Piers Morgan wouldn’t have been my first choice for this short documentary series about female killers, but I have to admit he does a decent job here. He’s no Louis Theroux, but I’m not sure Theroux would have got very far with Erin Caffey either.
The 24-year-old Texan is eight years into a 42-year (minimum) sentence for the murder of her mother and two young brothers and attempted murder of her father.
“Just stupid,” is how she describes the horrendous attack carried out by her then boyfriend and another young man in which they variously shot, stabbed and burned the victims, the youngest of whom was just eight. It’s an odd choice of phrase, but then she’s definitely a very odd young woman.
She acknowledges that she had the power to stop the murders, which the others involved all insist she masterminded, but when asked directly about her level of responsibility she tells Morgan she’s “working on that” and still has some “things to process”. One would have though eight years would have allowed for a fair bit of processing, but all it seems to allowed her to do is memorise some soundbites about”choices”.
The biggest flaw with this programme is its lack of anything approaching a full account of the crime. I appreciate we’ve been spoiled by Making a Murderer’s comprehensive dissection, complete with handy diagrams showing the connections between the key players, but it took me at least half an hour to figure out that Bobbi, one of the four people convicted, was also a woman. We are offered no clues about her level of involvement – a baffling omission.
The filmmakers also have trouble had difficulty recreating the scene of the crime because the family’s home was burnt to the ground, and it appears they lived in the middle of nowhere. Erin’s father returned to the scene for an interview with Piers, but this basically amounted to two men standing in the woods, one of whom was distractingly in need of a semmit.
There’s not a great deal of archive material to fill the gaps, but the most moving part of this patchy account of the crime is an audio recording of Erin’s father – who to this day has shown unwavering support for his daughter – breaking down and sobbing upon being told she was involved. Despite Morgan’s best efforts, we’re left none the wiser as to why she or any of the others did it, and threw their own lives away in the process.