I’m one of those people who is fascinated by mysteries and figuring out the “who done it”. If I wasn’t terrified to carry a gun or didn’t have nightmares about every scary thing known to man, I would have gone to school to be a real-life Detective Olivia Benson (that is Mariska Hargitay’s character on Law and Order SVU for you sad people who don’t like to binge on the marathons every weekend). I would love to be able to solve the mystery and put the “perp” away, but instead, I will just binge on crime documentaries and pretend that I know what I’m talking about. The latest one that I have devoured is The Confession Tapes on Netflix.
If you were intrigued by Making A Murder or The Keepers, you will definitely want to add the The Confession Tapes to your must watch list. The Confession Tapes on Netflix follows a series of cases in which people may have made false confessions. I know what you are thinking, how can we know for sure that these are in fact false? The documentary gives you the facts of the crime, the facts about the suspect about why they believe they are at fault, the claim that the suspects have made admitting to the crime and then how the police came about getting the confession. While in some cases it seems as though the police may have coerced the suspect with lies or false evidence, most of the cases are left up to your own interpretation.
A thing to keep in mind – These true-life stories are from the early 90s/00s. They are from times when police departments didn’t have the technology that we have today and were forced to go on hunches, rather than evidence. DNA profiling was still a new up and coming technology, so it was easy to be convicted just based on someone’s words instead of the cold, hard facts. This was also before the police started to videotape their interrogations and we could see the extremes that some went to to get a confession.
The interesting thing that you learn about this is the techniques they used in which to get a confession from this suspects. While some it was easy to see, with the exhaustion and being confined in tight quarters for an extended period of time, it would drive someone to the point of insanity to think that maybe they did do something that they really didn’t do. In one of the cases out of Canada, they use the “Mr. Big scenario” in which they convinced these teenagers that they were part of an elite group (mobsters if you will) and that in order to be protected by the group they were required to tell them how the crime happened. Most tactics are illegal in the United States today, but it was interesting to see how they had first started with the interrogation process.
It was also interesting to hear about the psychology behind the false confessions. During this time period when these crimes had happened, there wasn’t a lot of research or psychology behind why people would make false confessions. Just the idea that someone would admit to a crime that they didn’t commit was unfathomable during this time period, but now we have the understanding to realize that there are key factors that come into play when it comes to confessions. Stress, mental health, plea bargains or even diverting the attention away from the actual killer are all reasons why someone could falsely commit to a crime, but before the psychology that we have now, if you admitted to the crime, you were forced to do hard time.
Ginger Views: Now is the time to binge on The Confession Tapes on Netflix! Not only will it leave you with a better understanding of the investigation process, it will make you happy that you weren’t these people. Technology has come so far in the way that we investigate crimes and it is troubling to see just how wrong it was before it. I’m telling you, if you were interested in The Keepers or Making A Murder, you will be fascinated by this series.
Previously seen on Ginger Views.
Feature image via screengrab from Netflix’s The Keepers