Don’t Miss This Underrated True Crime Documentary On Netflix
a huge amount of in its library, but no subgenre is as rich as true crime.
In some ways, we have Netflix to thank for the all-consuming popularity of true crime. Early Netflix documentaries like Making a Murderer, alongside viral podcasts like Serial, allowed almost every streaming platform to pile the deck with dozens of copycat shows.
Netflix – without a doubt – has the deepest (and best) catalog of true crimes and it has continued to this day. Established legacy hits like The Keepers and The Staircase are now bolstered by recent classics like Keep Sweet and The Girl in the Picture.
But there is a real detective series on Netflix that I rarely hear about, which is strange. Because for my money it’s the best of the bunch.
Who killed little Gregory? is a five-part 2019 series centered on the case of 4-year-old Grégory Villemin, who was found murdered in Vologne, France in 1984.
What follows is a sordid story that spans three ridiculous decades. With family feuds, multiple twists and turns, and the ominous presence of an anonymous caller known as “The Raven”, Who Killed Little Gregory? is a fascinating story that never ceases to amaze with its magnitude. A significant portion of the show is dedicated to solving the murder mystery itself but, like the best documentaries, it examines larger, difficult issues uncovered by this brutal and gruesome crime.
Without too much spoiler, Who killed little Gregory? has the good sense to explore not only the crime itself, but the way the French media chose to cover it, and the relentless harassment suffered by Grégory’s parents in the aftermath of the murder. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot a true crime documentary like many you’ve seen in the past, but it’s heightened by the delicate way it explores the limits of media encroachment and the impact of sexism on reporting.
Many Netflix documentaries — especially multi-episode series like The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel — tend to suffer from extreme bloat. They will lengthen episodes, repeat angles, go down unnecessary rabbit holes. Often, as a spectator, I feel manipulated. Who killed little Gregory? does not suffer from these problems. It’s lean, it’s convincing. It’s a documentary that deserves its five-episode runtime because it’s a complex story with many layers that require the kind of intellectual rigor the producers apply.
And who killed little Gregory? applies rigor effectively. It is a French production exploring what is – much like the JonBenét Ramsey case in the United States – clearly an extremely charged and long-discussed crime in France. The show serves as a basic introduction to this case, but also heads in directions you don’t normally see in the true crime genre. It manages to convey the brutality of the central crime without resorting to hyperbole or feeling exploitative.
If you haven’t watched yet, you should definitely do so. True Crime is perhaps the most oversaturated documentary genre, not just on Netflix but on every streaming service everywhere, but Who Killed Little Gregory? is fantastic. If it’s not the best example of true crime on Netflix, I can’t think of an equal. Look at this. AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
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