Lucy Letby live netflix

Enough is enough, it’s way too soon to produce a Lucy Letby documentary or crime drama

Our appetite for true crime has officially gone too far

Lucy Letby was handed a whole-life sentence for the murder of seven babies and attempted murder of six others at Manchester crown court last month. As the most prolific child killer in modern UK history the nurse, who force fed babies milk and poisoned others with insulin, has provoked a horrified fascination and “Lucy Letby retrial” is now trending on Google as she faces court for second time for the murder of a baby girl.

Pictures of Lucy’s house, bedroom, diaries, family and friends have emerged in long, detailed, articles since her original trial. Everyone in the comments appears to be attempting to ascertain exactly why a “normal” and “beige” nurse would take to murdering innocent infants. But another demand has also rapidly spread across Twitter – for a TV show.

Netflix haven’t released a four part series on Lucy Letby. What are you playing at,” wrote one user. “Who do y’all think they’ll cast to play Lucy Letby in the Netflix/Hulu limited series,” asked another. “I can’t wait for a Lucy Letby Netflix docuseries . Gonna give hard,” claimed a third, while memes of Sheridan Smith “as Lucy” in a spoof ITV drama clogged up the timeline. It was sickening to scroll through. 

Our appetite for true crime has become ravenous— and streaming platforms have no problem feeding audience’s hunger for heinous behaviour. Missing: The Lucy Blackman Case documentary on Netflix, BBC One’s The Sixth Commandment dramatisation are just two examples of the hit crime content offered up and streamed through homes over the last month.

When The Sixth Commandment aired, detailing the murders of several elderly people in Buckinghamshire as recently as 2015, the victims’ loved ones publicly called the series “insensitive”. When Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer adaptation came out last September, families went so far as to say the show had “retraumatised” them.

By definition of the word, it takes time for recent events to become “history” and therefore be  appropriate material for dramatisation and docuseries. Even The Crown’s director Peter Morgan has a “20-year-rule” before he’s willing to adapt modern events into an episode. “That’s enough distance to really understand something,” he told Hollywood Reporter. “[You need] to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance.”

Writers and producers affording this thoughtfulness to royal drama and not to mourning families is bizarre. Yes, true crime is popular because murder, rape and theft have played a part in human society since hunter-gatherer days, according to evolutionary psychologists. But the news to Netflix cycle has started to spin too fast. Lucy Letby’s victims’ families have only just been given justice. Now, we need to give them respect and leave this story alone.

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‘It’s retraumatising’: Errol Lindsey’s family speak out against the Jeffrey Dahmer Story