‘Catching Killers’ Review: The Unrelenting Road Towards Justice

‘Catching Killers’ Review

‘Catching Killers’ is a four-episode docuseries that shines the spotlight on how some of the most notorious serial killers in American history were eventually nabbed by the long arm of law enforcement.

This fantastic series is a welcome delight for all those true crime junkies out there and is streaming on Netflix starting November 4.

‘Catching Killers’ is produced by Louise Norman, Tom Keeling, and Lydia Delmonte, directed by Suemay Oram.

This series details the most bone-chilling cases displaying human deprivation and will definitely have the viewers shocked to their core at the evil human beings are capable of executing.

In general, the first episode recounts the tale of Gary Leon Ridgway, popularly known as the Green River Killer, who murdered over 49 young prostitutes and buried them in the wooded area around Seattle between 1982 and 2001 when the authorities finally caught up with him thanks to the introduction of the DNA technology.

Episode number two follows the story of the serial killer and prostitute Aileen Wuornos who murdered seven men in Florida by shooting them in point-blank range.

The last two episodes are split into two parts, telling the harrowing story of the terrifying Smiley Face, Killer.

‘Catching Killers’ Review

As it is the custom for Netflix documentaries, ‘Catching Killers’ features interviews, news reports, real-life crime scene pictures from the time the crimes occurred, and dramatizations to push the narrative forward.

Many of these cases are common knowledge to the general public, especially residents of the areas where the bodies were dumped or where the victims resided; however, those who have never come across these psychotic maniacs are in for a relishing treat with each case more horrific than the last.

As those closest to the victims narrate their experiences, videos describing those particular streets or areas and alleys are shown, giving the viewer a crystal-clear mental image that makes the experience as realistic as possible.

Unlike many other shows in this genre, ‘Catching Killers’ is thrilling and exciting to watch, as a shock after the other leaves the audiences astonished at how evil, heartless and cruel human beings can be to their own kind.

The narration is fantastic, simple, and straight to the point, nothing over the top. The music accompanying the storyline and the images marry excellently, adding suspense and tension to the overall narration.

One watches the scenes unfold with bated teeth and intense anticipation, eager to find out how each of the cases was eventually resolved. Thankfully, the producers hit the nail on the head by making the episodes short as they each last only 40 minutes, considering that the brief and tighter these shows are, the better they get.

The disadvantage of the brief length is that, ‘Catching Killers’ doesn’t dive deep into the highlighted cases, which would have added meat to the narrative and given more information on these psychos and the motivation behind their sickening actions. 

Audiences, of course, get to learn about basic information and how the authorities eventually caught them. Still, one can’t help to feel a bit of emptiness, and sometimes everything feels rushed. At some point, it feels like there is plenty of really crucial information that has been skipped to fit everything in the short running time.

‘Catching Killers’ recognizes those law enforcement officers who made tremendous efforts to catch the killers keeping it small to the specific Individuals who were directly involved. They might seem like miniature moments, but they are exemplarily heartwarming, which serve as a welcome change in these depressing stories.

The series is nicely organized with excellent unexpected moments. As the detectives, together with the audience, go through different suspects in an attempt to find whodunit, it’s an exciting instance when they are just steps near the goal, and then everything goes back to square one due to incorrect guesses and hunches.

Despite everyone knowing this is how things work in these kinds of investigations and how to move forward is by giving their best try on the case, these situations are pretty frustrating, and viewers can feel the desperation cutting through the investigators considering their hope of eventually putting these evil bad apples in society away for good are thwarted.

As witnessed in many other true crime documentaries, there is no doubt that the detectives involved in these horrific cases are always desperate to catch the perpetrators. This is also the case in ‘Catching Killers’ commending their relentless efforts to nail the murderers, a process that is never easy.

In addition to the plenty of obstacles along the way, the officers are also dealing with twisted loonies, and one can’t help to let out a sigh of relief when that one lucky break, that little piece of evidence, the key connection that cracks the case wide open is eventually unearthed.

It is traumatizing and heartbreaking watching the police scramble to find that one link while trying to avoid more murders from occurring. And then it’s even more gut-wrenching when even though they are trying their best to save lives, these atrocities continue to happen, another life is lost, and the desperation heightens.

It is very emotional once the team of detectives finally brings the criminals to book, and the audience can’t help to share in their triumph. Hence albeit being really horrifying to watch, each episode is very satisfying.

Instances such as the interviewees shifting around sometimes feel like gimmicks, something that seems to be infiltrating docuseries recently in an effort to make the projects look less formulaic, which on the contrary, doesn’t add any value to the narrative.

‘Catching Killers’ is mortifying, incessant, and fast-paced. The victim experiences stay with the audiences long after the series is ended, and one will probably find themselves being keener the next time they go out.

Overall, this series is fascinating, easy to watch, and has zero melodrama representing straight-to-the-point accounts of the events as they happened. It is a fantastic watch for those viewers who are suckers for true crime content.

SCORE: 7/10

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.