The latest in a long line of captivating Netflix true crime shows is called Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist and tells the story of the 2003 “pizza bomber” case.
On August 28, 2003, a 46-year-old pizza delivery driver walked into a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania with a homemade shotgun disguised as a walking cane and a bomb clamped to his neck. He demanded $250,000, but in the end, Brian Wells made off with $8,702.
Having been caught by the police, Wells frantically claimed to have been a mere pawn in an elaborate scheme, before dying when the bomb exploded. This set in motion a cat-and-mouse game between the FBI and a collection of shady individuals, headed by Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. With the case still shrouded in mystery, conspiracy theorists continue to speculate about the pizza bomber incident today. This docu-series looks to unravel one of the U.S.’s most bizarre criminal cases.
Watch the trailer for Evil Genius below.
With Evil Genius having just hit Netflix, early reviews suggest it’s likely to follow in the footsteps of hits such as Making a Murderer, The Keepers, and Wild Wild Country. Scroll through a selection of responses by critics below.
Steve Greene / IndieWire
“This four-part series about a chilling 2003 bank heist bomb plot never escapes the muddled gray area of the tale it’s trying to tell.”
Daniel Fienberg / The Hollywood Reporter
“Netflix’s latest true-crime documentary series has a bizarre case, a colorful cast of characters, and an obsessed co-director, making for intriguing drama.”
Katie Rife / The A.V. Club
“In short, ‘Evil Genius’ is the kind of documentary that lives and dies by its story. Luckily, it’s a compelling one.”
Lanre Bakare / The Guardian
“There’s plenty here for the true-crime crowd and for devotees of the darkness lurking in suburbia.”
Rohan Naahar / Hindustan Times
“It is, however, an unnervingly intimate profile of a fascinatingly evil character — a worthy addition to this Golden Age of True Crime. And for fans of this sort of stuff, it’s four hours of bliss.”
Brian Lowry / CNN
“This is one of those docu-series that doesn’t feel like it’s laboring, or forcing the issue, to create compelling drama. And in a genre often steeped in hype, for once even the ‘diabolical’ label doesn’t feel like hyperbole.”
Nick Schager / The Daily Beast
“Family feuds and fractured relationships abound in Schroeder’s portrait, which she lays out lucidly and suspensefully, segueing between the feds’ investigation, the conflicting stories and confessions of her primary suspects, and the backstory particulars that shed light on the motivations — and culpability — of all involved.”
Will you be binge-watching Evil Genius? Let us know in the comments.
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