THE CONFESSION TAPES: Should You Watch It?

By Shannon Matthews - January 19, 2018



Netflix is huge and one of it's strongest assets is its huge library of Netflix Originals which offer a unique experience to the viewer by being exclusively available on Netflix. Alongside great dramas and movies, there is also a wealth of documentary content to explore. One such series is “The Confession Tapes". In its essence, The Confession Tapes is a collection of stories which present the possibility innocent people that have been j correctly convicted of crimes they may not have actually committed.


I was hooked within about 3 minutes of the first episode. As with “Making a Murderer", a series which explores the trial and conviction of a man who is potentially wrongly convicted of a murder, the series uses interviews of past and present as well as news articles, accounts and footage from the trials and interrogations in order to paint the picture and present the cases. Pretty brutally, the opening episode looks at the story of a young man who, with his best friend, report a break into the police which has led to the murder of his entire family. It's documented that throughout the initial investigation and forensic examinations the police were unable to get a strong lead and the case remained a mystery.


As the story unfolds, the young man uses his family's life insurance to start living extravagantly and is shown to be driving around the city in a flashy car and this flags up to the police who then begin to treat him, and his friend, as a suspect. This is where it gets really interesting, for me anyway, as you are then introduced to footage of an entrapment technique called “Mr. Big". Effectively, the Canadian police force employ trained actors to pose as gangsters and introduce them to the young man's friend; he was seen as the more impressionable target. Over the course of several months the “gangsters” use intimidating language, they speak about violence as being an okay way to achieve the desired result and start to convince the friend that, even if he didn't commit the murder, the police will pin it on him if they find any evidence of him being there and that they will help to remove this. Eventually, they push him into a confession and end up dragging the young man who lost his family into the scenario and even their friends. It's quite shocking and initially made quite angry.


The series follows several cases and they all follow the same general pattern; a brief I production of the incident, they introduce the relationship between the victim and the accused and they proceed to document how everything unfolds beyond that point and ultimately how the confession is brought to - often after 8+ hours of intense interrogation.

It's all very convincing but I do have one gripe with it. As with “Making a Murderer", the show misses out any convicting evidence and plays on the fact that you'll believe the accused to be innocent. It's obvious why they do this as it's likely to get an audience more riled up and emotionally involved but it certainly needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. That being said, it's very interesting and I will see out the series. If you like real life stories and have an interest in law and order and the judicial system works; it's flawed, it's strengths, it's inadequacies then I couldn't recommend a better show on Netflix right now.

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