn’t dive too deep into the details as the main part is about how law enforcement was able to catch the most gruesome murderers.
The first episode is about the Green River Killer, who murdered 49 young sex workers and buried them in remote forested areas near Seattle, Washington from 1982 till 2001 when he was finally arrested. One of the main detectives on the case named Dave Reichert of the King County Sheriff’s Office is featured in the series along with his colleagues Fae Brooks, who is an investigator of sex crimes, and Tom Jensen, another detective. The series depicts how multiple bodies were found between the period 1982-84 and police had some suspects then. In fact, the real killer Gary Ridgeway was interviewed by the detectives but thanks to lack of evidence and no DNA technology at that time, they couldn’t nail him. It was only after a new Sheriff named Reichert was elected that the case got solved. Since each episode’s duration is forty minutes, filmmakers have done an amazing job in portraying only the investigator’s side of the story instead of interviews with victims family members and journalists which are seen in most cold crime shows.
Directed by Suemay Oram, a prominent filmmaker who created movies and shows for BBC, Apple TV and Discovery, the audience will experience what it feels like to be in the shoes of police who had at many times felt frustrated when winding up at dead end. But they never stopped hunting the evil psychopaths and eventually when that one piece of evidence that is going to solve the case is uncovered, the viewers feel a sigh of relief along with the narrating detectives who cry. Catching Killers is a satisfying short show terrifying enough for the audience who will accompany the investigators in their quest for justice and in the end there is closure. It’s similar to Dateline or True Crime Daily by Chris Hansen.