I’ve gotten into watching documentary films lately, through Netflix. I don’t find the selection the greatest (maybe the US Netflix has more) but there are still quite a few that get my attention. Of course, I couldn’t help but show interest in some crime documentaries.
One I watched was called Life with Murder. If you’re planning on watching it or think you might want to, you might not want to read this post till after, as there will be spoilers. So I’m warning you now – Spoiler Alert!!
The documentary is about the murder of an 18 year old woman, and how her brother ends up in jail for the crime that he is adamant he did not commit. The parents are torn because while they want to be mourning the loss of their daughter, they’re having to get caught up in the case against their son. They decide to stand by him no matter what, and believe him when he says he didn’t murder his sister. He had a whole elaborate story about who DID kill her, but the investigators felt there were way too many loopholes in his story.
Ten years later, the son decides to start piecing more of the story together for his parents and the investigators. He ends up confessing that, yes, he did kill his sister after all. But he doesn’t want to divulge much more than that. After a bit more time passes, he admits that his plan all along had been to kill his parents, and not kill his sister at all. He had written up wills in their names, saying in the event of their deaths that everything would be left to him. But he couldn’t follow through with it, killed his sister ‘by accident’ (if it’s possible to shoot a person 4 times by accident...) and then tried to cover it up because he got scared.
Through all of this, his parents stood by him. As his father put it, people would always question WHY they stood by him, particularly upon finding out that he had actually planned to kill them. He said it was fairly simple – he was the only means they had left of having a ‘family unit’, and they NEEDED that family unit. He felt that the visitation rights they had to spend every so many weekends together in a prison ‘house’, were the only means of family time that they had, and they had to hold onto that.
Which brings me to the question…What would you do in this situation if you were the parent? I know it’s a tough one, because ultimately with something so insane, you really can’t know for sure what you would do until you’re placed in that position (and let’s hope none of us ever is!) But I personally felt pretty uneasy about the idea of standing by my one child, knowing full well they had killed another of my children, had intended on killing me, and had done a ridiculous job of trying to cover it all up. The guy clearly has a screw loose, perhaps several…and he is likely to be out of prison as early as 2014, which freaks me out a little! Or at least should potentially freak out his parents…
As a parent, I just don’t know. On the one hand, I DO love my child(ren) unconditionally. But if Andrew murdered one of his sisters and wanted to murder me, too? I just don’t know that I would feel comfortable having a relationship with that kind of a monster. It doesn’t sit well with me.
Luckily I was well enough removed from the story, and was able to enjoy the film from a criminological perspective, and leave it at that! But it definitely makes you wonder…what would YOU do in that situation?