REVIEW: True-crime documentary Why Did You Kill Me? exposes the power of social media and false identities to solve a murder

Melanie Ramirez, Staff Writer

Netflix released Why Did You Kill Me?, a true-crime documentary about the tragic death of Crystal Theobald, on April 14. This Netflix original brings to light to the fatal 2006 shooting of the innocent 24-year-old woman. 

 Crystal, her boyfriend and her brother were driving around one night when a white SUV appeared and began to follow them, mistaking them for someone else. 

Once the SUV met up with them at a stop sign, one of the passengers got out and started shooting, leaving Crystal with a bullet in the back of her head.  

Following Crystal’s death, not only does her family grieve her loss, but they begin their plans to bring the killers to justice. This documentary reveals the extensive lengths Crystal’s family went through to find the men responsible for her death. 

Crystal’s family took things into their own hands after learning that the men involved were affiliated with the gang 5150 and had profiles on MySpace, a social media platform from the early 2000s. 

Crystal’s mom, Belinda, came up with the idea of creating a fake MySpace account to get information about the gang members in hopes of revealing evidence to expose the truth. 

Eventually, Crystal’s family was able to find out critical information about the suspect through MySpace. The police were then able to get more involved and brought several people in for questioning. 

 After finding out the truth of what happened that night, the family can rest knowing that Julio Heredia, the man responsible for Crystal’s death, is behind bars serving his time. 

The events that take place throughout this documentary accentuate how easy it is to pretend to be someone on social media, and in this case, it can be used as a means of accountability for perpetrators. 

The circumstances throughout this case, while provoking and intense, aim to bring about the devastating truth when it comes to gang affiliation; there are rules to follow and you don’t snitch. 

As the documentary builds, there is a sense of relief for the family knowing that what they did for Crystal was well worth the pain of pretending to be their deceased beloved. 

Melanie Ramirez is a graphic design intern for The Cougar Chronicle. She is currently a junior at CSUSM as an arts and technology major. Melanie hopes to work in the entertainment industry after graduating. She enjoys watching films and shooting photos and loves to indulge in a good book.