As I laid idly in bed this Saturday morning at a ridiculously early time of 6:45 AM due to being awakened by the animated sounds of Pokemon blaring from my eight-year-old’s television (hey, I’m not mad-we all did that shit when we were kids on a lovely Saturday morning), I flipped on my own personal TV and tuned to Netflix as part of the morning waking process. Immediately, I was struck by a new featured series promotion on the top of the screen and in my half-dazed aura, flipped it on and holy shit guys. The brand new true-crime-doc series touching on the tragic and quite horrifying events in Erie, Pennsylvania that bestow a pizza delivery man back on August 28, 2003, is going to be your next binge obsession folks.
I don’t believe it’s an understatement at all with the fact that we all have a fascination with the true crime genre. Going back to the days of the Manson murders, we have become fixated on high-profile cases and the more bizarre the scene, the further our curiosity peaks. I think it’s safe to say the strangely fatal scene involving Brian Wells robbing a bank with a collar bomb around his neck, and it actually detonating while in arrest mode certainly shocked the hell out of us all fifteen years ago; not to mention raising a ton of questions. Were there multiple people involved? And if so, who exactly? Also, was Wells himself actually a conspirator? Well, Netflix’s four-part documentary Evil Genius brought to us by Jay and Mark (Creep, The League– Yes, THAT MARK) Duplass shines not just a light looking back onto the events surrounding the case, but actually unearthing some downright SHOCKING new evidence. Good work guys.
The doc centers on an investigation begun by Trey Borzillieri, who spent years examining the case while speaking with the core antagonist and convicted mastermind of the whole ordeal Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. As we begin to go over the events concerning Brian Wells, things get really peculiar with additional crimes connected to the “Pizza Bomber” escapade. The series also touches on Armstrong’s background, mental health, further associates that may have been involved, and interviews from both sides of the law connecting the dots around this case. Unlike 2017’s massive obsession with Making a Murderer with an ending that just raises more questions and leaves us to make our own conclusion, Evil Genius wraps things up kind of nicely in the form of a discovery of an unexpected confession.
I mean, I was totally mind-fucked by this whole series. I remember quite vividly seeing the news and horrific outcome regarding this story back in the Summer of ’03. But until today, I had forgotten completely about it. If you’re a true crime nut (and hey, most of us are), I would definitely check this out over the weekend before all the spoilers hit your newsfeed.