Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash

With the lock down and pandemic, I had a bit more time at home to watch Netflix and the True Crime genre holds a good deal of interest to me. So I watched:

  • Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
  • Making a Murderer
  • I Am a Killer
  • Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
  • Evil Genius: Most Diabolical Bank Heist
  • The Ripper
  • The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
  • Nail Bomber: Manhunt
  • The Pharmacist
  • Murder Among the Mormons
  • Unabomber: Manhunt
  • Deadly Games: Manhunt
  • American Murder: The Family Next Door
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
  • The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness
  • Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Writing the list out shows I watch too much Netflix, but this is also over the course of nearly two years so probably not too bad. Either way, I bolded the shows that really felt different watching with their real life non-cinematic portions to it. While all shows were based on true events - only some had true crime footage and interviews attached with it.

So off to the web I went to dig into more of these pretty disturbing true stories and stumbled upon the JCS - Criminal Psychology YouTube Channel. I recognized from the channel a few names from Casey Anthony (National news) to Chris Watts (Netflix: American Murder) so I was off to watch a few.

Watching the 3 part Chris Watts series was pretty much all the captured audio/video from the investigation with a commentary over the top. The additional commentary was pretty eye opening in comparison to watching the Netflix version of Chris Watts.

For example, we know from the trial that Chris Watts killed his wife, unborn child and two daughters. Not only that, but drove the bodies to a work site and dumped the children into large oil vats and dug a shallow grave for his wife. The motive? There was another girl and Chris hoped to just trash his current life and move on. This stuff is just pure evil and difficult to speak or even fathom about.

The Case of Chris Watts - pt. 1

So back to this YouTube channel, which helps add another dimension of thinking to these clips. The police (who are at the house of Chris Watts) call to say to say his wife is missing. Chris, who at this point, has already disposed of the bodies tells the officer he will be home shortly. Once arriving, he says nothing but opens the garage and checks the car of Shanann Watts (the deceased wife).

The narrator of this video explains that this is not like regular human behavior.

  • The wife's name is never called out
  • Permission was not granted to the officer to enter the home while Chris was not there.
  • Chris checks the car first and rummages through it, when its clear nobody is inside.
  • Chris takes 1min ~30 seconds to go from garage to letting officer in front door.

This is just seems off. If your pregnant wife is missing and you aren't giving permission to officers to look for her while you are away and show no sign of panic - there is something afoot.

Though what happens if the truth isn't absent? That might be as scary as hiding the truth of some heinous crime.

Jerrod Murray Murder Confession Tape (Screenshot above from "pretending to be crazy")

Meet Jerrod Murray who paid a roommate (Generro Sanchez) to drive him to Walmart, but the trip went differently when Murray shot and killed the driver. He was captured a few hours later with a poor attempt to cover the body on the side of the road. The confession and interrogation was short (in comparison to others) and not a single lie was detected by the investigator.

Jerrod has been named the "Yes Sir" killer for his emotionless tone of saying, "Yes Sir" quickly and efficiently to each and every question as well as not trying to evade any question asked. While the 2 hour video is linked above, the quick 1 minute video from a news station can capture this in a creepier essence.

While being transferred (probably due to being not-guilty due to insanity) a reporter grabs a quick 30 seconds to rattle off questions to Jerrod who responds swiftly and without a single ounce of emotion. There is no missing truth here, but the pure blunt truth from the mouth of the sentenced is just as creepy.

This leads us to the last individual I want to talk about in this post, which is Nikolas Cruz, who was the shooter responsible for the Parkland Florida school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

What pretending to be crazy looks like

This guy was born in 1998 and committed one of the worse school shootings of all time. I can't begin to understand and the whole situation surrounding this individual is more frustrating.

From the instant he is captured attempting to blend in with fleeing students he starts claiming a demon and voices in his head are at fault. Born from a drug heavy women with 28 arrests and immediately adopted into a loving family might have led to some messed up mental health, but to gun down children?

This interrogation is just horrific to watch. Knowing this individual killed 17, but continues to fabricate a complex lie is just sad. Knowing even so years later that a few of the students who survived the shooting ended up taking their own life. Cruz continues to spew lie after lie in the face of the end of his free life. You can tell the reason "why" is something all investigators are striving to piece together, as Cruz refuses to budge even as his made up story full of holes falls apart.

While the sad fact remains these stories exist in more individuals and events and continue to grow with every year. Understanding more of how these individuals act in the face of a heinous act I'll never understand, which is perhaps why I keep watching more and more of them. You can understand a bug in code even if it takes 40 hours, but understanding the human mind of another - good luck.

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