Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH ... Evil Genius

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH ... Evil Genius

Article excerpt

A pizza delivery man arrives at a bank in the small town of Erie, Pennsylvania, armed with a loaded gun disguised as a walking cane and a note demanding $250,000. He leaves calmly with a bag of cash, swinging his cane-gun like Charlie Chaplin. Minutes later, when caught by the police, he insists that he is a hostage and that the real villains have attached a bomb to his neck, which will go off any second if he doesn't comply with their demands. A bomb squad is called, but before they arrive, it goes off.

This is the premise behind Evil Genius, a true-crime docuseries from Netflix exploring the 2003 "collar bomb" robbery. But this is not even the most bizarre moment of the show. Three weeks later, in a seemingly unrelated incident, police receive a call from a man named Bill Rothstein who says a body is in his freezer--and that his ex-girlfriend, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, is to blame.

Like many Netflix true-crime shows, Evil Genius positions itself as a successor to 2015's wildly successful Making a Murderer, relying heavily on the genre's tropes. …

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