But with the release of Netflix’s new chilling true crime doc ‘Dream/Killer‘ comes the scary realisation that any of your odd dreams could get someone thrown in prison.
Apologies to all the random people my brain has made to chase me through a haunted hospital – you’re all going straight to jail.
Alongside recent hits such as “The Devil Next Door”, and “The Confession Killer”, this newest addition promises that Netflix have well and truly jumped aboard the true crime train.
The documentary follows the story of a father’s relentless journey to free his son accused of murder, Ryan Ferguson, from a 40-year-sentence.
Although, this is no standard case. Differing from similar premised documentaries such as the blockbuster ‘Making a Murderer’, Ferguson’s imprisonment is based in even more tenuous evidence – someone else’s dream.
After the 2001 murder of a man, Kent Heitholt, who was found dead in his work car park strangled to death with his own belt, police were struggling to close the only unsolved murder in the city at the time.
But two years later, the case was renewed with an anonymous tip-off. Hinting towards a man named Charles “Chuck” Erickson, the source encouraged law enforcement to his whereabouts on the night of the murder.
Chuck Erickson, and his friend Ryan Ferguson, attended a number of Halloween parties the night-of, and were taking drugs when they met at 10:30pm.
When interrogated, Erickson said he was unsure whether he remembered killing Heitholt in a dream, or if it was reality.
“I didn’t know if it was memory, or if it was a dream. I assumed that if I’d done it, Ryan and I did it to get more money for drinks”, he reported when questioned on his confession.
On one occasion, in an interrogation, Ferguson was told his friend had provided information that had never been released to the press.
So based on a 2-year-old drugged-up memory, the police said his statements incriminated himself and Ryan, and we charged with murder in the first and second degree.
Alongside Kathleen Zellner, the lawyer famous for her work in the ‘Making a Murderer’ case, Bill Ferguson began his own amateur investigation to free his son.
Fighting against a prosecution relying on the dream testimony of Erickson, who talked of memories that have come to him since talking to the police, his obsession leads to holes in the evidence.
The documentary uses archival footage from the point at which Ryan was arrested, to the interviews with him in prison, to the court hearings. Each piece of evidence reveals the flaws, and strengths, of the American judicial system, and how easily it can be influenced.
Released on the streaming service yesterday (November 20th), you don’t even have to wait.
Already, people are flocking to Twitter to praise the documentary.
One person said: “Just finished watching! Excellent! They messed with the wrong father, who was fortunate to find the best lawyer!”
“I have told people about this very engaging film.” another shared. “Always the same – yes it is a documentary…but so moving. Very worthy watch that is both educational and enjoyable to watch!”
A third said: “Dream/Killer is by far, one of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched.”
This is a must-see.
Currently attempting to survive as a part-time writer, full-time incompetent adult, Sarah O'Neill can often be found writing about how much she hates the new seasons of Arrested Development. She does her best writing under pressure and her worst writing under pressure, and hopes one day to write under better conditions. Like by the sea. You can contact Sarah at email@example.comFollow