REVIEW: Click for Murder is a fresh take on crime analysis for the new age of technology
Technology has led to improvements in all of our lives, but it’s not without a darker side. With new ways to communicate come new ways to commit atrocious crimes – and CBS Reality’s latest new series highlights just that: horrific crimes committed with the aid of the internet.
Click for Murder is a crime documentary series with a twist, examining very modern crimes that could not have taken place without the internet. It provides insight on how the internet has created a new landscape for predators and prey, where people become vulnerable without even realising they’re at risk.
The first episode examines the case of Kayleigh Haywood, a schoolgirl who was murdered by the next door neighbour of an older man who groomed her into staying the night at his house. The documentary doesn’t shy away from revealing the full, horrible detail of the case – revealing how witnesses heard Kayleigh’s screams coming from child abuser Harlow’s home late at night before offering a reconstruction of the attempted escape before neighbour Steven Beadman raped and murdered her in the open. It all took place after Harlow began messaging Kayleigh on social media, swiftly inundating her with compliments to manipulate her. Two weeks after Harlow made contact, Kayleigh was dead.
The format is simple. Presenter and renowned crime journalist Donal MacIntyre outlines the case and visits the scene of the crime. He speaks to people involved in the case, which in the first episode include family members and the police investigators. He then breaks it all down with criminology expert Dr. Elizabeth Yardley to analyse what happened and why. It’s a well structured and paced documentary offering valuable insights and plenty of food for thought.
At its heart, Click for Murder examines how the internet has changed how we see the world. The age-old refrain “don’t talk to strangers” is rendered worthless when a stranger can worm their way into someone’s life using their real identity and communicate for weeks. Interactions that could never have happened without the internet are suddenly possible, opening up vulnerable individuals to a world of crime that they are ill-prepared to deal with. It’s a fascinating topic to base a criminal series around – and will hopefully spread the message about the new crimes taking place in our age of technology.