The Confession Tapes (Netflix 2017)

Y’all will know by now that true crime is something of an obsession of mine. Other than brandy, it’s pretty much my number one form of entertainment.

So when Netflix unleashed this new series exploring the mind-blowing phenomenon of people confessing to crimes they, most likely, didn’t commit – well, I was at the front of the fucking queue.

Making A Murderer and Long Shot are brilliant examples of Netflix’s smart-as-fuck exploitation of our fascination with crime and those wronged by the pathetic US justice system. So could they do it again with the The Confession Tapes?

The short answer is no. This seven-episode series (trailer below) doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights of Steven Avery’s case…but to be fair, what could possibly ever match that?

The first two episodes centre on the quite remarkable case of teenagers Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns, accused and then convicted of murdering Rafay’s parents and autistic sister in brutal fashion.

The thing is, the cops ‘caught’ them by setting up a sting operation in which officers posing as criminals coerced confessions out of them in Canada. This so-called ‘Mr Big’ technique is illegal in the USA, yet the judge inexplicably allowed the evidence to be heard in a US court – and the jury were always going to be sold on those ‘confessions.’

After the first two episodes, the remaining five focus on one case per episode. And none of them quite match the thrill of the Rafay case.

But I was totally drawn in by the opening sequence in episode three, where Wesley Myers is in the frame for the murder of his girlfriend Teresa Hought. If the cops really put this shit together in the way the documentary makers suggest, it’s right up there with the worst criminal injustices of all time.

There’s plenty here for fans of true crime to get excited by, and the actual footage of the confessions adds real drama to the series. While it might not reach the dizzying heights of Making  A Murderer, it certainly is worth checking out – especially episodes one and two.

Here’s hoping there is a season two to follow, because I can’t get enough of this shit.

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