What is Why Did You Kill Me on Netflix about?

Netflix does a lot of things well and at the top of that list are true crime documentaries. Just this year, we’ve seen documentaries about The Night StalkerThe Cecil Hotel, and Mark Hoffman, the latter of which from the show Murder Among the Mormons. The next popular documentary has just released on the platform, but just what is Why Did You Kill Me about?

Back in 2006, a 24-year old mother-of-two named Crystal Theobald was murdered in what appeared to be a gang-related shooting. This wasn’t a situation where a stray bullet hit her. There was a car chase that led to someone getting out of a vehicle and shooting into the car Crystal was in, intentionally killing her.

Crystal’s brother was in one of the vehicles involved in the chase as well, and between her brother’s run-ins with the law and her mothers’ own criminal history, the family was not too fond of working with the police. Crystal may not have been involved in anything criminal herself, but working with the authorities meant putting a spotlight on the family, so that wasn’t an option.

Crystal’s mother, Belinda Lane, partnered with her 14-year-old niece to set up their own undercover investigation. Based on the word of Crystal’s brother, they had reason to believe that the local 5150 gang was involved in the shooting, and their members were very active on Myspace. Belinda and her niece ended up setting up multiple fake profiles trying to get close to the gang members in an effort to gather information about the shooting to find Crystal’s killer.

Why Did You Kill Me is an extreme case of catfishing but with a purpose

The show Catfish was, and still is, a pop culture phenomenon for exposing some of the most extreme cases of people hiding behind fake profiles to deceive others, but Why Did You Kill Me has them beat, because this was catfishing with a purpose.

The family wasn’t just setting up fake profiles, they were actually trying to lure the gang members in by flirting and trying to make them fall in love with a fictional woman named “Angel” using Crystal’s pictures.

Why Did You Kill Me format

Unlike the Cecil Hotel docuseries, Why Did You Kill Me is not drawn out over multiple episodes. With a run time of just 83 minutes, the film covers the full 10-year investigation and aftermath in a condensed package. There were plenty who thought the Cecil documentary had too much filler content, and you will not have that problem here.

Check out the trailer below.

Along with the condensed run-time, the trailer shows some interesting visuals as well. You get taken back in time to see Myspace layouts and graphics. We see the old chat features we used to use, and there are some reenactment scenes that also are interestingly shot using models of vehicles and people.

While the story does center around the family’s own investigation, you will get to hear the police side as well. With a family seeking justice on their own terms and using questionable means to get their information, you have to imagine the police would not like what they were doing. Besides the dangers of them trying to get close to gang members, the chain of custody rule establishes that certain evidence may be inadmissible in court depending on how it is obtained.

Near the end of the trailer, you hear Crystal’s mother Belinda mention taking justice into her own hands, and that’s how Netflix really sells the intrigue for this documentary. Can the mother of a victim really go from catfishing her daughter’s killers to becoming one herself? You’ll have to tune in to see.

Why Did You Kill Me is currently streaming on Netflix.