Why Did You Kill Me?
Why Did You Kill Me? Is Netflix’s latest true-crime documentary surrounding the shooting of Crystal Theobald, a 24-year-old woman who was caught in a drive-by shooting between two gangs in California in 2004. The title of the film alludes to her younger cousin, Jaimie, who used MySpace after the murder to catfish members of local gangs to try catch the person responsible. The movie consists of interviews with Crystal’s family, former gang members and the lead detective of the case, whilst recreating the scene of the crime with a model of the street and figurine cars.
In the past few years, Netflix has proven themselves to be a consistent source of quality true-crime content, with docu-series about Madeleine McCann, the Night Stalker killer and the Yorkshire Ripper. Each of these productions have dived into both the obvious and alternative angles of these famed cases, offering in-depth analysis of both the case and the effect of those left behind. In a way, the streaming giant has shot themselves in the foot by setting such a high bar for true-crime series and films. Why Did You Kill Me? fails to carry the same precision and poignancy, never capturing exactly who Crystal was. To fully portray the grief and tragedy, a clear insight into who the victim was is essential and WDYKM? does not offer this.
It is apparent that there is a lot to be explored within this case: gang activity, drug abuse, dysfunctional families, social media, vigilantism and the idea of untimely loss of life. Netflix makes an effort to handle all of these aspects with the same weight, but what results is a rushed, incongruent and superficial account of a murder. There is so much this feature leaves unexplored, instead relying on heavy marketing and a somewhat trivial title enticing the audience to a lacklustre, surface level account of a young woman’s tragic and untimely death.
Why Did You Kill Me? is released on Netflix on 14th April 2021.
Watch the trailer for Why Did You Kill Me? here: