'Why Did You Kill Me?' Drags to an Ultimately Satisfying Conclusion

Directed by Fredrick Munk

BY Sarah Jessica Rintjema Published Apr 15, 2021

In February of 2006, Crystal Theobald and her family took a nighttime drive in two separate vehicles to pick up some snacks at 7/11. Simultaneously, members of the Riverside, CA-based gang 5150 were waiting around the corner in a white Ford Expedition. Multiple gunshots later, Crystal was dead, leaving the Theobalds bewildered as to why their family fell victim to this seemingly random violence.

After a case of mistaken identity, and the Theobalds withholding information about their pasts, Crystal's case runs cold. Frustrated and grieving, the young woman's mother and teen cousin set to work investigating online. The preferred social media platform at the time, MySpace, became their hub with which to catfish local 5150 members with a faux profile depicting a young Crystal using early-2000s glamour shots.

In a seemingly Don't F*** with Cats scenario, the team go to work romancing multiple 5150s in an attempt to reveal who was involved in the mother of two's murder, eventually leading to a discovery.

At only an hour and 23 minutes, Why Did You Kill Me? somehow drags. A true crime documentary about a mysterious murder shouldn't struggle to grab its audience's attention, but the film sure does take its time exploring its substance.

Interviews with multiple family members, friends, officers, and even former 5150 gang members display director Fredrick Munk's empathy and dedication to fully investigating the messy circumstances surrounding Crystal's murder. In addition to in-person interviews, the film uses digital recreations of the flirty MySpace conversations, a recreation of the incident using a plastic diagram, and Crystal's mother rearranging the toy pieces to explain what she witnessed the night of her daughter's murder. These accessory filmmaking techniques add variety and intrigue to a documentary that would otherwise feel lacklustre. 

Although its leisurely pace may cause your mind to drift, Why Did You Kill Me? provides watchers with a satisfying conclusion to its initial question

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