I'm Ms. Tardy to the Party. I'm writing this here because when I talked to BF/FB, he said I was getting too worked up and rung off. I was watching while cleaning a bunch of stuff in the office, so maybe I missed some stuff, but there are some real issues here with sexism and white privilege. My main problem was the treatment of Kathie Durst. I know that losing sight of the victim is a hazard of crime drama, but I came away feeling that one of the things that Jarecki and Durst had in common is that they both found her completely uninteresting. Here's a woman who moves to another state with a guy she had met twice, lives somewhat of a double life as a med student and a wife and all I get from this documentary was that she was smart and beautiful. Boy was she beautiful. I don't even think I learned what she planned to do after medical school. That close to finishing, she surely had a speciality in mind. Did I mention she was beautiful? In Ep 5, it seems clear that the NYPD was taking its cues from the Durst family, but that it was so easy for that detective to say (multiple times) that it was probably that she was a woman sick of her marriage who just left. Would that excuse ever have stuck with a man that close to finishing Medical school? I know that this is part-biopic, but it feels like the series managed to disappear the first victim all over again. Even the readings from her diary felt very mechanical. She was 19 when she met him and I believe 29 at the end. People change a lot in those years.
And stop reading now if you are sick of talking about race. It almost makes me sick to see how much sympathy was being poured over this guy —in Galveston and by the filmmaker—at least until evidence of guilt was rubbed up in his face. At the very least, he was an abusive husband who forced his wife to get an abortion (although he was certainly right he should not have been around children), AND CUT UP A MAN. That doesn't make him a murderer, but it certainly makes him one of the creepiest people around. He was clearly damaged by his family and his childhood, but don't for one second imagine that an equally damaged black man would get that much empathy and identification. I know he is rich and had some damn good lawyers, but I still believe his being a little, weird white guy was part of their leverage. Children living in major poverty live with more stress and violence than he and this is rarely taken into account if they are lucky enough to end up in the judicial system, instead of being shot on sight.
I get it, true crime and odd, possibly brilliant criminals have held fascination for us since there was media, but a lot of this just sat wrong with me even as I am happy to talk about the blinking, the burping, the dogs, the shark eyes and the bathroom talking.