Netflix’s New True Crime Series Is Based On A Shocking Rape Investigation

Maxwell JonesMaxwell Jones in Entertainment, Netflix
Published 10.09.19
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After the turbulent success of true time shows like Mindhunter and Making a Murderer, an intense new true crime series is starting on Netflix this Friday, focusing not on murder, but on one of the most pressing crimes of modern day society.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning report An Unbelievable Story of Rape, the show revolves around 18-year-old Marie (played by Kaitlyn Dever of Booksmart fame), a teenager who was charged with lying about being raped and the two female detectives assigned to the case, one played by Oscar winner Toni Collette and Emmy winner Merritt Wever in what looks to be something of a real-life True Detective.

What is Netflix’s Unbelievable about?

The show will be an interesting turn from the murder-dominated crime genre, taking on the more topical and equally heinous crime of sexual assault, using the medium of a real-life cases as a window into the processes of the investigation and the aftermath of the crime, with a particular focus on how victims can often be disbelieved and demonised by the police and press.

According to synopses released by Netflix, the show begins with Marie reporting that an intruder broke into her home at night, blindfolding her and violently raping her at knifepoint. But when her foster parents, ex-boyfriend and the male detectives assigned to the case doubt the credibility of her story, the girl begins to doubt herself as well.

After all, there were no marks found on her body, no signs of forced entry in the house and an unlikely scenario of her being incapacitated with shoelaces alone, which makes everyone wonder if she just dreamt the whole thing.

The cops put pressure on Marie to withdraw her allegations, which costs her the sum of $500, while the local press demonises her as a liar and attention seeker, but two years later the case is reopened by the two female detectives after they begin investigating another series of apparently unconnected assaults.

After identifying the modus operandi of the attacker – single women living alone, with the rapists making their victims shower, brush their teeth and taking the bed sheets with them after the attack so as to remove all traces of DNA – the two detectives deduce that Marie’s attacker is a calculated rapist with detailed knowledge of how to get away with his crimes.

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When is Netflix’s Unbelievable out?

All eight episodes of Unbelievable will be available on Netffix on Friday 13 September.

The show has already gained widespread acclaim, with Vulture writing:

“Unbelievable, one of the best crime dramas in recent memory and one of the best shows of 2019, takes an approach that is rare for the genre.”

I know what you’re thinking. Sounds like a great idea for a thriller, but just remember it’s a true story

Images via Netflix

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