For true crime fans, I Am A Killer: Released is a docuseries that could be added to your watchlist. I Am A Killer, already on Netflix, is a predecessor to this. This docuseries is about Dale Wayne Sigler, who has been convicted of murder and has served three decades in prison.
The documentary has been made into three parts, all of which don’t focus much on the crime he committed but what Sigler’s life is like, now that he has served 30 years in prison.
This docuseries shows the journey of him trying to attune himself with normalcy after spending most of his life behind bars. Without the need to specifically mention it, Sigler’s return back to the society is a point of focus in this docuseries, along with the reaction of the family who lost a member because of Sigler’s crime.
If you have binge-watched I Am A Killer, then you’d know how these series are meant to progress. It interviews convicted murderers in each of the episodes. In I Am A Killer: Released, Dale Wayne Sigler is interviewed, who, 30 years ago, had killed a man.
Sigler had robbed a subway sandwich shop at gunpoint but, at the same very incident, he had murdered a man named John William Zeltner Jr. Zeltner, at that moment, had run to go to the back room where Sigler followed him and shot him six times on his chest.
Sigler had only stolen and fled away with $400 from the cash register. He was, however, put on the death row for three years before his lawyers successfully managed to get his sentencing changed to life imprisonment, as Texas changed its death penalty laws that very same year.
I Am A Killer: Released deals with important questions!
As a viewer, one might find it a tad bit disappointing that the show is not actively focusing or making the severity of Sigler’s crimes a major part of the narrative.
10 minutes into the first part of the documentary, you’d know that this is not a docuseries that shows the dark, gritty details of how a crime was committed. It has a different narrative that it wants to take us through. I Am A Killer: Released is about the change in the legal system that has brought about (what it looks from a safe distance, excuse my cynicism) a transformation within Sigler.
Has the leniency that the Texas legal system awarded Sigler changed him as a person? What is he like now? A man who has committed such a terrible and heinous crime, is he worth forgiveness? I Am A Killer: Released poses some serious and real questions and maybe that is one of the reasons I’d ask you to watch the docuseries.
My mind is filled with questions too
Apart from all those valid and important questions that the docuseries primarily focussed on, my mind had too many questions all the while. The first part of the docuseries opens with an apologetic, kind and emotional Sigler. I mean you’d almost think that this man is not capable of something that horrendous, but that doesn’t change the reality.
I was bummed out because there were bits in the docuseries where I found myself to be sympathising with Sigler, as he narrated incidents from his harrowing childhood… I am almost convinced that criminals, in most cases, turn out to be who they are as a result of unaddressed childhood traumas, or traumas caused in their formative years which leave behind an indelible mark on them.
You see Sigler sobbing, his voice breaking as he apologises to the family of the man whose life he took and a man who cries as he remembers how tortuous his father was towards his mother. As I continued to watch this show, I kept asking myself that a man with a presence of emotional intelligence, is he capable of taking someone’s life?
Overall verdict, as I try to write a review that attempts to not divulge too much of the content, I request one to have an open mind while watching this docuseries. Why I ask such a thing is because no matter which side of the debate we land upon, it is important to have an open mind, as this helps in better understanding and interpretation.
I Am A Killer: Released is streaming on Netflix.
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