Back for a second season, Netflix’s true crime documentary series The Confession Tapes returns for more shockingly shoddy police work and coerced confessions. Wrapped up in four gripping episodes, the eye opening cases are engrossing and return to the same style that made the first season so endearing.
Unlike the first though, the four stories here act as standalone chapters rather than split across two-part episodes. From a double murder in Nebraska to a woman admitting to being indifferent to her husband drowning while out kayaking, the four cases shed light on the questionable police investigations and exhausting interviews where these people were coerced into confessing to crimes they may not have committed.
Just like the first season, each of the episodes follow a standard structure, with face to face interviews and archival footage combining with the actual videos of the confessions from the time. The series draws on the knowledge of experts in the field of interrogations as well as lawyers to talk us through the validity of the statements themselves. Shedding light on the physical and mental strain the suspects will have had to endure during this time, we see first-hand the slow, mental descent into defeat.
The cases surrounding the confessions are put to scrutiny too, with time frames and details failing to match up to the true nature of events. Whether it be eye-witnesses claiming they’ve seen the suspect but with very differing details (black rather than blonde hair) or police spending tens of hours trying to convince a woman that she killed her fiance, the cases are full of shocking details and injustice. It’s another reminder that the American justice system has flaws, with the first case seeing Kenneth narrowly missing the death sentence by one vote.
If you were a fan of the first season, you’ll certainly take to the second as well. Although there’s only four episodes this time around, the cases are no less shocking and will almost certainly provoke a lot of talk around the police investigations. The face to face interviews are engaging and work well alongside the archival footage too. While the series doesn’t quite hit the same heights as the first season, this makes for a thoroughly engrossing watch nonetheless and certainly does enough to justify another season of true crime cases to put under the microscope.
Verdict - 8/10