‘Catching Killers’ docuseries drops the ball

Netflix brings nothing special to true crime genre with latest release



“Catching Killers” series misses the mark and does not progress the genre.

Ali Smith, Arts & Leisure Editor

Honestly, I was sadly disappointed by the “Catching Killers” documentary series released on Netflix Thursday.

I am a huge true-crime junkie, and I pride myself in having seen every documentary on Netflix. But unlike my favorite docuseries, like “Night Stalker: a Hunt for a Serial Killer” or “Unsolved Mysteries” on the platform, these episodes of “Catching Killers” brought nothing new or special to the table.

When I saw an upcoming crime documentary series set to be released, I was ecstatic and immediately added it to My List on Netflix and set a reminder for when it was released.

On Thursday, I was sick, and saw the perfect opportunity to binge the series in one sitting.

But as I opened the details of the show, I was shocked to see there were only four episodes, two of which are about the same killer crimes.

Netflix presented it like every other crime documentary made, which to some are boring enough as they are.

What I liked about “Night Stalker: a Hunter for a Serial Killer” was how break-ins were reenacted to place the viewer as a shadow of the killer, which gave it an interesting angle.

This was lacking here.

On the other hand, “Unsolved Mysteries” took a unique spin on true crime, allowing the viewers to become part of the investigation and leaving them on a cliff-hanger, as these crimes have yet to be solved.

There was nothing new or special about “Catching Killers.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love routine and brevity; “Forensic Files” is my go-to relaxation show. However, the difference is that “Forensic Files” producers have been able to keep viewers interested for 25 years, and “Catching Killers” could not even maintain my attention for more than one of the four episodes.

I still opted to give it a chance, and while it was interesting to learn about serial killers I was unfamiliar with, I was still too focused on the fact that I had built all of this anticipation for an exciting new show just to be left with three odd hours of crime.

I did enjoy adding to my list of serial killers I am familiar with, noting The Green River Killer and The Happy Face Killer, although I was already familiar with Aileen Wuornos.

Additionally, I did appreciate the spotlight on a female serial killer, because it’s important for viewers to be reminded that it is not only men who are capable of that level of destruction and violence.

Maybe, though, that was the point: to keep the episode count very small to place emphasis on the stories that are not often told enough to be household names like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer.

My favorite episode was the first, if I had to choose one, about The Green River Killer. This episode began the series with a bang, showcasing many gruesome, heart-wrenching murders to set the tone of the series for viewers and engulf them in as authentic a reality as possible.

Despite my disappointment, others found the show intriguing, sparking enough interest to keep it in the U.S. top 10 this week, specifically at spot six Tuesday.

“Catching Killers” is now available for streaming on Netflix.