Yes, I'm BACK! I hope you all missed me just as much as I missed you over these past few months! If you were wondering where I've been this whole time, I've been watching and assessing new documentaries for you guys, OF COURSE! Now that it's Winter time, you can stay inside, warm up and relax on the couch with these ten wonderful programs, all of which are Gabby-approved and available on streaming platforms:
1. White Boy (Netflix)
I'm excited to share this one with you, because this documentary is WILD. Directed by Shawn Rech, 'White Boy' takes place in Detroit, Michigan during the 1980's crack epidemic. This documentary is centered around a teenage boy named Rick Wershe Jr. and his involvement with the FBI as an informant from the ages of 14-16, as well as how he got caught up with the drug dealing scene in Detroit. This doc also exposes a lot of corruption that was taking place both within the FBI and in Detroit politics at the time. Surprisingly, I had never heard of this case and I was GLUED to my TV when I started watching. This program was a wild ride.
2. The Jinx (HBO Max)
If you haven't yet watched this series, please do yourself a favor and do so. 'The Jinx' is a 6-part series directed by Andrew Jarecki focused on Robert Durst and his (at the time) alleged involvement in the deaths of his wife Kathie Durst, his friend Susan Berman and neighbor Morris Black. Although a 6-part series sounds like a big commitment, I promise you that it's worth your time. When I think about true crime documentaries, this series is one that instantly comes to mind, mainly because of the sheer audacity that Robert Durst had to openly discuss these murders. When I look back at this series, I find it insane that Durst was acquitted back in the early 2000's for his involvement in Morris Black's murder. He was strongly advised NOT to participate in this documentary about him and these killings, which he DID commit! I could go on-and-on about this series, so just watch it for yourself and feel free to discuss it with me on the True Crime & Chill Twitter page (@chill_true).
3. The Cheshire Murders (HBO Max)
Before I dive into this documentary, I want to preface this summary with a strong trigger warning, as the details are very graphic. I know that most of these cases are uncomfortable, but there were several parts of this particular doc that made me feel squeamish. Directed by David Heilbroner, 'The Cheshire Murders' dives into the severe injuries suffered by Dr. William Petit, as well as the horrific murders of his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and daughters Hayley and Michaela. The scene of this crime takes place in the quiet town of Cheshire, Connecticut, which people would always tell you is a perfectly safe and great place to raise a family. Now, though, long-time residents will forever recant this nightmare when they're asked about Cheshire. I was captivated by this documentary, because I had zero knowledge on this case and was shocked at how gruesome it was. By the end, I was shocked and awed by the father's strength to survive this attack and openly talk about what had happened.
4. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (Netflix)
If you're anything like me, you probably felt terrified at the possibility of Bob Ross doing anything criminal. Let me ease your mind and preserve any bit of innocence you have left, because this isn't about anything Bob Ross did...but what was done to him. This upsetting documentary, directed by Joshua Rofé, details how Bob Ross' life wasn't as perfect as he made it seem and how he was going through some pretty serious issues behind the scenes of his iconic painting series. Although it is sad, I felt like this documentary contained necessary information for Ross' fans. I definitely recommend taking the time to watch this.
5. Britney vs. Spears (Netflix)
Unless you've been living under a rock over the last thirteen years, you probably know at least some of the details of pop singer Britney Spears' conservatorship. Regardless of how much you think you know, however, this documentary by Erin Lee Carr lays it all out for you. Given my knowledge of Spears' situation, I loved this documentary and I'm happy that this information is out for the public to see. Personally, it was quite frustrating watching people discuss the abuse Britney endured for over a decade, because it was unfair and unethical. If you're a fan of her's like myself and want to gain a little more insight, please watch this! Also, I am very pleased to spoil the news that Britney no longer has to endure this type of abuse.
6. Bad Sport (Netflix)
If you don't already know me too well, I'll tell you that there are two things I really enjoy consuming: sports and true crime. So, when I have the opportunity to see those two interests mixed, I will always tune in. This anthology series by Tim Wardle and Adam Hawkins gives you six cases to enjoy, all the way from the '94 Arizona State Basketball point-shaving scandal to show horses being killed for insurance money. Personally, I knew of none of these cases beforehand and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about them all in detail.
7. LuLaRich (Amazon Prime Video)
Oh man. Man oh man. What can I say about LuLaRoe? The very thought of this "company" frustrates me to no end. That being said, when I heard that there was a documentary about the fraudulence of LuLaRoe, I ran faster than Usain Bolt to go watch it. This 4-part docu-series by Jenner Furst and Julia Nason exposes the nastiness of the pyramid scheme and MLM that is LuLaRoe. If you remember from my 'Follow the Leader' cult series on True Crime & Chill, we talked about MLM's (specifically NXIVM) and how abusive they are. I absolutely cannot stand MLM's and LuLaRoe is no exception. Now, I knew LuLaRoe was defrauding millions of people out of money, but this series gave me a lot of newfound hatred for this business and MLM's in general. If you or anyone you know are involved in LuLaRoe, tape their (or your own) eyes open and force all parties to watch this program immediately, because this business sucks; the documentary, however, does not. Please give it a view!
8. What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (HBO Max)
There isn't much to say about this documentary aside from the fact that I loved it. I really wish that there was more information to unpack, however we will never fully know all of the details. This two-part series, directed by Jason Blum, lays out the life and death of actress Brittany Murphy. Once I completed this documentary, I felt even worse for Brittany, because she didn't deserve her stupid husband, Simon Monjack. I think why I felt so much sympathy for Brittany is because we learned a lot of unsettling information about her husband that made me wish she never met him in the first place. If you haven't seen this one yet, please watch it!
9. The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin (HBO Max)
If you looked at this poster and said something along the lines of, "What the heck?" or something similar, you need to watch this doc right away. Again, I love to learn about cults and I'm disappointed that I never knew about this one beforehand. This 3-part series by Marina Zenovich exposes Gwen Shamblin, her "Weigh Down Workshop" and the Remnant Fellowship cult...I mean, Church. Back in the 80's and 90's, Gwen Shamblin worked as a weight loss consultant, only to then have that work snowball into her integrating religion into the mix; the final result was this cult. I was glued to the TV, because of how asinine this cult is. If you need more after you finish this series, there will be a part 2 coming out this year!
10. Ken & Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes (Discovery+)
I was excited to find a docu-series about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, because I knew little about them beforehand. Once I finished this series, I understood exactly why people are disgusted by them. This four-part series goes into great detail about the horrific murders committed by Paul and Karla. Ironically, I had learned about the Ken and Barbie Killers during the 'Don't F With Cats' series on Netflix, so I'm glad someone finally went in depth about these two. If you can watch this series, I guarantee that you won't regret it for a second.
I really hope you enjoy this list and I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these documentaries! As always, please reach out to me if you have any recommendations of your own. I hope to return to my show soon, listen to some of our old episodes in the meantime!
- Gabby (@moneybagsgabs)