American Murder: The Family Next Door tells the story of Chris Watts, a seemingly “normal” husband who murdered his wife and their two young daughters. True crime news in general has been saturated with the case, since there is police body cam footage of Chris being confronted by a neighbor who caught Chris moving his wife’s body on the neighbor’s Ring camera. The footage is beyond eerie and unsettling and makes me, more than ever, want to understand how someone could do something so inhumane.
True Crime readers who have been following this case from the beginning say the documentary is pretty good, but that there are better documentaries that have already been made by YouTube content creators. Here are their recommendations:
Bailey Sarian is a true crime YouTuber who does a weekly show every Monday. The shows are all discussion as she does her makeup while giving an in-depth talk about a different case each week. Her Watts Family episode goes over a 2,000 page discovery document. It’s very approachable as she discusses the case in terms lay people will understand.
Some other favs from Bailey’s channel:
Mike from That Chapter focuses on “unsolved mystery, creepy, conspiracy videos” but he still tackled the (solved) case of the Watts family because it’s just that creepy. Fans like his videos because they tend to be short (usually around 25 minutes) so if you need a simple introduction to any case, it’s a good place to start. He also has an awesome Irish accent, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Some other favs from That Chapter’s channel:
Jim Can’t Swim
This channel explores one of my favorite topics — the psychology of why seemingly normal people do bad things. In the Watt’s case with so much footage of Chris Watts lying and talking to police and neighbors, there is a huge volume of information to go over. What are his tells? What can we learn from the way Watts acts now that we know he was covering up his crimes the whole time? If you’re interested in behavioral science and enjoy shows like Criminal Minds and Mindhunter, you’ll LOVE this channel.
Some other favs from the JCS channel:
Stephanie has a few different shows like “Coffee and Crime Time” and “Mystery Monday”. They are discussion oriented shows that are good for people who want real conversations about true crime cases. She exemplifies what’s great about the YouTube true crime community — the get to ditch the traditional news media model of talking about crime and be more authentic with their coverage. If you don’t have friends in your real life that love true crime, this is a good channel for you.
Some other favs from Stephanie’s channel: