With our current appetite for true crime documentaries set to ravenous, the chefs at Netflix have served up another mouthwatering main course with “Murder Mountain”.
This six-part 40-something minute episode documentary charts the rise and fall of the illegal weed farming community of Humboldt County Northern California from its meteoric rise from a hippy commune in the 1970s to the Government crackdown in the 80s and 90s through to its legalisation in 2016.
Over the decades the area had been given the moniker of “Murder Mountain” due to the alarmingly high rate of murders and missing persons from conflicts between farmers in the area and their abuse of the pickers that work for them. To de-escalate the violence the State decides to pass Proposition 64, forcing most of the farmers to leave or “go legit” under heavy scrutiny, control and taxation.
We are introduced to the family of Garrett Rodriguez, a 29-year-old farmer who in 2013 disappears in unusual and suspicious circumstances. What transpires is the frivolity of how human life is regarded in the area, how little the authorities have done to prevent it and the escalating events that unfold against the humid, luscious backdrop of the forest that for so many years has hidden the illegal crops form the authorities.
The documentary interviews Garrett’s family, key witnesses to the revenge attack on the suspect and the hapless authorities that eventually ends up in the hands of the FBI. It’s a compelling story and whilst it might not be a Michelin-Star worthy feast, it’s more than enough to sate a case of the binge-watching munchies.
Watch if you liked: “Making A Murderer”, “The Keepers”, “Serial”, “Brother’s Keeper”.