When 11 members of a family, spanning three generations are found dead, cops grapple with questions whether it was mass suicide or murder.
Story: In 2018, 11 members of a family in Burari are found dead, hanging, blindfolded, gagged and with their arms and legs tied up. Barring this, there’s nothing else to suggest murder. What happened to this seemingly ‘normal’ family?
Review: Netflix’s three-part docu-series House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths, which was released today, is director Leena Yadav’s detailed exploration of the circumstances that led to the death of 11 members of a family. The case, which got its fair share of media cover, both sensationalized and otherwise, back in the day, drew eyeballs not only because the 11 dead spanned three generations but also for the manner in which they were found.
This is an unnecessarily drawn-out account of the events, including commentary from a few journalists and friends (and their friends) of the family, which add absolutely no value. Over three episodes of 45-minutes each, we hear repeatedly that they were found hanging, blindfolded, gagged and with their arms and legs tied. The absence of forced entry, indications of struggle or burglary, lead investigators to think suicide, or murder staged as suicide. The question remains, why? How does a seemingly normal family go from celebrating one member’s engagement only weeks ago to mass suicide?
As the title suggests, it’s the secrets of the Burari family - some of which became public knowledge only because of the diaries and notebooks found at the crime scene - that led to their death. The crux of the matter, which should have ideally been the focus of this show, that faith, superstition and mental health issues led to the unfortunate death of 11 people barely registers a few decibels.
To be fair to the makers, mental health and the need to seek help are still issues that although get spoken about more often now, seldom get acted on. Society still has a long way to go before getting therapy is normalized. But that’s why the show should have done a wee bit more on that front, considering the platform it had - a true crime story on Netflix will, after all, be streamed vastly.
Verdict: House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths is not an eye-opener on any account. It presents the facts like a news story in the inverted pyramid format. Only here, the what, where and how take the spotlight away from the why. One only wishes that wasn’t the case.
Where to watch: House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths is currently streaming on Netflix.