Jamie McIntyre in Netflix's Why Did You Kill Me

Netflix’s Why Did You Kill Me? The powerful true story behind the crime documentary

Posted by for Film

Here’s what you need to know about Netflix’s new true crime film, Why Did You Kill Me? 

Updated on 8 April: Netflix has become synonymous with compelling true crime documentaries over the years, and the streaming platform has now announced that it will be adding another title to its ever-growing list this April.

Rather than focus on the grisly details of yet another murder case, though, this documentary film focuses on the the tireless efforts of Belinda Lane, who stopped at nothing to get justice after her daughter, Crystal Theobald, was killed by gang members in 2006.

You can watch the trailer for Netflix’s Why Did You Kill Me? below:

What is the synopsis for Why Did You Kill Me?

As reported on 29 March: “After her daughter is killed, a mother uses the social networking site MySpace to investigate the people she believes are responsible, resulting in reverberations for multiple families,” reads Netflix’s official synopsis for the documentary.

“But will the line between justice and revenge be blurred?”

Warning: the rest of this article contains several details about the murder of Crystal Theobald, which some viewers may consider spoilers.

A production still of Belinda Lane in Why Did You Kill Me?
Belinda Lane appears in Why Did You Kill Me?

What is the true story behind Why Did You Kill Me?

In February 2006, Crystal was gunned down by gang members. After her death, though, police confirmed that the young mother-of-two had nothing to do with the men that killed her; indeed, it was thought her death was a case of mistaken identity.

It seemed unlikely that Crystal’s killers would ever be identified. However, when Belinda buried her 24-year-old daughter, she vowed that she would find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I told her, ‘Baby girl, I promise you if it takes my last breath, I will get them; I promise you, you will have justice,’” Belinda recalled in an interview with KABC.

“It could have taken a lifetime,” she added. “I never would have stopped.”

Over the course of a decade, Belinda created two fake accounts on MySpace and used them to reach out to potential suspects. Finally, in 2016, her tireless efforts and engagement on social media paid off, gleaning information that eventually helped lead police to arrest those who killed Crystal.

And, on 23 January 2020, William Sotelo was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in the murder.

Netflix's Why Did You KIll Me? is the platform's latest true crime documentary
Belinda Lane used MySpace to track down her daughter’s killers.

“She was very instrumental, working on social media to help us identify where he might be,” Riverside Police Lt. Christian Dinco told The Washington Post

“She provided important information that helped lead us to the capture of William Sotelo.

“Without her help, he would likely still be outstanding right now.”

How long is Why Did You Kill Me?

The documentary isn’t a series, but a feature-length film; it will run for 83 minutes.

When is the documentary coming to Netflix?

Why Did You Kill Me? will become available for streaming on 14 April.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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