VICTIM/SUSPECT on Netflix is a new documentary that takes a look at how sexual assault victims become suspects. It’s true crime in the sense that it focuses on real cases. Read our full Victim/Suspect documentary review here!
VICTIM/SUSPECT is a new Netflix true-crime documentary that looks at how a victim can become a suspect, not due to any particular evidence, but rather by being tricked by the police investigating a crime.
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Through investigative reporting, Rachel de Leon uncovers more than one hundred cases and does a deep dive into the details. This is real-life horror for those involved and even results in suicide for one of the victims of the police practice used.
Continue reading our full Victim/Suspect documentary review below. Find it on Netflix from May 23, 2023.
It’s scary and far too common
This new Netflix documentary covers journalist Rachel “Rae” de Leon on her first solo investigation. As an investigative reporter, she’s used to looking into all kinds of crimes and issues pertaining to social injustice.
However, we follow her investigation as she uncovers a shocking pattern that happens nationwide: When young women tell the police they’ve been sexually assaulted, they’re not getting fair treatment.
In fact, instead of finding any kind of justice or getting due process, they’re charged with the crime of making a false report. This is immediately followed up by them getting arrested and placed in handcuffs. Even getting imprisoned by the system that is supposed to protect them.
It seems the neat tagline of “protect and serve” pertains mainly to the police departments themselves. Not the citizens of their jurisdiction. Well, not the young women. The football players and sons of “important families” are very much protected.
Most of the cases are crimes where the sexual assault victims are young women. In at least one of the cases, the alleged perpetrator could just as well have had the last name Murdaugh. It really is like something straight out of Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal (also on Netflix).
Police investigators using questionable methods
To say that the methods used by the police are questionable is being very kind. What they use is referred to as a “ruse”. What this ruse entails is downright lying to the sexual assault victim in an effort to get them to recant.
However, getting them to recant – which means the sexual assault case can be closed – isn’t the end goal. No, turning the victim into a suspect and arresting them on the spot is the goal. Sometimes (many times) within one day.
In other words, the sexual assault crime has yet to even be investigated.
If you’ve watched true crime documentaries on Netflix, the practice of getting “admissions” out of people being questioned is very common practice. Making a Murderer is just one good example of this.
And once someone has gone along with what the police are suggesting, they’re trapped. The problem here is that the police are claiming facts based on evidence, but the evidence does not exist. However, getting a sexual assault survivor to recant is proof enough to get them convicted.
It really is a very sick and twisted practice. Used both to close real cases of sexual assault and deter anyone from even considering going to the police for justice.
Watch Victim/Suspect on Netflix now!
Nancy Schwartzman is the director of this documentary. With a runtime of just around an hour and a half, it stays focused on this particular suspect. It doesn’t feel forced but doesn’t waste time either. Nancy Schwartzman previously directed the award-winning documentary Roll Red Roll (2018).
At the heart of the documentary, we see Rachel de Leon working as an investigative reporter. Just as the police work with evidence, she does as well. However, she deals with actual facts and not “ruses” to try and get the results she needs.
This is no “pity party” true crime documentary. It is 100% focused on justice and fairness. And yes, as it’s stated in the end; It will definitely make some people angry. However, those who get angry for being exposed as not doing their jobs are worthless.
Unless they learn from this, which I doubt.
Also, in numbers, they mean nothing against those who watch Victim/Suspect and become furious at the injustice. Focusing on truth and justice is always the right way to go. The more we know, the better we get to respond to this injustice in the future.
Victim/Suspect is on Netflix worldwide from May 23, 2023.
When a journalist digs into a case of a woman charged with falsely reporting a rape, a pattern emerges: authorities turning the tables on victims.