In the latest crime documentary to hit Netflix, Why Did You Kill Me? follows the investigation into the murder in 2006 murder of Crystal Theobold. What makes this particular crime interesting, beyond being profoundly sad, is the lengths her family went to track down her killer.
It was a normal night in South California. Belinda Theobald got into the car with her son and daughter and as they reached the top of their street a man on the corner pulled out a gun and started shooting. A bullet caught a 24-year-old in the back of the next and despite all best attempts to save her, she sadly died.
Homicide detectives quickly reached the point where they had run out of leads. However, rumours circulated that the shooting was gang-related. The local 5150 gang were the top suspects but with no way of finding out who did it, the Theobalds turned to the internet.
At the time, MySpace was all the rage with teens and 14-year-old cousin Jaimie decided she could figure out who did it. Creating a fake profile, she befriended as many of the 5150 as possible but nothing much came of it.
With mother Belinda spiraling and desperate, they decided to create a profile using Crystal's picture. They called her Angel and by pretending to be her, ultimately lured in one of the guys responsible. But they still didn't have the shooter.
Why Did You Kill Me? isn't just about how MySpace was used to find the killer. It manages to speak to nearly everybody involved, including former gang members and digs a little deeper into the miserable world that some of these kids grew up in before turning to the gangs. And to be fair, the Theoboalds were no strangers to crime and drugs – which they readily admit, and is quite obvious.
It's tragic on multiple levels and really makes you think about the impact of terrible parenting and its real-world long term consequences. And honestly, some may identify with Belinda Theobald's sheer will and drive to find her daughter's killer, however bizarre her methods may seem in hindsight. Worth watching but more depressing than insightful.