Netflix’s documentary series ‘Crime Stories: India Detectives’ presents to viewers a never-seen-before exploration of the gritty and time-sensitive manner in which the Bengaluru City Police investigates major crimes. Directed by Jack Warrender and N Amit, it delves into four real crimes that shocked the city and highlights the emotional toll of crime-solving. Since the docuseries features grim visuals and follows the actual members of the Bengaluru police department as they solve crimes, many viewers wonder how much of it is real. We’ve got the answers right here for you.
Is Crime Stories: India Detectives Based on a True Story?
Yes, ‘Crime Stories: India Detectives’ is based on a true story. In fact, it is based on four true stories. While making the documentary series, the production team followed the Bengaluru police in real-time as they tackled four of the city’s most harrowing crimes between 2018 and 2020, revealed N Shashi Kumar, Police Commissioner of Mangaluru and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru North.
The first episode, titled ‘A Murdered Mother,’ is based on a murder that occurred in Krishnarajapura, commonly known as KR Puram, in Karnataka, on February 3, 2020. Nirmala, a 54-year-old, was reportedly stabbed and bludgeoned to death by her 33-year-old daughter Amrutha Chandrashekar. Amrutha, a software engineer, also admitted to attacking her 31-year-old brother before fleeing the house. As per her own admission on the show, depression and mounting debt drove Amrutha to perpetrate the heinous crime.
The second episode, titled ‘Body In a Bag,’ delves into the murder of 31-year-old cab driver Santhosh K., who was found dead in a gunnysack on November 15, 2019, near Nandini Layout in west Bengaluru. In the episode, the police discover that Santhosh had been extorting and harassing a couple, Manju and Savithri. According to the authorities, when he threatened to leak private videos of the couple (recorded without their knowledge) and allegedly sexually harassed Savithri when not given the demanded amount of Rs 300,000, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands. Santhosh was murdered with an ax, and the couple moved his body in Manju’s autorickshaw.
The third episode, titled ‘Dying for Protection,’ revolves around the murder of 42-year-old Manjula that took place on January 11, 2020, in Gayathrinagar, Bengaluru. A sex worker, Manjula was the sole provider for her son Bhanuprakash. She had been found in her bedroom with her throat slit. In the episode, shocking details of the cause of the murder are pieced together by the police from accounts of her associates, CCTV footage, and Manjula’s own diary. Upon investigation, it is found that her alcoholic and estranged husband had forced her into sex work, allegedly returning to murder her. The police ultimately charged the husband Mukunda with Manjula’s murder.
The fourth episode, titled ‘The Stolen Baby,’ focuses on the kidnapping of a 19-month old baby from a family living homeless under the Hebbal Flyover. The baby’s parents, balloon-sellers Arjun and Maramma, claim that a man named David had stolen their child while they had been asleep. The police explore the possibilities of an occult sacrifice and even begin to suspect the father, Arjun. Ultimately, David is arrested for conspiring with other parties to kidnap the baby. The episode marks the only unsolved case in the docuseries, as the baby has still not been found.
The docuseries also offers insight into the lives of the police officers themselves, including woman sub-inspectors named Latha Mahesh and Roopa K. S., who talk about the challenging and sexist environment of their profession. The direct interactions with the accused as well as the victims’ families allow viewers to see both sides of the story. Drone shots of the city and a thorough exploration of the police stations, control rooms, and scenes of crime allow the viewer to truly experience the dark side of Bengaluru and the people who fight to keep it safe.
The end of each episode in ‘Crime Stories: India Detective’ dives straight into the next crime to be investigated, highlighting the round-the-clock nature of the police’s job. With visuals from leading news channels, coverage of press meets, interviews with the accused, and a glimpse into the personal lives of the police officers, the docuseries thoroughly puts together the information needed to understand the nature and gravity of the crime as well as the crime-solving.
While shows like ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Delhi Crime’ are excellent fictional takes on real crimes, ‘Crime Stories: India Detective’ offers a rare peek into the real-time workings of the police department. The docuseries, which primarily features Kannada-speaking individuals and has subtitles, also marks Netflix’s deeper foray into Kannada-based content. ‘Crime Stories: India Detective’ is thus a grim and brutally honest exploration of the real crimes that take place in the Silicon Valley of India — Bengaluru.
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