Netflix True Crime finds that sometimes you run into some really good Netflix true crime series not from the U.S. The Investigator: A British Crime Story is just that. To say that former detective and investigative journalist Mark William-Thomas is the star here isn’t entirely accurate. He assists heavily in pushing these cases forward through his and the team’s investigations.
The real stars here are the victims and their loved ones who reached out to Williams-Thomas. There are two seasons to The Investigator. The two cases presented are pretty much what would be cold cases in U.S shows. Of the two seasons, the first one has the most twists and developments. Focusing on the disappearance of Carole Packman in 1985, as the four episodes go on things just get worse and worse.
Netflix True Crime: The Carole Packman Case
Veronica “Carole” Packman was a 40-year-old housewife living with her husband Russell and daughter Sam. She was described as a beautiful, friendly woman who carried herself in a way that would’ve attracted people. Russell Causely worked outside of the house and was considered to be social, jovial, and someone people gravitated to.
The couple resided in Bournemouth, a Dorset County town in southern England. There was another side of Russell. He was egotistical, vain, and controlling. The almost doll-like appearance Carole had was partially due to Russell being so hands-on with how she fixed herself up.
Russell was also known for his dalliances outside of the marriage. He would eventually move his mistress Patricia Causley into the family home as a guest. Sam, the couple’s daughter would be put off by the new arrangement as would Carole. Patricia shared a room with Sam and would sneak off after she figured Sam slept for some late-night creeping with Russell.
When Sam starts to warm up to Patricia, Carole’s relationship with everyone in the house begins to sour. Eventually, Sam would tell her mother about Russell and Patricia and evoke her father’s wrath.
Fast-forward a few months and Carole turns up missing in 1985. A note is left saying that she had enough of what’s going on and that she is leaving. This is where season one of The Investigator really kicks into high gear.
Netflix True Crime: The Investigator Season 1
This is a Simon Cowell production which came to be after viewing HBO true crime doc The Jinx. It mixes in dramatizations of past events to make the story pop but also includes interviews with friends and co-workers of Carole and Russell. Sam also drives the series as she recollects their home life, the first effort to find her mother, and just wanting to find her now that she’s a mother herself with an adult son who never met his grandmother.
Her son’s situation is similar to her own as there was a period where she never met her own grandparents. This is all down to Russell’s controlling nature. The Investigator touches on all of this while following up on leads that have gone cold for decades. Just like any good true crime docu-series, this first season continues to open up with each part.
Netflix True Crime: Verdict: 9.5/10
What an incredible first season this was! Mark Williams-Thomas was relentless in finding clues that might lead to new developments and was successful several times. What also helped this first season is going with one of the biggest cases in British history right out the gate and sticking with it for the first season.
This could’ve easily ended up as one of those case-per-episode shows if not for the influence of The Jinx. I definitely recommend you check out the first season of The Investigators!