Release date: 2020
Danny Schneider was an aimless ‘good kid’ when he was shot in the driver’s seat of his SUV while stopped in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans to purchase crack in 1999. The documentary’s seemingly ironic title refers to Danny’s father, Dan Schneider, a pharmacist who had no reason to believe his son was an addict with ties to dangerous drug culture. It was his search for his son’s killer that opened his eyes to Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid epidemic. This four-part documentary is a compelling ‘little guy against the world’ story, in which one man’s personal tragedy morphs into a crusade against the wealthy executives who helped turn Big Pharma into its own cottage industry for drug addiction.
Murder Among the Mormons
Release date: 2021
Mark Hoffman was a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints who presented church leaders with fantastical documents that threatened to ‘change everything’ pertaining to the Mormon Church. As this true-crime documentary reveals, however, those documents turned out to be forged – and to prevent the truth from coming out, Hoffman built a bomb that killed one of his accusers. Then he built another that killed someone ostensibly unrelated to Hoffman’s initial crime. Then he turned up at the hospital, alleging that he had been injured by the detonation of an explosive. This story of the genesis of the three bombings, their impact, and Hoffman’s eventual apprehension and trial is both complex and riveting.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Release date: 2021
This true-crime documentary traces the exploits of serial killer, rapist and kidnapper Richard Ramirez during the mid-1980s in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, and the members of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to apprehend him.
This thrilling case was particularly challenging to crack because Ramirez’s criminal behaviour was seemingly random, lacking an obvious pattern. Told through archival footage, photos and interviews, Night Stalker‘s narrative depicts the maddening efforts of one newbie detective, Gil Carillo, to convince his more experienced partner (Frank Salerno), other members of law enforcement and the media, that a seemingly unrelated series of violent crimes were all committed by one person. The four-part documentary series is an emotionally satisfying narrative.