The Last Defense – Hulu | Yahoo View | ABC
Executive produced by the one-and-only Viola Davis, The Last Defense is a new ABC show that aims to highlight death row cases that may not be all that they seem. The first tragic tale comes out of Texas circa 1996, in which a young and beautiful Dallas housewife is accused of killing her two young sons while her unsuspecting husband and infant slept soundly upstairs.
Darlie Routier and her family maintained her innocence throughout her trial and conviction, sticking to the same story she told police: that a single intruder came into her home and stabbed her two boys and herself. While Darlie was able to survive her wounds, her sons were not as fortunate. The authorities, however, believed the evidence did not support her version of events. In the end, she was arrested, tried, and sentenced to die. But was she really guilty?
Watch this… if you cried real tears for John Coffey in The Green Mile and Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. Basically, watch The Last Defense if you’re interested in a more “ready-for-prime-time” exploration of cases where people may have been falsely sentenced to death.
The Staircase – Netflix
Germany, 1985: Elizabeth Ratliff, a mother of two, falls down a flight of stairs to her death. Her friend, novelist Michael Peterson was the last person to see her alive. Her death was ruled an accident and Peterson eventually adopted her daughters, raising them as his own. Then in 2001, Peterson’s own wife, Kathleen, died in an eerily similar accident. This time, however, authorities believed that Kathleen suffered wounds inconsistent with a fall down the stairs.
Coincidence? Or murder? This 2004 documentary series explores this question, and now in 2018, Netflix has produced three new episodes with even more information about this truly intriguing case.
Watch this… if crime documentaries are your idea of a good time. If you’re like me who will never ever get sick of this genre, then both The Last Defense and The Staircase will be right up your alley.