Do you enjoy complicated crime stories — the more complicated, the better? A story so complicated it leaves you scratching your head wondering how it got so complicated in the first place. Then Netflix’s new four-part series “Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist” is worth watching.
Most documentaries have something in common, shall we say, simply boring. However, “Evil Genius” written and directed by Barbara Schroeder and co-directed by Trey Borzillieri, is a little different. Told in four parts about the event of a true crime story that unfolded on a warm Thursday afternoon back on August 28, 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania. The crime known as the “collar bomb” case. The series follows that fateful day through the subsequent trials, from the various law enforcement’s efforts to answer all the nagging questions to the hunt for the actual person(s) responsible.
The story itself is very intriguing; however, the series seems a little drawn out. What unfolded 15 years ago should be a reminder of what can go wrong when various law enforcement agencies do not collaborate for one common goal – find who done it and convict all those involved.
On the 28th of August, a 46-year-old pizza deliveryman, named Brian Wells, appeared to have been a hostage himself, forced to hold up the a PNC Bank in Erie, Pa. at around 2:20 p.m. with a bomb fasten around his neck. He was instructed to complete various tasks, part of a scavenger hunt, in order to save his own life. But sadly, a couple hours later, the bomb exploded, killing him while he sat cross-legged and handcuffed on the ground.
Who was the master-mind behind this crime? Was Mr. Wells entirely innocent or did he have a “limited” role in planning the robbery that eventually killed him?
We recommend watching this series; however, unlike the classic mystery stories written by brilliant authors like Agatha Christie, the viewer will be left with too many unanswered questions.
Not once during the four-part series do we hear about handwriting analysis. Why not? The FBI are meticulous in their investigations yet there is no discussion in this four-part series about the handwriting analysis of the lengthy instructions found in Mr. Wells’ vehicle. Who wrote the detail document? Five to seven possible co-conspirators and yet no mention as to who actually written the instructions? It would be interesting to explore the facts on one primary piece of evidence.
“Evil Genius” is not a brilliant masterpiece but with a narrator guiding you through the intriguing story as it unfolded through the criminal system, it is worthy watching …once.