Netflix’s The Confession Tapes [Documentary Review]

www.netflix.comTHE BASIS OF THE CONFESSION TAPES

Netflix’s The Confession Tapes takes a look at seven cases in which suspects were interrogated until they confess to the crime. But the confessions do not come easy, nor are they valid.  Most of these suspect(s) have been in the interrogation room up to 10 hours, if not more.  And all of these interrogations are done without a lawyer present, or a parent if the suspect is a minor. This is how the police get you. But the one thing missing from this documentary is the Miranda Rights being read to the suspects. Especially the part about having a lawyer present.

10 PLUS HOURS

Night time seems to be the time interrogations take place. At least on this show. They start at night and end in the early mornings. By the time they end, the suspect has confessed to a crime they didn’t commit. Why? Because they just want to get it over with. They are being led to believe if they tell what happened they will be able to leave or their sentence will be light. Depriving someone of sleep is a great tactic to get anyone to confess to anything. Slowly moving your chair to where you are now in someone face will produce the same thing.

EPISODES AND OUTCOMES

Each episode focuses on a crime from beginning to end. From the victim to the arrest, the supposed confession, the trial and the eventual conviction of the suspect.

The first and second episode titled focuses on the murder of a family (mother, father, and sister) in which the son and his friend are suspected of committing the crime. The crime was committed in Canada in the mid-80’s. During that time to obtain a confession out of someone was done by any means necessary, even under false pretenses. Since then, Canada has made it illegal to get a confession under false pretenses.

TELL ME YOUR SINS

One of the suspects in the killing named Glen Burns is approached by an undercover cop who presents himself as a mobster type person. This cop knows that Burns is a cocky person as well as being greedy, and he plays on this. The cop convinces Burns he’s a big-time gangster and asks if Burns wants in on a large take, to which Burns agrees. Fast-forward to a hotel room in which the undercover cop wants Burns to tell him something illegal he’s done. This is to make Burns seem trustworthy to the undercover cop.

After some time Burns starts talking about the murder of Rafays. Mind you, the undercover cop is trying to act like a tough guy by talking tough and using the F word every two seconds. He’s also trying to drag information out of Burns. After sometimes, he finally gets the full confession. But now he needs the song, Atif Rafay to confess to the crime as well. And he succeeds. All of this is caught on camera that is hidden in the hotel room. It’s been seven years since the murders and finally, Burns and Rafay have been caught.

FROM CONFESSIONS TO CONVICTIONS

Glen Burn and Atil Rafay

The confessions are played in court. Burns feels they have wrongly been accused of a crime and arrogantly states that in court. Rafay, on the other hand, is remorseful for his actions. Both get life in prison. But there’s a third party involved (not in the murders but having information about the murder due to Burns being narcissistic) that becomes the prosecutor’s star witness.  The witness had since moved to Japan to separate himself from the boys, but he’s coerced into returning to testify against Burns and Rafay.

ONE OF MANY

Episodes 1 and 2 show one tactic the police use to get a confession out of someone. This time, the suspects were actually guilty. But what if the suspect is not guilty and they have told you over and over again they are innocent? What do you do to get a confession out of them? Well, you interrogate them for 10 or more hours. You plant seeds in their heads by putting them at the scene of the crime or giving them the motive to kill.

In each episode, we told how the victim died. Then we are introduced to the suspect or suspects in the crime. Afterwards, we are taken through the crime itself and how the suspect or suspects came to be. It’s after the reveal of the suspect or suspects the confession tape part of the show begins.

Some are held in interrogation rooms for up to 10 hours or more in which they are professing their innocence. One is a mother who is being accused of setting her 14-year-old daughter on fire. Another is a man accused of killing his girlfriend and the evidence the police have is a strand of his hair in her hand. And there are the seventeen young men accused of beating, and robbing, a 48-year-old woman, while one sodomised her with a foot long pole in the episode titled 8th and H. The episode reminded me of The Central Park Five.  The only difference is the arrests weren’t racially motivated, but everything else was similar.

MY TAKE AWAY

I like The Confession Tapes. It reminds of Making A Murderer.  It explores the crimes and gives a good insight into the victim as well as the accused through family and friends. The show also explorers how innocent people or those presumed to be innocent are forced into confessions.  I hope this series wakes people up to the tactics used by law enforcement to have others confess to crimes they didn’t commit so the department can reach their quota or solve a crime quickly to make the townspeople happy. Or in the case of The West Memphis Three, how an upcoming election played a part in getting three boys convicted a crime they didn’t commit. However, some feel the boys, now men, are guilty of the crime. Read the full story here. 

I really enjoy the show and look forward to another season of The Confessions Tapes.

If you’ve seen the documentary share your thoughts in the comment section.

Gerald’s Game [Movie Review]

IF IT WASN’T FOR THE MOVIES…

If it wasn’t for the movies, I wouldn’t know who Stephen King is. I absolutely love the movies made from his books books from ChristineStand By Me, MiseryShawshank Redemption, and definitely Carrie. The only movie I didn’t care for is It. 

Now I can add another King novel turned into a movie to my list of likes and that’s Gerald’s Game.

GERALD’S GAME IS JESSE’S GAME

Gerald and Jessie head to a friend’s vacation house in the middle of nowhere to try to save their marriage by adding a little spice to their sex life. When Gerald dies and Jessie is left handcuffed to the bed, it’s Jesse who needs saving. Not just her life, but her mind and definitely her soul.

 

DELUSIONS OR ILLUSIONS

While Jessie is handcuffed to the bed, she begins having conversations with her dead husband as well as herself. There is also unwelcome guests that show up here and there and Jessie begins to wonder if these people are part of her delusion as well. We also have the dog that is there throughout the time of Jessie’s delusions or illusions. It depends on how you see it.

Through these incidents we learn a lot about Jessie. Through Jessie’s backstory we come to the conclusion the handcuffs are not only physical torments for her but also a symbols of her past, which she has carried her entire life. The handcuffs were not only a symbol, they were also another character in the movie as was the bed, and the slip she’s wearing. But the main symbol in the movie is her being stuck in a place in which she can call out for help all she wants, but no one will hear her.

IT WOULDN’T BE A STEPHEN KING MOVIE IF…

It wouldn’t be a Stephen King movie it there wasn’t some disturbing gory scene within the movie. Although brief, it will have you squirming and groaning with pain as you’re watching. I personally found this to be a symbol as well. Not the squirming and groaning by the viewer, but what actions Jessie had to take. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this movie. I will be watching it a few more times for I feel I will find something new each time I watch it.

Everyone on this planet should watch the movie. You don’t have to be a Stephen King fan to enjoy the movie. I’m not a fan of his writing but enjoy the movie adaptations of his books. And as mentioned, this has been added to my favorite King books made into a movie.

___________________________________

GERALD’S GAME
Starring
: Carla Gugino (The WatchmenSin City); Bruce Greenwood (Knots LandingI, RobotAmerican Dad)
Written By: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (based on the Stephen King novel)
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Release Date: 29 September 2017
Country: 
United States
Location: Mobile, Alabama
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoe Rating: 91%

Current Streaming on Netflix

TRIVIA

There are a number of references to previous King novels/movies within this movie:

  • Gerald refers to the stray dog as Cujo
  • Gerald says the line: “all things serve the beam” – Dark Towers reference
  • Jessie describes a woman looking over a well (a dream she had) – this is a reference to Delores Clairborn
  • Jessie describes a man with a bag of bones – Bag of Bones is another Stephen King novel