Netflix has a penchant for making great true crime documentaries, which are well researched and well-narrated, enough to keep the viewers hooked. The latest addition, ‘Who Killed Little Gregory?‘, just goes to prove the point. The miniseries has five episodes, which are about an hour-long, making it perfect for a binge-watch. Apart from the technical structure of the show, the narrative is also designed in a way that each episode ends in a cliffhanger, to keep you going to the next episode, trying to get to the bottom of who might have killed Gregory Villemin.
The case is brought back into the spotlight from 1984 when the murder of the four-year-old took place. To this day, it remains unsolved and has baffled some of the best minds that have worked on the case. In the meanwhile, several suspects have been brought in- some of them were smart arrests, and some were outright bizarre. The story has devolved into one of immense grief and vengeance, a chronicling of how a family falls apart in the face of tragedy.
Right from the start, ‘Who Killed Little Gregory?’ decides to progress chronologically, which is a smart move, as the old case might not be at the forefront of everyone’s memories despite having recent developments. It brings back the incidents from 1984 and carefully places them out in front of us. Gregory’s murder becomes the jumping point into the Villemin family, and gradually the series unravels the various family secrets and ugly truths. By way of a little necessary backstory, we are introduced to the character of Le Corbeau or the Crow. This was the name the Villemin family gave to the anonymous person who tormented them with their family secrets, either via letters or over the phone.
The series is careful to almost induce a touch of the supernatural in the way Le Corbeau operates. However, we are brought to the shocking reality for the first time when idle threats turn to the murder of an innocent boy. Hereon, the narrative is wonderfully presented. Being a complex case, which turned into a media circus, the series rightly assumes that multiple perspectives will help us capture the story better. Thus we have Jean Ker, a photojournalist with Paris-Match, who was sent to cover the murder. He ended up growing somewhat close to the Villemin family. Other people were interviewed including Sesmat, who was the chief of police at that time, handling the case. Laroche, one of the suspects who was killed, is spoken for by the lawyer who represented him.
From all their accounts, a story begins to emerge, and every episode makes you rethink about your conclusion about who might have really killed Gregory. The almost real-time storytelling takes viewers through the sensational way the case unfolded, so we are left to draw our conclusions about whether there was a shortcoming on part of the investigators or the judges in letting the killer escape punishment. Coupled with the interviews is, of course, archival footage, which proves how widely the Gregory Villemin case was covered by the media. The funeral for the little boy, the various court appearances, are all open for everyone to see.
Ultimately, ‘Who Killed Little Gregory?’ follows the same formula as other popular true crime shows, like ‘Making a Murderer‘. That being said, it has all the right ingredients to become a success. It has an ordinary family victimized by an extraordinary crime. There are elements of revenge, jealousy, family feuds, and secrets. At the end of the day, you walk away with the feeling that the entire Villemin clan has something or the other that they are hiding, and you simply do not know which way to turn. Obviously, since no killer has been caught, ‘Who Killed Little Gregory?’ encourages viewers to do their bit of amateur sleuthing, increasing the degree of interactiveness of the show. In conclusion, this series is a must-see, if you love true crime tales, and fancy yourself somewhat of a detective. Facts and accounts are placed in front of you meticulously, as viewers are met with the impenetrability of the case that has remained unsolved to date.
Read More: Who Killed Gregory Villemin?