Top 10 Documentaries That Left Out The Craziest Part

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Top 10 Documentaries That Left Out The Craziest Part

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Beca Dalimonte
How these juicy pieces of information were left out of these docs we will never understand. For this list, we'll be looking at surprising omissions from documentary films and series. Our countdown includes “Three Identical Strangers”, “The Imagineering Story”, “Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer”, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Documentaries That Left Out The Craziest Part


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Documentaries That Left Out The Craziest Part.

For this list, we’ll be looking at surprising omissions from documentary films and series.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in a documentary? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Uncovered Footage

“Three Identical Strangers” (2018)
Imagine going to college and being greeted by people you don’t know calling you by a name that isn’t yours. This was the case for Bobby Shafran (SHAFF-rin). The student soon discovered that the name he was being called, Eddy Galland (GAL-ind), was that of his long-lost twin brother. The pair’s story hit a number of news outlets, catching the attention of David Kellman, another adoptee who realized he looked just like them. Yep, the boys were triplets! “Three Identical Strangers'' reveals that the trio were part of an experiment, intentionally separated into three families of different economic backgrounds. For the study, the boys were said to be filmed throughout their childhood. The documentary omits this footage however, as it was not made available to the triplets or the filmmakers.

#9: Relationship With the Film’s Editor

“The Staircase” (2004-18)
When watching a documentary, it’s easy to believe that everything you are watching is the undeniable truth. Unfortunately, documentaries can be biased. “The Staircase” tells the story of Michael Peterson, a man whose wife was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. It was believed that Peterson killed her. The docuseries shows the ensuing trial from Peterson’s perspective. What the series doesn’t reveal, however, is that its editor was romantically involved with Peterson during portions of its creation. It also neglects to mention that Sonya Pfeiffer (sone-yuh), who is married to Peterson's lawyer, covered the trial as a reporter. She even interviewed members of the jury while the trial was still taking place.

#8: Horizons & Mission: SPACE

“The Imagineering Story” (2019)
Unless you’re a hardcore fan of the Disney theme parks, you may not know that Epcot used to have an attraction called Horizons. Opening in 1983, the dark ride showed guests different visions of the future. It also allowed them to choose their own ending. Fans of Epcot have even referred to the attraction as the park’s “thesis statement.” Which begs the question - why was it glossed over in the Epcot-focused episode of “The Imagineering Story”? Some believe this may be because of Horizon’s eventual replacement, Mission: SPACE. This ride had become notorious for causing guests to experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, as well as being linked to the deaths of two riders. Naturally, it was missing too.

#7: The Killer’s History

“Tower” (2016)
True crime has been a hot topic as of late, with streaming services, podcasters, and YouTubers all cashing in on retelling the gruesome details of real life crimes. The morality of true crime obsession has always been a topic of debate, something which “The Tower” indirectly acknowledges by giving barely any airtime to its subject’s perpetrator, Charles Whitman. Dubbed the “Texas Tower Sniper,” Whitman was a former marine who killed his wife and mother prior to carrying out a 96 minute shooting spree at the University of Texas at Austin. This information is barely even brought up in the film, and the filmmakers even chose to show a picture of him as a child rather than as an adult.

#6: Failed Polygraph and Motivation

“American Murder: The Family Next Door” (2020)
“American Murder: The Family Next Door” recounts the Watts family murders, a case in which a man by the name of Christopher Lee Watts admitted to murdering his pregnant wife. He would later admit to killing their two daughters as well. In “American Murder,” Watts is seen taking a polygraph test and failing. What the documentary doesn’t show, however, is how badly he failed that test. While the usual indication of a lie is -4, The Tab reported that Watts scored a -18. The documentary also neglects to address letters Watts wrote to pen pal Cheryln Cadle from jail, in which he explicitly states that his affair was a motivating factor in his crime.

#5: Adult Content

“Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” (2012)
In 2010, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” was a hit with a surprising demographic - adult men. “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Fans of My Little Pony” served to highlight those older folks who take part in the fandom. Unfortunately, while well-intentioned in its portrayal of the good side of the fandom, the documentary doesn’t really paint the full picture. While it’s understandable that “My Little Pony” had to do damage control when news organizations were making them out to be bad guys, it feels negligent for the documentary to completely gloss over the provocative images, edgy animations, and many creepypastas that exist. It’s all adult content that’s far too accessible for the show’s true demographic.

#4: Faking Cancer

“Tiger King” (2020-)
Anyone who bought into the “Tiger King” craze of 2020 knows that Joe Exotic isn’t the most reliable guy. But, did you know that he once lied about having cancer? After Rick Kirkham’s (kirk-um) production studio burned down, Joe Exotic was seen on social media telling followers that he had been diagnosed with prostate and bone marrow cancer and that he only had two months to live. During this time, Exotic begged fans for sympathy and cash to pay for his expensive hospital bills. In reality, however, Exotic was only suffering from an infected prostate, an outbreak of herpes, and a serious case of dehydration. Shockingly, in spite of the serious damage this story would have done to his credibility, it never made it into the 2016 docuseries.

#3: Horrors Sent Through the Mail

“Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer” (2019)
Over the course of the internet’s decades-long history, there have always been people who have taken advantage of its allowance for anonymity. Luka Magnotta, the subject of the docuseries “Don’t F**k with Cats,” initially used this anonymity to upload videos of himself tormenting cats, violence which would later escalate into the murder of an international student in Montreal. Horrifically, video of the crime was uploaded to shock websites, and gruesome evidence was mailed to a number of locations across Canada. While the series does describe how political offices were targeted by Magnotta, it neglects to mention that he also sent a few of these disturbing packages to several schools as well.

#2: Avery & Halbach Knew Each Other (haul-bock)

“Making a Murderer” (2015-18)
When the first season of “Making a Murderer” was released in 2015, it took the world by storm! In the days following the series’ popularity boom, however, those familiar with the case began to point out a few neglected facts that could have easily changed the public’s perception of Steven Avery and his story. Perhaps most surprising is that the victim, Teresa Halbach, and Avery knew each other prior to the murder. Halbach allegedly requested her when he scheduled a photographer for the fateful day she went missing. Avery’s DNA was also found under Halbach’s trunk, and Halbach’s phone and camera were found inside Avery’s home - a fact which was brought up in court, but left out of the series.

#1: Timothy Treadwell’s Death

“Grizzly Man” (2005)
If you were in possession of audio capturing the moment a person died, would you include that audio in a documentary about their life? This was the moral question director Werner Herzog wrestled with while making “Grizzly Man.” The documentary focuses on bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, who, along with his then-girlfriend Amie Huguenots, was attacked and killed by one of the bears he spent his time filming. In the documentary, Herzog shows those who knew Treadwell his final audio tape, even listening to it himself. He decides to not play the contents for the viewing audience though. Herzog feared it would be disrespectful, choosing instead to celebrate Treadwell as he lived, rather than how he died.
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There are the most Top 10 Documentaries that left out the craziest part.