Let me start by mentioning a woke up with my bathroom ceiling caving in and leaking water this morning. On top of stress I’m dealing with, this was not the surprise I wanted to deal with first thing on a Sunday. It further supports the notion that I ought to move when my lease is up (if not before), so that I’m not living in such an old dump! Thank goodness for renter’s insurance. I think I may need to boost my policy coverage. Ugh!
What I was planning to discuss today, however, are a few new Netflix recommendations. Given the snowy weekend, I was able to devote some quality time with the television, sans guilt. So without further ado…
This isn’t necessarily what you think it is. Murder is involved, particularly featuring the case of Garrett Rodriguez, but it also explores Humboldt County, California in a broader sense. Did you know that Humboldt County is responsible for 80% of black market marijuana in the United States? Tucked away hidden in the “Redwood Curtain”, outlaw growers kept their operations clandestine and fiercely protected in the beautiful California woods. The last vestige of the Wild West, vigilante justice prevailed. At least, it should have.
In addition to the mystery surrounding Rodriguez’s missing person and subsequent murder case, the documentary covers how legalization of marijuana in California has decreased missing persons cases but has increased the amount of mom and pop growers going out of business due to very high taxation and strict regulation that they just can’t sustain. The former and rather controversial Sheriff of Humboldt County, Mike Downey, even admits that the “smart man grows illegally”, for better or for worse.
It’s a really interesting documentary series that adeptly ties in outlaw culture, the weed industry, and the tragedy of a loved one going missing. It’s definitely escapist viewing for most Americans and it’s hard to imagine that such places still exist, but it does, thanks to the shield of the wooded mountains in northern California. I’d rank this an A!
Abduction in Plain Sight
Admittedly, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. It was evident by the brief summary and the thumbnail for this documentary that it was about a pedophile masquerading as a family friend and targeting his neighbor’s daughter. While that is the case, this true story taking place in Idaho and Utah mainly in the 1970s was more riveting and shocking than I could’ve expected.
Bob Berchtold does target his young neighbor, Jan, whom he grooms over the course of a few years. Ultimately, he drugs, kidnaps, and sexually assaults her. How the hell did this happen?! Well, her parents let it. Yes, you read correctly. I know times were different in the 1970s, but these Latter Day Saint parents in Idaho were beyond naive. It’s actually infuriating. Bob conducts sexual affairs with both of her parents in order to stay close to Jan, with whom he is infatuated with.
He brainwashes them all and Jan even believes she wants to marry this man who is decades older than her. Her parents sign an affidavit exonerating Bob from his kidnapping therefore crushing the FBI’s case against Berchtold. It’s not that they didn’t love Jan, but apparently, her father was more scared about them outing him for his sexual relationship with Bob.
As I said, it’s infuriating. It’s still infuriating when Jan eventually moves on and begins a career as an actress, then tours with her mother after they’ve authored a book on their experience and Bob begins to crash their speaking engagements. Then, she must meet him in court, for the final time. I’d like to think that parents that love their children clearly as much as Jan’s do couldn’t possibly be this idiotic. Apparently they can. I give this one a B+.
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