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These 14 writers and bloggers investigate alleged cults and their leaders – Augusta Free Press

Posted: July 5, 2020 at 11:46 pm


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Published Thursday, Jul. 2, 2020, 12:55 pm

Front Page Business These 14 writers and bloggers investigate alleged cults and their leaders

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Journalists, bloggers, and book authors sometimes one and the same investigate all sorts of people and organizations. Though they often make mistakes that damage their subjects reputations and blow back on their own, their work as a whole is worth celebrating and protecting.

One of the more interesting investigative writing niches involves organizations alleged to be cults (and leaders alleged to be cult leaders). The reading publics appetite for stories about secretive organizations both well-known and not so well-known is all but insatiable, and theres plenty of material for intrepid writers to supply.

If you count yourself among the many readers intrigued by this type of writing, youve come to the right place. What follows is a list of more than one dozen writers and bloggers who currently or have in the past written about organizations and leaders alleged to be involved in cult activity.

Mike Rinders runs an independent blog devoted to exposing the follies and foibles of so-called cult organizations that more mainstream outlets dont or wont cover. He also covers more mainstream organizations that have courted controversy in the past, some of which receive sustained coverage in major daily newspapers, magazines, and TV outlets. His highest-profile target is Scientology; his motto is Something Can Be Done About It.

Writer Be Scofield is a self-proclaimed cult hunter whose investigations have appeared on several niche websites devoted to so-called cults and cult activities. While Be Scofields controversial approach has generated criticism, the writer remains active and continues to pursue new investigations.

Paul Morantz has an unusually high profile for a writer focused mainly on cults and cult leaders. Thats largely because hes also an accomplished attorney with a number of high-profile cases to his credit, several of which involve alleged misconduct by cult leaders. Hes the author of two books: Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults and From Miracle to Madness: The True Story of Charles Dederich and Synanon.

Steven Hassan is a self-proclaimed former cult member who has spent the better part of 40 years investigating an alleged cult leader named Tony Alamo. He is also an advocate for victims of alleged child sexual abuse by members of various orders clergy, including the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Jehovahs Witnesses.

Mitch Weiss is a reporter whose groundbreaking AP investigation tells the story of a victim of an alleged cult known as the Word of Faith Fellowship. Weisss story pulled back the curtain on the secretive North Carolina group, which claims hundreds of members.

Les Zaitz is a retired reporter for the Portland Oregonian newspaper. In the 1980s, he was part of a group of intrepid Oregon journalists on the trail of the sect led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Ma Anand Sheela years later, the subject of the popular 2018 documentary Wild Wild Country. The Columbia Journalism Review has more on Zaitzs accomplishments.

Emilie Friedlander is an investigative writer who spent months on the trail of Trumple, a social media cult that many observers brushed off as a troll until Friedlander began digging. Her work revealed a new model of rigidly hierarchical organization thats at once attractive and dangerous to young, tech savvy followers.

Dennis Yusko is one of several upstate New York reporters who began tracking the secretive sex cult Nxivm in the early 2000s. Despite his and his colleagues intrepid work, the group operated more or less without restraint until national media outlets picked up the trail in the late 2010s. Still, Yuskos groundwork proved vital in spotlighting the organizations seamy side.

David Thibodeau is a former member of the Seventh Day Adventist offshoot sect led by David Koresh. The sect is best known for the calamitous events at its compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993, when a botched raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms left dozens of members dead. Thibodeaus book, Waco: A Survivors Story, is required reading for anyone interested in Koreshs organization and the origins of the modern-day right-wing militia movement.

Deborah Layton is a memoirist and former member of the infamous Peoples Temple sect, whose years-long presence in the jungles of Guyana culminated in one of the largest mass suicides in recorded history. Her book, Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivors Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple, is regarded as a classic of the first-person cult survivor genre.

As a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, Tim Reiterman traveled to Guyana with then-Congressman Leo Ryan to investigate the Peoples Temple sect. Years later, he would write Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People, a compelling companion to Laytons first-person account. Readers interested in the story of Jones and Peoples Temple, and aspiring writers looking for a model of cult journalism to follow, would do well to read Reiterman.

Jeff Guinn is the author of the definitive biography of Charles Manson (Manson: The Life and Times of Charles), one of the most influential cult leaders of the past 60 years. His work builds on investigations by others but remains a vital resource in its own right.

Sam Brower spent nearly a decade investigating the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamist derivative of Mormonism led by Warren Jeffs. His book, Prophets Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation Into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, is at once spellbinding and informative.

Lawrence Wright is one of the foremost investigators of Scientology. His book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, was made into a major Netflix documentary in 2015.

These writers are not the only ones whove made names for themselves investigating organizations and leaders alleged to be involved in cult activity. Many others are active in this niche, and anyone familiar with it knows that theres plenty of uncovered material out there.

Perhaps you think you have what it takes to write about alleged cults and cult leaders. Or perhaps youre just looking for a good read on a lazy day. In either case, your contribution helps keep honest those on both sides of the writer-subject divide and ensures more great stories in the years ahead.

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These 14 writers and bloggers investigate alleged cults and their leaders - Augusta Free Press

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July 5th, 2020 at 11:46 pm

10 Documentaries About Eccentric People To Watch If You Liked Tiger King – Screen Rant

Posted: May 23, 2020 at 2:50 pm


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Tiger King may feel revolutionary, but documentaries about strange people are nothing new. Here are 10 great docs for any Tiger King fan.

Every so often, a television show comes along that, due to a variety of factors, manages to become a true hit, saturating every aspect of the cultural landscape. The Netflix series Tiger King is one such series, elevating what was before a relatively minor (if strange) criminal case into nothing less than a national phenomenon.

RELATED:10 True Crime Documentaries That Are As Twisted As The Tiger King

While it is in many ways an utterly unique series, it is also part of a long documentary tradition documenting the lives of strange and eccentric people who occupy the margins of American society.

This is, arguably, the ultimate example of a documentary focusing on strange people. It focuses on two women, Big and Little Edie, who occupy a decaying mansion on Long Island. There is something utterly compelling about these two women (who were cousins of first lady Jackie Kennedy), their dysfunctional relationship, and the ruined grandeur around them.

The Maysles brothers who directed the film wring every bit of pathos out of it, inviting the viewer to sympathize with these women, even as they also remain strange and just a little bit unearthly.

Even the canniest viewer might be forgiven for not realizing that there is such a thing as competitive tickling. However, this subculture, if one can call it that, is exactly what is explored in this strange, subversive, and utterly compelling film.

Needless to say, there was some controversy associated with the subject matter (which, of course, has some rather unfortunate overtones), as well as the film itself. However, the critics absolutely loved it, and a sequel was actually produced.

Wine is one of those things that has a value even beyond its taste and its alcoholic content. Its quality, or lack thereof, says so much about not only ones class status, but about ones taste. Indeed, wine tasting and wine manufacture is a very serious business, which is why the subject of this documentary, wine fraud is so fascinating.

The film documents a scheme whereby Rudy Kurniawan took cheap wine and put more expensive labels on it. In showcasing the scheme, the film reveals both its brilliance and the way that wine is a powerful social signifier.

The Pacific Northwest has something of a reputation for attracting the kinds of people who want to set out on their own path, forging a new life for themselves. One of those people, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, is the subject of this documentary.

RELATED:Netflix's Tiger King: 10 Spin-Offs We Want To See

Its an admittedly rather disturbing portrait of the Rajneeshee movement. What started out as a consciousness movement soon became tied up with assassination and bioterror. The film was praised by critics, though some also took it to task for various aspects of its story.

This is one of those true-crime films that is certainly not for the faint of heart. It begins as a manhunt for someone who recorded himself killing two kittens by suffocation, but soon became a larger manhunt after it was revealed that he also responsible for the murder and dismemberment of a Chinese international student.

The film received only a lukewarm reception, both due to the dubious intent of the filmmakers and the unfocused nature of the story.

Timothy Treadwell is one of those people who is unlike almost anyone else. A noted advocate for wild bears, he spent the last years of his troubled life living among them, much to the consternation of wildlife officials and his family and friends.

This films director, Werner Herzog, brings his signature style of existentialist rumination to the career of this troubled man, who was ultimately killed and partially eaten by one of the bears he so loved.

Set in upstate New York, this film focuses on the unusual death of an elderly man who lived with his brothers in a ramshackle home far from any other people. In particular, it focuses on the trial of one of his brothers, who was accused by the police of having committed the crime.

RELATED:Netflix's Tiger King: 10 Riveting Documentaries About Animal Welfare Issues To Watch Next

It is a troubling rumination on the way that the criminal justice system works, and whether it actually works to the advantage of those who occupy the outer reaches of society.

The title of this film says it all. Its subject is the twisted relationship between a lawyer and his younger girlfriend and later wife. The bizarre aspect is that he hired a group of men to throw lye in her face, leaving her blind and scarred. Despite this, she later married him.

Its one of those films that is morbidly horrifying to watch. No matter how dismaying these people might be, and no matter how miserable they seem (and how miserable they make the viewer) it is almost impossible to look away.

West Virginia, and Appalachia more generally, has come to occupy a vexed place in American culture, as a place that has been largely left behind by modernity, occupied by strange and bizarre people.

The Whites are certainly both strange and bizarre, particularly Jesco, who has achieved some measure of fame as a dancer. The film is a startling insight into the lives of many Appalachians, which are scarred by decades of exploitation by various fossil fuel industries and the crushing weight of endemic poverty.

The right to privacy is one of those things that most people take for granted, and there are certain spaces one inhabits that are usually assumed to be off-limits to casual voyeurism. One of those is, certainly, the hotel room.

It is precisely the supposed inviolability of this space that makes this documentary, which focuses on a man allegedly liked to watch his guests, so viscerally disturbing. The film is a potent and troubling reminder of just how little privacy most people ultimately possess.

NEXT:10 Netflix True Crime Documentaries To Watch After Tiger King

Next Which Divergent Faction Are You Based on Your Zodiac?

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10 Documentaries About Eccentric People To Watch If You Liked Tiger King - Screen Rant

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May 23rd, 2020 at 2:50 pm

29 Oregon-filmed movies and TV shows to watch when youre home because of coronavirus – OregonLive

Posted: May 7, 2020 at 6:45 pm


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Even if coronavirus concerns are keeping us at home, we can still explore the beauty of the Oregon landscape, revisit jaw-droppingly strange-but-true history, and remember when locals got their noses out of joint over a comedy series that spoofed politically correct Portlanders. Whether you crave a virtual trip to the outdoors or are feeling nostalgic, streaming services provide a binge-worthy batch of Oregon-related movies and TV shows.

So, sit back, keep up your social distancing, and bring a little Oregon to your living room with our list of notable comedies, dramas, documentaries and animated features.

MOVIES FOR FAMILIES

The Goonies: Viewers who were kids when they first saw this 1985 adventure have shared it with their own children, which is why the Goonies nostalgia train just keeps running. As Josh Gads recent YouTube reunion of the original cast demonstrates, theres truth to the catchphrase, Goonies never say die. The story of Oregon Coast kids who use a treasure map to search for riches that may save their family homes keeps viewers coming back, and draws tourists each year to Astoria, where much of the movie filmed. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

Stand By Me: Stephen Kings novella, The Body, inspired this 1986 classic, about four boys who come from different backgrounds, but form a bond as they search for a missing teen in the Willamette Valley. Stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry OConnell will make you laugh, make you cry, then make you laugh again. Locations include Brownsville. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made: Adapted from the bestselling book by Stephan Pastis, this Disney Plus movie tells the whimsical story of an 11-year-old boy whose imagination sends him around Portland investigating cases for his supposed detective agency, with his polar bear partner in tow. The Portland locations are down-to-earth glimpses of the city, and the cast, including Winslow Fegley as Timmy, is sympathetic and likable. (Stream on Disney Plus)

Free Willy: A 1993 family film about a boy (Jason James Richter) who makes friends with a captive orca whale, and hatches a plot to let the whale escape. Keiko, the real orca in the movie, was a crowd-pleasing attraction at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, in Newport for a few years. Locations include Portland, Astoria and the Hammond Marina, where, in the film, Willy jumps to his freedom. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video; stream on Hulu)

Twilight: It seems like 100 years ago that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson starred in the first chapter of the saga about romance between a human high school student, Bella Swan, and the much older, but young-looking vampire, Edward Cullen. While the Twilight movies got sillier the longer the saga went on, this 2008 effort had the benefit of Northwest flavor. Stephenie Meyers novel was set in Forks, Washington, but Oregon was used for many of the movie locations, with scenes filmed in St. Helens, Portland, the Columbia River Gorge, and more. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

Kindergarten Cop: Another movie not exactly made to dazzle critics, this 1990 comedy stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Los Angeles Police Detective who, on the trail of a drug dealer, goes to Astoria, where he winds up working undercover as a kindergarten teacher. Sounds plausible, right? Locations include Astoria, the movie star of the Oregon Coast. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video; stream on Hulu)

Mr. Hollands Opus: This 1995 tearjerker is a salute to Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss), an aspiring composer who winds up teaching music at a fictional Portland high school. Its corny, but the movie was filmed on location in Northeast Portlands Grant High School, so students can get a virtual campus feeling even if they cant physically attend school. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video; stream on Hulu)

MOVIES FOR ADULTS

Wild: Portland-based writer Cheryl Strayeds bestselling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail amid personal turmoil remains a perpetual favorite with readers. The 2014 movie adaptation of Strayeds book is well-made and heartfelt, with fine performances by Reese Witherspoon as Strayed, and Laura Dern as the authors late mother. Locations include Bend, Ashland, Cascade Locks and Portland. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

Leave No Trace: After The Oregonian reported on the case of a teenage girl and her father, who were found living in Forest Park, writer Peter Rock wrote My Abandonment, a novel inspired by the true story. This tale of a father and daughter living off the grid was adapted into a touching 2018 movie, directed by Debra Granik (Winters Bone), and starring Thomasin McKenzie and Ben Foster. Locations include the Portland area, Estacada and Newberg. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Lean On Pete: British filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Looking) wrote and directed this 2018 adaptation of Oregon writer and musician Willy Vlautins novel. Charlie Plummer stars as Charley, a 15-year-old who comes to Portland with his father, Ray (Travis Fimmel). When trouble arises at home, Charley spends time at a racetrack, where he helps cares for an aging horse named Lean On Pete. Locations include the old Portland Meadows in North Portland, and Harney County. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Wendy and Lucy: Portland-based writer Jonathan Raymond and director Kelly Reichardt have collaborated on a number of projects, most recently the quiet, but deeply affecting First Cow. The 2008 movie, Wendy and Lucy, is a characteristically minimalistic work, but one that becomes increasingly poignant as it goes on. Michelle Williams stars. Locations include Portland, Salem and Woodburn. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Related: Director Kelly Reichardt on First Cow, and why she makes films in Oregon

Night Moves: Another low-key, tense collaboration from writer Jonathan Raymond and director Kelly Reichardt. The 2013 movie tells the story of a trio of environmental activists who plan to blow up a dam. Its subtle, but gripping, and features striking work by Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. Locations include Roseburg, Medford and Ashland. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Meeks Cutoff: Kelly Reichardt and writer Jonathan Raymond again worked together on this 2011 Western loosely inspired by a historic event, in 1845. The film features a guide named Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood), whos leading a group of settlers across the Oregon high desert. But the settlers begin to suspect Meek isnt all he claims to be. Michelle Williams stars. Locations include Burns and other Harney County areas. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers; stream on Hulu)

I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore: Melanie Lynskey stars as Ruth, a nursing assistant whos already feeling down, and then finds out that her house has been burglarized. When the police dont seem interested in doing anything about the crime, Ruth, along with an unstable-looking neighbor (Elijah Wood), set out on a quest to find the thieves. Macon Blair wrote and directed the 2017 dark comedy-thriller. Locations include Portland, Wilsonville and Lake Oswego. (Stream on Netflix)

Drugstore Cowboy: Director Gus Van Sant lived for several years in Portland, and this 1989 movie is, among its other qualities, a postcard of the way the Rose City used to look. Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch star in a 70s-set story about drug addicts who rob pharmacies to pay for their habit. Van Sant made other features in Portland, including My Own Private Idaho, Elephant and Paranoid Park, but Drugstore Cowboy remains one of his best. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

The Shining: You could get all technical about it, and point out that the 1980 thriller, starring Jack Nicholson, did very little filming in Oregon. Yes, the exterior shots of Timberline Lodge are supposed to be the Overlook Hotel, where lots of bad things happen. But since were likely not getting to Mount Hood anytime soon, well take what we can get. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest: The late Ken Kesey wrote the novel that inspired the multi-Oscar-winning movie, starring Jack Nicholson in one of his best roles. Set in a mental hospital, the film focuses on the rebellious Randle McMurphy (Nicholson), and his clashes with authoritarian Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). The 1975 movie has elements that may feel offensive to todays viewers, but there are classic moments. Locations include the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, and the central Oregon Coast. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video)

Animal House: For nostalgic Oregonians, this 1978 rowdy comedy (sometimes known by its full name, National Lampoons Animal House) summons memories of toga parties, the outrageous antics of John Belushis Bluto Blutarsky, food fights, and blow-out blasts at the fictional Faber College and Delta house fraternity. More sensitive souls may find the 70s humor has dated, but its a kick to see circa-70s locations in Eugene, Cottage Grove, the University of Oregon, and more. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video; stream on Hulu, with the addition of Starz)

Paint Your Wagon: If youre truly desperate for something to watch, this 1969 musical Western offers more Oregon scenery. Thats the good part. Less great is the fact that Lee Marvin sings -- or tries to. Costar Clint Eastwood also lends his pipes to the tune, I Talk to the Trees. Critics mostly blew raspberries at this supposed blockbuster. The stories about what went on during the filming near Baker City, in Eastern Oregon, makes things sound pretty wild (hippie extras!). As for the movie, its hokey (sample song title: Hand Me Down That Can o Beans), but harmless. And did we mention the gorgeous Oregon scenery? (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Related: Paint Your Wagon, The Goonies, Grimm and more: The Oregon film and TV office turns 50

ANIMATED MOVIES

Laika features: The Hillsboro animation studio is known for the painstaking care lavished on its stop-motion animated features. Examples include the Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated Missing Link (2019), about a Sasquatch living in a Pacific Northwest forest who joins forces with an explorer for globe-trotting adventures in the 1800s. (Rent on Amazon Prime Video; stream on Hulu.)

Other Laika features include 2016s Kubo and the Two Strings(YouTube Movies); 2014s The Boxtrolls (YouTube Movies); 2012s ParaNorman (iTunes); and 2009s Coraline (stream on Hulu).

TV

Portlandia: Remember the good old days, when locals worried about what message a comedy sketch show was sending, instead of panicking about a pandemic and economic catastrophe? Return with us now to the balmy past, when the IFC series co-created by and costarring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein made Portland look like the world capital of political correctness. Even if youre sick to death of hearing about the feminist bookstore, and Colin the chicken, watching Portlandia -- which aired from 2011 to 2018 -- feels like a trip back to another, less stressed-out era. (Streaming on Netflix; and fuboTV)

Related: Saying goodbye to Portlandia, and the citys love/hate relationship with the show

Grimm: The premise was far-fetched, but the NBC drama about a Portland Police homicide detective who had the power to see the supernatural creatures lurking below the surface of seemingly ordinary folks developed a devoted following. In its 2011-2017 run, Grimm made Portland look like the scene of a dark fantasy you know, like Grimms fairy tales. (Free on Amazon Prime Video for Prime customers)

Related: Grimm may be ending, but its impact on Portland remains

Shrill: In its first two seasons of the Portland-filmed comedy, weve watched as Annie (played by Aidy Bryant, of Saturday Night Live fame) has struggled to deal with her own ambitions to be a writer, her lack of confidence, her messy relationships and a few other neuroses. Bryant is a fine lead, and shes joined by a terrific supporting cast. Catch up now, because the series has been renewed for a third season. (Stream on Hulu)

Leverage: The 2008-2012 series about a group of reformed crooks who took on jobs where they could stick it to fat cats and win justice for everyday people moved its production to the Portland area for Season 2. A rebooted revival is in the works for IMDb TV, with Noah Wyle starring (in place of Timothy Hutton) and other original cast members returning. (Stream previous seasons on the IMDb TV channel, which is available to Amazon Prime Video customers)

The Librarians: A spinoff of a series of TV movies made for TNT, the fantasy-adventure followed a group of gifted eccentrics who used their skills to solve mysteries and, sometimes, save the world. Like Leverage, the series filmed in and around the Portland area. It aired from 2014 to 2018. (Stream on Hulu)

Everything Sucks!: The series about a group of high school kids in Boring, Oregon in the 1990s had a good heart, and cast a compassionate eye on the travails and triumphs of the mostly misfit characters. Unfortunately, it only lasted one season. (Stream on Netflix)

Trinkets: Another moody/sensitive series about high school students struggling to find themselves, Trinkets tells the story of Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand), an unwilling transplant to Portland, who forms surprising friendships with schoolmates, Moe (Kiana Madeira), and Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell). The series will return for a second season, but that will be the last one. (Stream on Netflix)

DOCUMENTARIES

Wild Wild Country: Oregonians who have lived here for a while already know about the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Ma Anand Sheela, and the followers who descended on Central Oregon in the early 1980s. But everyone else apparently first learned about this bizarre-but-true saga thanks to Chapman Way and Maclain Ways six-part 2018 documentary series. (Stream on Netflix)

Related: Netflix documentary on Rajneeshees in Oregon revisits an amazing, enraging true story

The Battered Bastards of Baseball: Before they dug into Oregon Rajneeshee history, filmmakers Chapman Way and Maclain Way made this entertaining 2014 documentary about the Portland Mavericks baseball team. (Stream on Netflix)

-- Kristi Turnquist

kturnquist@oregonian.com 503-221-8227 @Kristiturnquist

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29 Oregon-filmed movies and TV shows to watch when youre home because of coronavirus - OregonLive

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May 7th, 2020 at 6:45 pm

Wild Wild Country documents the shocking story of a spiritual guru’s move to Oregon – Amherst Wire

Posted: April 10, 2020 at 2:48 am


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History textbooks seemed to have left this out

Shane Guilfoyle, Assistant Entertainment Editor April 9, 2020

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Airing on Netflix in March of 2018, Wild Wild Country holds all the makings of a great spy-flick. From assassination plots, political sabotage, manipulation and wiretaps, its all here but the catch is that this series details true events. Produced by Jay and Mark Duplass, the documentary follows the uprising and actions of an Independent religious movement, with a focus on the man who created it.

Some Background First

The spiritual guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Rajneesh or Osho, formed the Rajneesh Movement back in the 1970s. While American media grappled with a preoccupation with cults, the guru amassed followers, called sannyasins, in his home country of India. This congregation adorned a wardrobe based exclusively out of red and burgundy, with goals of raising humanitys collective consciousness. Following an uptick in size and capital, notably from young European and American students, Bhagwan and his council relocated the Rajneesh movement to the United States.

(Netflix)

Settling in Oregon, Bhagwans council purchased the Big Muddy Ranch. Nestled just outside the retirement community of Antelope, followers, in the vicinity of 2,000 individuals, took to the task of constructing their guru a utopia in the form of a commune. This resulted in the establishment of the city of Rajneeshpuram, which sprawled across 63,000 acres and featured an artificial lake.

(Sannyas Wiki)

Drama thickens after the commune is constructed as if its establishment lit a stick of dynamite. The armed ranchers of Antelope make gestures of physical violence, pushing the community to erect its own police force and a stockpile of weapons. There are also clashes of brain and brawn here too. The leaders of the Rajneesh breach the surface of Wasco countys local government, gunning for seats on local and state municipal government while drawing allegations of Salmonella poisoning and immigration fraud from federal investigators. And in the midst of this political controversy remains the spiritually enlightened Bhagwan, who can be viewed entering a four-year-long period of silence, while forwarding his collection of over 100 Rolls Royces. This all but scratches the surface, the teeming chaos, that follows this communitys chronology.

(Netflix)

Whats offered here

Wild Wild Country toys with Americas infatuation surrounding phenomena like cults, while highlighting our countrys interactions with these groups in the time surrounding the end of the twentieth century. The citizens of Antelope describe in interviews that the Rajneeshees were loud and noisy, while U.S. Attorney Charles Turner recalls his process of prosecuting Bhagwan and his council.

The documentary gives viewers an inside peek at who the Rajneesh were as people. Through interviews with Bhagwans secretary, Ma Anand Sheela and other key figures in the movement, such as Rajneeshpuram mayor David Berry Knapp, the motives, actions and after-thoughts surrounding their experiences in Oregon find the light. In what could be considered criminal confessions, it seems nothing is left off the table. As episodes play through the drastic measures taken by Bhagwans followers, out of their teeming devotion, grow extensive.

(Tumblr / pattern-53-enfield)

Much of the allure surrounding Wild Wild Country can be attributed to the bizarre nature of the events detailed across its six episodes. It is a forgotten history, as mentions of the religious movements move to Antelope and their eventual controversies are absent from the mainstream discussion. For the people of Antelope and the Rajneeshees, this was the event of their life-time and because of that, raw emotions bubble to the surface as these individuals detail their experience and forethought.

(Tumblr / Stillgotit)

Were roughly four weeks into quarantine now. If youve grown tiresome of the recommended Netflix stream, Wild Wild Country stands as an enthralling ride. Theres a deliberate blend of historical documentation and theatrical storytelling within the docu-series that holds a satisfying pace across its six hours of content. And think about the bragging rights to be attained, as you achieve the opportunity to flex this weird bit of American history in those routine close-quarter conversations.

Email Shane at [emailprotected] or follow him on Twitter @shaneguilll

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Wild Wild Country documents the shocking story of a spiritual guru's move to Oregon - Amherst Wire

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April 10th, 2020 at 2:48 am

Editorial: Kim Thatcher for secretary of state in the Republican primary – Bend Bulletin

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Voting in the Republican primary for secretary of state comes down to a simple choice: Do you want the candidate who speaks seriously about using 30-foot-tall water slides to get commuters across the Columbia River? Or do you want the candidate who is the reasonable choice in the race, who has a strong set of germane policy ideas?

For the water slide folks, your candidate is Dave Stauffer, 70. The former analyst for the state of Oregon has run for governor before as a Democrat. Now hes running as Republican in this race. Frankly, he seems much more interested in chatting about things such as water slides than the more relevant issues for the office.

For everyone else, the person to vote for in this Republican primary is state Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer.

Thatcher, 55, served in the Legislature as a representative from 200-2014 and has been a member of the Senate since 2015. She has run a road construction business and also a business that rents out traffic safety devices, such as those electronic signs that let you know construction is ahead. Its that combination of business and legislative experience that make her a strong candidate.

When we were interviewing Thatcher, one thing that stood out is how powerfully she spoke of her commitment to keeping the Secretary of States Office nonpartisan. She said she wouldnt make decisions based on party or whether she agreed with a person or an idea.

The office must be run evenhandedly, she said. And she emphasized that she knows what it is like to be treated differently because of personal views.

She wants to ensure that it would not happen.

Thatcher, of course, knows small businesses are struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic. The secretary of states small business advocate can help.

Thatcher said she hoped to do what she could to support and reinforce that offices effort to help businesses navigate government and find the assistance that is out there.

The secretary of states offices audits division could play a valuable role in learning lessons from the response to the pandemic, Thatcher said. She stressed she isnt aiming to parcel out blame. The important thing will be to find out how Oregon can do better.

The key to successful audits, she said in part from her time on a state audits committee, is buy-in. The state department or program being evaluated needs to buy into the idea of an audit and also to the solutions.

And legislators need to buy into the idea of providing the tools departments and programs need to succeed.

In the Democratic primary, all the candidates are nearly uniform in support of some changes same-day voter registration, ranked-choice voting and some sort of campaign finance reform. Thatcher said her job as secretary of state would not be to establish those policies. Those would be decided by laws passed by the Legislature or perhaps ballot measures. She did point out, though, on the issue of same-day voter registration that the reason that was implemented had a lot to do with the cult set up by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Wasco County.

The group tried to take over local government by busing in homeless people to vote. Because of that, voters passed the ballot initiative in 1986 to set the cut off for registration at 21 days.

Thatcher is clearly the best choice in the Republican primary.

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Editorial: Kim Thatcher for secretary of state in the Republican primary - Bend Bulletin

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April 10th, 2020 at 2:48 am

Best Netflix Originals series ranked by their Rotten Tomatoes rating – The Tab

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Finding new things to watch on Netflix can be a tough task. No matter how many new shows are added, you still sit and stare at your screen proclaiming there is absolutely nothing to watch. Rotten Tomatoes has released a ranking of the best Netflix Originals, which may just be the answer to all your troubles.

So if youre stuck trying to find something to watch here are the top 20 from the ranking, of the series which score the highest on the reviews site. Read this, then add every single one to your watch list.

2019 Netflix Original series, Russian Doll, has a rating of 97 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. The Netflix synopsis reads: Nadia keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party. Shes trapped in a surreal time loop and staring down the barrel of her own mortality.

2017 series Mindhunter is a chilling, crime mystery drama. It is based on the 1996 book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBIs Elite Serial Crime Unit, by former special agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. It has a ranking of 97 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

It follows two FBI agents who expand criminal science by looking into the psychology of murder. The agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve other open cases after a new type of killer emerges one with no specific motive. This leaves a huge gap in investigations. In order to expand their knowledge of why killers do what they do, they have to speak to those who commit these crimes themselves.

Lovesick is a comedy released in 2015. The Netflix synopsis reads: In his quest for true love, Dylan found chlamydia. Joined by friends Evie and Luke, he relives past encounters as he notifies all his former partners.

This 2019 series is a cartoon about two birds, Tuca and Bertie, who are best friends navigating their way through life. This may sound a bit random and weird, but its got 98 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and the people are never wrong.

Wild Wild Country is one of the best Netflix Originals true crime documentaries, with a rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 98 per cent.

It is a six-part docuseries about the controversial Indian guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He bought a plot of land in the Oregon desert and attempted to build a utopian society in 1981. He had built brand new homes that could house over 7,000 residents and the plan was to develop a food supply, police and fire stations, restaurants and a small airport.

However, tension was created just a year into the build. According to Netflix: This conflict would become one of the wildest episodes in American history and feature heated debates over land use, electoral mayhem, voter suppression, biological warfare, assassination attempts, deportations, drugs, sex and more.

British crime series, Happy Valley, has a Rotten Tomatoes ranking of 98 per cent. The show also won five BAFTAs. The Netflix synopsis says: Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood pursues the man who assaulted her late daughter, unaware he is now part of a secret kidnapping plot.

Unbelievable is another of the best true crime series on Netflix. It is a dramatised series, based on thetrue story of 18-year-old Marie Adler.Marie said she had been sexually assaulted at knife point in her apartment. Then she told police she had made the entire story up and was charged with a gross misdemeanour. She faced up to one year in jail.

Marie is played by Katilyn Dever in Netflixs eight-episode series Unbelievable. In the show she is asked to repeat the chilling story over and over again to police. Those closest to her and the police constantly doubted her story. The 2019 series has a score of 98 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

2017 series, American Vandal, is a true crime comedy satire. The synopsis reads: In the wake of their first documentarys success, Peter and Sam seek a new case and settle on a stomach-churning mystery at a Washington high school. It ranks at 98 per cent.

Alias Grace just missed top rankings, scoring 99 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. The crime dramas synopsis says: In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity. Based on Margaret Atwoods award winning novel.

One Day At A Time is a comedy-drama is inspired by Norman Lears 1975 series of the same name. It follows the life of a newly single Army veteran and her Cuban-American family. The synopsis says: In a reimagining of the TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the help of her old-school mum. It has a rating of 99 per cent.

Just coming in the top 10 of the best Netflix Originals is Crazyhead, scoring the full score of 100 per cent. The British dark comedy is about an unlikely duo of demon hunters. It follows two women in their early 20s who defeat literal demons, as well as their inner demons too. It comes from the creator of Misfits.

2019 true crime series The Confession Killer also scores 100 per cent. The five-part series tells the story of Henry Lee Lucas. He was first put into prison for murdering his mother, and then for the murders of his girlfriend and landlord. However when he was in prison he started confessing to more and more killings. The number got up to 100, then 150, then 300 and it wasnt long before Lucas said he was responsible for over 600 deaths all over America.

In the documentary, the local police force seem overjoyed theyve solved hundreds of cases they never thought they would. It must have been Henry Lee Lucas he could take police to crime scenes, give details of evidence and in some cases even draw the victims.

But it wasnt all it seemed. It soon unravelled that him being responsible for all these crimes just wasnt possible. Aside from it being physically impossible for him to travel to all the different locations crimes took place in over the time they happened, evidence began to stack up that made his confessions clearly false.

Dirty Money is a Netflix Original series which tells stories of corporate corruption, securities fraud and creative accounting. Rotten Tomatoes describes it as a thrilling investigative series from Oscar Award-winning director Alex Gibney, which provides an up-close and personal view into untold stories of scandal and corruption in the world of business and it has a score of 100 per cent.

Giri/Haji is a soulful thriller set in Tokyo and London, exploring the butterfly effect of a single murder across two cities. It is described as a dark, witty and daring examination of morality and redemption. It has a top class rating of 100 per cent.

Ugly Delicious is a cooking show lovers dream. Award winning Chef, David Chang, travels the world to visit culinary hotspots. Each episodes focuses on a different dish or food concept, and focuses completely on flavour not always looks. Its like if The Voice was about food. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100 per cent.

Chewing Gum is a comedy series about Tracey Gordon, who is a religious, Beyonc-obsessed twenty-something who is fast finding out that the more she learns about the world, the less she understands. Its got a top score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Feel Good is a six-part semi-autobiographical sitcom by Canadian comedian Mae Martin. It centres around Mae and her relationship with new girlfriend George. It starts off with them in new relationship bliss before the realities of life start to kick in. George has never dated a woman before, and they actually know very little about each other. Because of Georges situation, shes frightened to introduce Mae to her family which causes even more rifts. We also learn that Mae is a recovering addict attending narcotics anonymous meetings.

It is available on 4OD in the UK and Netflix in the rest of the world.

This sci-fi comedy was first released on Netflix in 2018 and has a score of 100 per cent. The synopsis reads: The cult hit returns! Captured by mad scientists, new host Jonah survives a blitz of cheesy B movies by riffing on them with his funny robot pals.

Big Mouth is all about American teenagers going through puberty with a hormone monster. Which sounds weird, but its like a cartoon version of Sex Education on steroids. The series, which is rated at 100 percent, has a synopsis which says: Teenage friends find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty in this edgy comedy from real-life pals Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg.

The top rated, and therefore best, of all the Netflix Originals according to Rotten Tomatoes ratings is Master of None. This comedy features Aziz Ansari and was first released in 2015. It follows the personal and professional challenges that face a 30-year-old New York actor, whose trials range from the immigrant experience to what pasta he should eat for dinner.

See the full ranking of the best Netflix Originals according to Rotten Tomatoes here.

For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memeslike The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

You can only call yourself a real Netflix addict if you get 10/13 on this quiz

These 15 Netflix shows are perfect to watch whilst mostly looking at your phone

These 15 Netflix horror films are not for the faint hearted

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Best Netflix Originals series ranked by their Rotten Tomatoes rating - The Tab

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April 10th, 2020 at 2:48 am

Sheela from Netflixs Wild Wild Country: Where is she now? – Reality Titbit – Celebrity TV News

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Filiz Mustafa Staff Writer

Filiz is a film and TV journalist with a flair for everything related to reality soaps and showbiz. When she's not busy creating entertainment news content she loves spending time in nature, reading non-fiction books, eating comfort food and travelling.

Documentary shows have become very popular on Netflix now. From Tiger King to How to Fix a Drug Scandal, the streaming giant has added many docuseries to its growing collection.

The latest hit is Wild Wild Country, the gripping series about Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his assistant Ma Anand Sheela.

Netflix dropped the documentary back in 2018, but its trending on the streaming service again as many viewers search for quality and long-form TV content.

Heres everything you need to know about Ma Anand Sheela from the Netflix documentary.

Sheela from Wild Wild Country

Ma Anand Sheela was born in 1949 in Baroda, India. The 70-year-old served as a personal assistant to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the Rajneesh movement.

In 1981, Sheela moved to Wasco County, Oregon, where she continued to practice and spread the beliefs of the movement. There, Sheela was in charge of the so-called Rajneesh Foundation International, looking after business matters with Rajneesh and working as the spokesperson of the group.

However, a few years later Sheela was convicted for the attempted murder of 751 residents in Oregon which was also known as the Rajneeshee bioterror attack in 1984. At the time of writing, this remains the biggest ever biological attack in the US.

In 1986, Sheela pleaded guilty and received a 20-year-sentence. However, she spent only 3 years in prison and was released for good behaviour.

Sheela in Wild Wild Country

As revealed in the Netflix documentary, Sheela has lived in Switzerland for more than 20 years now.

After moving to Switzerland, Sheela married a Swiss man called Urs Birnsteil, whos a Rajneesh follower himself.

Sheela now lives in the countryside near Basel where she runs two nursing homes for old and disabled people with age-related diseases.

Its safe to say that after the likes of Tiger King, Wild Wild Country has become another favourite documentary for Netflix fans.

Some have claimed that they binge-watched the entire series and we can understand why.

@bigjimmurray skipped over Tiger King went right to Wild Wild Country.BLOWN AWAY by that entire series especially with the amount of footage they had from all the sides involved. The interviews were so good too & that Sheela is something else, great recommendation

licone (@aelicone) April 4, 2020

Im obsessed with Sheela. Anyone else?? (If you know, you know). *cough* WILD WILD COUNTRY*cough*

Yamile (@YamileSMendez) April 3, 2020

WATCH WILD WILD COUNTRY ON NETFLIX NOW

AND GET FREAKY WITH US ONINSTAGRAMANDFACEBOOK

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Sheela from Netflixs Wild Wild Country: Where is she now? - Reality Titbit - Celebrity TV News

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April 10th, 2020 at 2:48 am

Priyanka Chopra says husband Nick Jonas "is a version of my father" – harpersbazaar.com

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 2:47 pm


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Priyanka Chopra has compared Nick Jonas to her father as she opened up on their marriage and explained what attracted her to her pop-star husband.

The 37-year-old actress revealed that Jonas shares all of the positive attributes of her late father, Dr Ashok Chopra, as she made an appearance on Diane von Furstenberg's Spotify podcast InCharge with DVF.

"I always tell him that [he reminds me of my father]," Chopra disclosed. "I feel like my mother manifested him in my life. And you know, they always say that girls end up marrying someone who's like your father, and Nick is. He's someone whos the life of a party....

"He'll always have friends around him, he'll make people laugh, super thoughtful, conscientious, kind. I do feel like I ended up marrying a version of my dad."

Chopra - who famously has a tattoo of 'Daddy's lil girl' on her wrist - also revealed that her husband's attraction to her ambition makes their relationship powerful.

"I really feel like being with someone like my husband now, there's such an incredible power, and it's so attractive to me that he has nohe, he feels empowered when he sees me empowered," she explained.

"He'll stand on a carpet on the side and watch when theyre taking pictures. He'll, like, want to see things I've done. Like, he feels so proud. We wrote five things that we love about each other. And the first thing he said was, 'Your ambition'. I've never heard a guy say that."

Steve GranitzGetty Images

The couple first met in 2017 and were first pictured together on the Met Gala red carpet. Just three dates later, the couple got engaged.

Chopra has plenty of projects coming up. The Quantico star will play real-life bioterrorist Ma Anand Sheela - the righthand woman to Indian cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh - in an upcoming project from Rain Man director Barry Levinson. She will also star alongside Richard Madden in spy series Citadel, which will premiere on Amazon Prime.

Meanwhile, Chopra and Jonas were sending fans love and warm wishes as they self isolate in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Hi everyone, I know it's an unsure time for all of us," Jonas said in a video on Instagram. "Hope you're doing okay. Sending you positive vibes."

Chopra added: "Let's just take care of each other. I hope every is safe out there. Lots of love."

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Priyanka Chopra says husband Nick Jonas "is a version of my father" - harpersbazaar.com

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:47 pm

The 12 Best True-Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now – The New York Times

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It looks as if most of us are going to spend some time at home, and goodness knows diversions are welcome. Whatever it may say about these bleak times, true-crime documentaries (in feature film and series form) have proven among the most bingeable of entertainments, drawing us ever deeper into their webs of suspects, clues and whiteboards.

Netflix knows that a good plot twist or surprise witness keeps us from reaching for the remote, and the streaming service has filled its library accordingly. These are a few of its best offerings.

Stream it here.

Netflix had its first big nonfiction cultural touchstone in 2015 with this 10-part examination of the trials of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was released from prison after 18 years when DNA evidence cleared him of one murder, only to find himself back on trial two years later for another. The filmmakers access to many of the participants puts the viewer right in the middle of the engrossing trial, and their skill for constructing cliffhangers makes it hard to resist bingeing the entire thing. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

The most influential predecessor to Making a Murderer was most likely this Peabody Award-winning docu-series, which originally aired in eight parts on French and British television in 2004, with additional episodes added in 2013 and 2018. Covering the arrest and trial of the novelist Michael Peterson, accused of murdering his wife in December of 2001, it initially seems a fairly straightforward story; it turns out to be anything but. The director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade uses the expansive running time and his extensive access to Petersons attorneys to construct a detail-oriented account of how a defense is mounted and presented, and to delve into the fascinating contradictions of its enigmatic subject. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

The bizarre death of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man forced to rob a bank with a bomb attached to his body, is the focus of this 2018 four-parter from the directors Barbara Schroeder and Trey Borzillieri. The filmmakers immerse themselves in the criminal subculture of Erie, Penn., and find a colorful cast of characters there particularly Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, who may or may not be the mastermind of the title. Like many a good docu-series, it embraces the storys complexity, following the many strands, fake-outs and dead ends of this spider web of a crime, in which the actions and motivations of everyone (including the victim) are up for debate.

Stream it here.

Its not hard to anoint Errol Morris the godfather of contemporary true crime cinema, as his 1988 film The Thin Blue Line established so many of the genres conventions. If nothing else, it seemed like good manners for Netflix to invite the filmmaker to craft this masterful blend of documentary and drama, truth and fiction, fact and conjecture. Focusing on the apparent suicide of Frank Olson in 1953, a civilian scientist working for the U.S. Army, Morris investigates not only the event in question but also the cloudy circumstances surrounding its subsequent explanation all wrapped around the filmmakers conversations with Olsons son, who has spent most of his life trying to make sense of his fathers death. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

Many of the best true-crime documentaries have a pronounced truth is stranger than fiction element, but Skye Borgmans 2019 feature turns that aspect up to 11. It tells the story of Jan Broberg Felt, who was abducted by a neighbor and family friend, Robert Berchtold, when she was only 12 years old and then, improbably and inexplicably, abducted again several years later. It sounds impossible, but Borgman deftly demonstrates how her abductor exploited the trust of his community (and, shockingly, his proximity to her parents) for his nefarious purpose.

Stream it here.

When Alex Lewis was 18 years old, he woke from a coma with no memories at all, of his life or the people in it. He remembered only Marcus, his twin brother, who was left to fill in all of the gaps. But there is more to Alexs story than his brother told him childhood secrets and horrifying traumas, which he consciously chose to withhold. And given the choice, the director Ed Perkins asks, would you do the same? This gutting and powerful documentary reconstructs the real story of Alexs childhood as he discovers it, and in doing so, asks vital questions about the rose-colored glasses through which we consider our past and present. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

This seven-part series begins as an investigation into the savage murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, a half-century old Baltimore cold case that may implicate the police department, the local Archdiocese and the Catholic Church. But its not just another sprawling, shocking page-turner (though it is certainly that, and a gripping one to boot). The director Ryan Whites sensitive presentation and brilliant structure refuses to sensationalize the material, devoting long, haunting stretches of the series to victims trauma and institutional maleficence. It never lets the viewer forget about the human toll of this crime, and not just on the woman at its center. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

The events dramatized in the 2014 Oscar nominee Foxcatcher, and the actions of its central character, John du Pont, seemed so grotesque they almost had to be exaggerated. This bravura documentary account suggests, however, that the dramatists soft-balled the strangeness. The trove of news reports, home movies and self-produced infomercials presented here paint a fascinating picture of an unbalanced, paranoid danger, a ticking bomb that everyone around him pretended not to hear lest they risk losing access to his money and power. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

The stories of Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman, two teenage girls sexually assaulted by peers and then subjected to online harassment and worse, are paired and explored in this compelling 2016 indictment of technological apathy and rape culture. One story results in a suicide; the other ends in activism, and the directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk suggest that those wildly divergent outcomes have everything to do with communities in which young women like these are not to be believed, or even trusted. Its a powerful, infuriating work. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

This 2016 mystery takes a deep dive into the arrest and trial of Amanda Knox, an American student in Italy convicted of participating in her roommates murder. But the film is just as interested in the intense media scrutiny surrounding the case and in how the biases and excesses that informed that coverage may have filtered into the courtroom. And its no open-and-shut case; the filmmakers keep their subject an enigma and allow viewers to draw their own conclusions about who she is and what she knew. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

I tell people now, chuckles one of the residents of Antelope, Ore., and they still dont believe it. Its hard to blame them. Maclain and Chapman Ways six-part documentary expos of the guru known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the followers who took over that desert area in the early 1980s is a twisty, twisted tale of guns, sex, immigration fraud, wiretapping, mass food poisoning and attempted assassinations. Every new ripple is more jaw-dropping than the last. (Read the New York Times review.)

Stream it here.

Most true-crime documentaries traffic in so much death and unpleasantness, reveling in gory details and villainous sociopathy, that the notion of a feel good true-crime doc seems odd. But thats exactly what the director Jacob LaMendola got when he spun the yarn of Juan Catalan, arrested for a murder he didnt commit, whose alibi was unexpectedly confirmed by a Curb Your Enthusiasm location shoot. (Larry David himself appears to take some credit.) Catalans triumph is both thrilling and moving and the film runs an efficient 40 minutes, which makes it the perfect chaser to a daylong docu-series binge.

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The 12 Best True-Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now - The New York Times

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:47 pm

The best true crime shows on Netflix – PopBuzz

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23 March 2020, 15:18

From Abducted in Plain Sight to Tiger King and The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez, here's all the best true crime documentaries on Netflix.

At the moment, we're all sat at home asking ourselves the same question: What should I watch on Netflix now? Well, if you, like most of us, enjoy getting lost in a gripping, multi-episode true crime documentary series to pass the time, then boy does this streamer have a selection for you.

Whether it's murder, cults, cat-related crimes (both exotic and domestic) or some truly creepy mysterious unsolved disappearances, there's a true crime series out there for everyone.

READ MORE: The best Netflix TV shows to binge-watch while in coronavirus quarantine

From some of the world's most highly publicised cases like the disappearance of Madeleine McCann to the absolutely horrifying Don't F*ck With Cats, and the unbelievably shocking story behind Abducted In Plain Sight, here are some of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix...

Netflixs newest true crime documentary details the story of Joseph Maldonado-Passage (a.k.a. The Tiger King, Joe Exotic), who opened a roadside zoo of over 1,200 lions, tigers and bears, before it quickly spiralled out of control, leading to murder, drug rings, and a cult. Joe also had a long-running feud with animal activist Carole Baskin that resulted in him plotting to have her murdered.

From questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Carole's husband Don, to the absolutely savage threats made by the big cat breeders, Tiger King will keep blowing your mind, episode after episode.

READ MORE: Where is Joe Exotic from Tiger King now? Here's what happened to the big cat owner

The story of Aaron Hernandez is one of the most recent real life cases to be turned into a docu-series. Hernandez was a hugely successful American football player who played for the New England Patriots between 2010 and 2013. However, his career came to end after he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd. Killer Inside seeks to examine how the NFL star became a wanted criminal with in-depth interviews and never-before-seen footage.

READ MORE: Aaron Hernandez: The true story behind Killer Inside on Netflix

This one is not for the faint-hearted and definitely not one for cat lovers out there. Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer tells the unbelievable story of a group of internet detectives who help track down infamous cat killer, Luka Rocco Magnotta. Through the sounds, furnishings, and even appliances that could be identified in the brutal videos he posted, internet users were able to track down the killer, who would later go on to be convicted for the murder of Lin Jun in 2014.

READ MORE: Where is Luka Magnotta now? The Don't F**k With Cats killer is terrifying Netflix viewers

The story of Gabriel Fernandez is dark and incredibly harrowing. The docu-series follows the case of a then eight-year-old Gabriel who was brutally murdered by his parents in 2013. While the show looks into the cover up and gruesome beatings that led to his death, it's also about the entire system that failed the boy, including Child Protection Services, who had been involved with the family for a long time and are being blamed just as heavily as his parents for neglect.

READ MORE: Here's what happened to the social workers from The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez

In a shocking documentary full of twists and turns, Abducted In Plain Sight follows the strange kidnapping case of Jan Broberg, a teenager from Idaho who was abducted on more than one occasion by her neighbour Robert Berchtold in the 1970s. Entrapping the family in a web of lies and complicity, Berchtold managed to even convince the family to drop the criminal charges against him only to return and kidnap the teenager again.

The docu-series has been dubbed one of the best true crime series on Netflix. It's a must watch.

READ MORE: Abducted In Plain Sight viewers call Jan Broberg's mother and father the "worst parents of all time"

If you love cults, then this is series for you. In the 1980s, the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers (including the slightly terrifying and savage Ma Anand Sheela) move to Wasco County in Oregon to build their own community. But what begins as a story of tension between the new arrivals and locals soon escalates into a plot involving murder, assault, wiretapping, arson, immigration, fraud and biological warfare.

One of the US' most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy killed more than thirty women before being convicted in 1978. This four-part series pieces together archive footage and audio recordings of the killer made while he was on death row, talking about his life and motives. Warning: do not watch The Ted Bundy Tapes alone.

READ MORE: Netflix is warning people not to watch terrifying 'Ted Bundy Tapes' documentary alone

The Staircase follows the story of novelist Michael Petersons wife who died in 2001. He claimed she died after falling down the stairs in their house, but investigators in the case turned the death into a murder trial after they decided she was actually beaten to death by her husband. First released as an eight-part episode series in 2004 and then followed up with sequels in 2013 and 2018, The Staircase will have you wondering whether Peterson was guilty or not.

READ MORE: Netflix's The Staircase has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

This chilling series dives into the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a nun and high school teacher in Baltimore. After going missing in November 1969, her body was found two months later and to this day, the killer has never been found. Things get even more shocking when some of the teachers former students come forward with potential evidence that the case was a cover up by the authorities after Cathy suspected a priest at the school was guilty of abuse.

Featuring interviews with Amanda Knox, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and other people involved in the case, this documentary looks into the murder of Knoxs flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007. Knox was convicted of murder and spent four years in an Italian prison before being acquitted in 2015 but some still think shes guilty of the crime.

In 1996, six-year-old child beauty pageant queen JonBent was found murdered in her family home in Colorado. This documentary takes an unconventional approach to exploring the crime by documenting the casting process for a film, where various actors are interviewed and tested for the roles of real people involved in the case. Rather than simply documenting the crime, this film explores how the events have turned into a pop culture obsession and conspiracy.

When three-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing from a hotel room while on holiday with her parents in Portugal in 2007, it quickly became one of the most high-profile cases of a missing child of all time. This documentary analyses the case in huge detail, featuring 40 experts and key figures involved in the mystery and goes over a number of theories behind what happened to Madeleine.

In one of the most chilling docu-series that Netflix has to offer, I Am A Killer gives voices to the people behind bars who have committed murder. The series features interviews with prisoners who are on death row, where they explain what they did to end up there.

READ MORE: People are freaking out about Netflixs "intense" new true crime series I Am A Killer

Killer Ratings tells the true-life story of a Brazilian TV host and politician Wallace Souza, who was accused of literally killing for ratings and using his show to cover up the truth. Sounds made up, doesn't it? The docu-series presents testimonies and stories from people who worked on the show as well as the authorities who worked on the case, relatives and acquaintances.

READ MORE: Netflix's new true crime series 'Killer Ratings' has been called "horrifying and insane"

This docu-series focuses on serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, who admitted to over 200 unsolved murders all over the US. His confession made him the most prolific serial killer of the 20th century. However, it turned out that his confessions were all lies and authorities didn't realise until years later meaning countless unsolved murder cases had been closed, when they should still be open.

Ahhh, the one that started Netflix's true crime craze. Making A Murderer follows Steven Avery as he attempts to clear his name over two ten-episode long series. Avery was released from prison after two decades serving time for a crime he didnt commit, only to soon be convicted of the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teressa Halbach. Things get more confusing when Stevens nephew Brendan Dassey is accused of assisting in the murder, despite potentially being coerced into confessing.

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The best true crime shows on Netflix - PopBuzz

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:47 pm


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