Netflix's new true crime documentary looks utterly gripping 5 months ago

Netflix's new true crime documentary looks utterly gripping

The series focuses on two murders in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, in the 1980s

Netflix today released the trailer of the eagerly anticipated six-part documentary series The Innocent Man.

The show is based on the best-selling non-fiction book by John Grisham, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.

It tells the complicated and true story of how an innocent languished on death row - while the man who raped and murdered a woman went free for years.

Debbie Carter was found by a friend in her flat in Ada. She was gagged with a bloody towel, with hair, semen and blood strewn around her.

Smeared prints stained the walls like a clichéd horror movie. The word "die" was written on Carter's stomach in ketchup and nail polish.

Five years later, Ronald Keith Williamson was put on trial and sentenced to death for the crime. It looked like the police had got their man - but the case wasn't as simple as that.

Williamson waited 11 years on death row before being exonerated and released for a crime it is now thought he didn't commit.

This latest Netflix crime drama looks at his case, putting the legal system back on trial.

Directed by Clay Tweel (Finders Keepers, Gleason, Out of Omaha), The Innocent Man includes interviews with victims’ friends and families, Ada residents, attorneys, journalists, and others involved in the cases. Grisham also appears, as does attorney Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project.

Ahead of its release, director Tweel has said: “As a filmmaker I often find that the best stories are the ones we tell ourselves, but what surprised me was the extent to which that idea also permeates the criminal justice system. By re-examining these old cases I hope that viewers will identify the biases involved, even their own.”

Executive producer John Grisham commented: "The documentary series of The Innocent Man is gripping, compelling, and ultimately just as heart-breaking as the book. Though I know the story well, I can’t wait to watch it again.”

The Innocent Man will hit screens on December 14, and the trailer for it is gripping.