'American Murder: The Family Next Door' Trailer: A New Netflix True Crime Story

In 2018, a mother and her two daughters went missing in Colorado. Did the mother take her children and flee? Or was something more sinister at play? Tragically, the answer probably won't surprise you – but that doesn't make the story any less shocking. The case is covered in a new Netflix documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door.

American Murder The Family Next Door Trailer

The tragic story of the disappearance of Shanann Watts and her two children has been covered by media before – it was the basis for an episode of 2o/20, as well as a special on ID and a Lifetime movie. And now it's getting the Netflix treatment with American Murder: The Family Next DoorThis trailer seems to be trying to not give away the "truth," although it's readily available information since this is a true story. Here's the synopsis:

In 2018, 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her two young daughters went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As heartbreaking details emerged, their story made headlines worldwide. Told entirely through archival footage that includes social media posts, law enforcement recordings, text messages and never-before-seen home videos, director Jenny Popplewell pieces together an immersive and truthful examination of a police investigation and a disintegrating marriage. AMERICAN MURDER: THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR is the first film to give a voice to the victims.

Shanann Watts was a social media blogger, and as a result, there's lots and lots of video footage of her and her family life – all of which ended up coming into play in the case. The documentary comes from director Jenny Popplewell, and I will definitely give Lopplewell and Netflix points for making this a movie rather than a multi-part series. It seems that anytime someone is telling a true crime story these days they feel obliged to stretch things out over multiple parts, with so-so results. Nine times out of ten, when I watch a true crime docuseries my first thought ends up being: "This would've been better as a one-part documentary instead."

American Murder: The Family Next Door arrives on Netflix on September 30.