Author Topic: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist  (Read 2129 times)

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
The latest Netflix true crime doc looks a good 'un, about the infamous 2003 murder of Brian Wells involving an elaborate bank heist with him wearing an explosive collar. A bizarre, convoluted tale - https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80158319




biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
It's relatively short at 4 episodes, so you can finish it in one go. I likes it, its not in the same league as the Staircase or the Jinx but the story is so bizarre that it retains interest and it also has that quality of the best true crime shows of leaving you constantly changing your mind about the guilt of the central characters, until they get a bit of a coup right at the end that leaves you in little doubt.

Cuellar

  • MUSKATNUSS, HERR MULLER
Yeah binged all these last night. Very sad, and sadly very gruesome. Pulls no punches.

A depressing case riddled with 'very intelligent' embittered cunts.

Grotty.

I want to know where they got the idea of explosive collars from, Swordfish or The Running Man.

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
I like the details of them having to cut the guys head off to get the bomb collar off, and then them blaming him for his own murder. But yeah, if this isnt a Coen brothers movie I don't know what is.

kidsick5000

  • Gotta be groovy for the moovy
Is this the case that inspired dumb comedy Thirty Minutes Or Less?
It must be. Netflix is quite good when it comes to correlating content

I burnt up Saturday morning watching the first 3 then finished it that evening. Was very good and kept pace. Am still unsure if we needed to see the most graphic part - they jump cut (if that's the right term) it the first time and then half-heartedly blurred it out the final time. The body of material they had for the documentary was sufficient that they didn't need to keep showing it like a weaker programme would in order to keep your attention.

I was aware of the case before this and thought it was an unsolved mystery. Then I found an article that tried to lay out what the documentary did but found it so convoluted and self-referential I couldn't really follow it; I am glad this picture book version has been made for the likes of me as it seems it really was that involved.

I did notice how heavily the phrase "very intelligent" was used; not by the programme makers but by the interviewees. I have long wondered what this means. It used to get applied to Katie Price a lot. I take it to mean either "scheming" or "successful".


Is this the case that inspired dumb comedy Thirty Minutes Or Less?
It must be. Netflix is quite good when it comes to correlating content

Isn't there a Weslie Snipes film that starts off with this premise? Metro or something?

The film only sticks in my mind because of the collar bomb and the fact that I returned a hardcore VHS video to the Blockbuster quick drop instead of that film by accident. Ended up having to pay for the film too and didn't get mine back. No one was a winner that day.

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
I did notice how heavily the phrase "very intelligent" was used; not by the programme makers but by the interviewees. I have long wondered what this means. It used to get applied to Katie Price a lot. I take it to mean either "scheming" or "successful".


Something like that, probably more 'very stupid, but can bullshit well'.

I liked the bit where Rothstein was getting into the car after being questioned and said something in very very bad French and then it cut to Marj channeling Aileen Wournos saying how she spoke better French than him.

Their levels of hoarding left me in awe, though. I do wonder, though, why there are so many indoor faeces - I suppose that the place is such a top you can't really see where your cat or dog has shit.

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 10:29:12 PM »
Just finished this, fascinating stuff. I was aware of the case very loosely because they did that comedy film based on it a few years ago. But I went in cold on the actual details. I feel very sad for Brian Wells and his family, especially seeing the footage of his death again at the end with all the information. Just used by a group of rotten manipulative sociopaths. Marjorie was unbearable at every turn, I'm surprised Trey didn't just snap at her at one point in all their conversations. All the lying was exhausting, the police were frustratingly incompetent, and these dirty hoarding hicks got away with a lot more than they were capable of.

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 10:33:01 PM »
I guess the worse thing was Wells getting blamed for his own murder and the general distress of the family, especially after they hacked his head off too, which is kind of aggravating.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2018, 11:01:40 PM »
This was the story that Charlie Brooker was "inspired by", i.e. nicked, for the plot to the Black Mirror episode Shut Up and Dance, isn't it?

Looking forward to watching this. Cheers for the heads up.

Moribunderast

  • What is your place in my glorification?
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 10:33:43 AM »
Fascinating story and a bit of a hard watch at times. Everyone involved is just so grotty and sinister. I concur that the continued use of "very intelligent" seems odd as I'd say Rothstein and Diehl seemed more resourceful than actually smart. That and they were okay with just lying and lying even when presented with realities that should cow them into being truthful.

Definitely landed the ending due to some bizarre luck, too. It did offer some proper closure to the story, unfortunately too late for any kind of justice to be done for the victim. Not that he'd care, I guess, having already had his head lopped off by the po-po.

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 03:56:50 PM »
If Brian Wells was forced to do the heist, why was he being so relaxed and almost jovial at the bank? Didn’t they say he was twirling his shotgun cane like Charlie Chaplin? Would like to know what that was all about.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2018, 04:25:00 PM »
[...] I'd say Rothstein and Diehl seemed more resourceful than actually smart. That and they were okay with just lying and lying even when presented with realities that should cow them into being truthful.
"Resourceful" is an excellent word and I think that's what's meant when you hear people being described as "very intelligent" for having supported themselves but robbing houses or something. Their narcissistic personality disorders would have made the lying second nature to them. I doubt they even thought they were not telling the truth. Those two really are examples of the disorder rather than it being applied these days to people who are just a bit selfish and full of themselves - and I know someone who's a behavioural psychologist so that pretty much makes me one too.

Quote
Definitely landed the ending due to some bizarre luck, too. It did offer some proper closure to the story, unfortunately too late for any kind of justice to be done for the victim. Not that he'd care, I guess, having already had his head lopped off by the po-po.

As odd as it sounds I thought the coroner provided a bit of light relief in that he seemed uneasy with most of the things he had to do - like autopsies and collecting dead bodies.

If Brian Wells was forced to do the heist, why was he being so relaxed and almost jovial at the bank? Didn’t they say he was twirling his shotgun cane like Charlie Chaplin? Would like to know what that was all about.

I assumed he had reconciled himself to the fact that it was all going to be fine and he would get out of it. I really don't like the bit at the end of his life where he hears the beeping and starts to get agitated. Horrible.

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 04:29:54 PM »
Yeah, awful seeing him begging the police to help. Obviously nothing they could do, but it’s a shame he was just sat there panicking with guns pointed at him to end his life. He just wanted to deliver pizza and shag prostitutes :(

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 04:37:41 PM »
Not seen this yet but wanted to just say I am loving the trend of long form documentaries Netflix has brought about. Giving documentary makers the chance to really dive into all the minutiae of their story and use all their recovered footage.

It even makes financial sense with a 10 hour documentary costing a tiny tiny fraction of commissioning a drama or comedy series.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2018, 04:47:41 PM »
Yeah, awful seeing him begging the police to help. Obviously nothing they could do, but it’s a shame he was just sat there panicking with guns pointed at him to end his life.

I suppose it's protocol but did they really need to keep the guns pointed at him? Maybe they could have given him a gun so everyone was safe.

Just remembered also that I'm sure there was a shitty slogan handwritten onto the t-shirt.

Quote
He just wanted to deliver pizza and shag prostitutes :(

True. That makes it worse. He even had a good system going so everyone was happy with his crack for sex ecosystem.

Maybe I will do that tonight in his memory. There is a nice wood-fired pizza place just up the road. It's what he would have wanted.


Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2018, 05:02:55 PM »
Watched this in one go last night. Absolutely fascinating and so well put together. The topic of this kind of stuff is all kinds of interesting. It's similar to the documentary about Budd Dwyer in a way in that it's this video i'd seen growing up and knew fuck all about other than the point of impact with all context and backstory removed that when probed a little bit turn into this insane web of crime, lying and violence that you could never imagine being possible.

The looks at crime scene photos and video plus bags of evidence laid out is a really odd one. I can't remember anything recently having such a bare and cold look at actual remnants of death. I have a hard time with stuff like that because on one hand it is extremely prurient and things like scary horror film shots of the freezer with doom laden music and zooming into the photograph do feel massively inappropriate and risk turning it into a B Movie. I think they got this right though. Didn't feel at all sensationalized or Freeview. Gave the whole thing a lot more emotional weight and brought such an odd and unique situation down to earth.

Very sad story, and a great watch.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2018, 06:04:33 PM »
[...] the documentary about Budd Dwyer [...]


I am not sure it's that well known in the UK but that story has always fascinated me.

What's the documentary you refer to? I would like to watch such a thing.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2018, 06:16:53 PM »
it's An Honest Man: The Life Of R. Budd Dywer. Used to be on Youtube but for whatever reason it's been taken down. Should be very easy to find, though. The guys who made it at Eighty Four Films have got a load of fascinating discussion and stuff on their Youtube.

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2018, 06:43:51 PM »
The Budd Dwyer one is very good.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2018, 07:13:52 PM »
it's An Honest Man: The Life Of R. Budd Dywer. Used to be on Youtube but for whatever reason it's been taken down. Should be very easy to find, though. The guys who made it at Eighty Four Films have got a load of fascinating discussion and stuff on their Youtube.

Thanks - that reason looks to be that it's now streaming on Amazon. Annoyingly .com not .co.uk otherwise I could watch it with Prime. Typical.

checkoutgirl

  • "C" - Big blue wobbly thing that mermaids live in
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2018, 07:26:12 PM »
I want to know where they got the idea of explosive collars from, Swordfish or The Running Man.

Or Wedlock with Rutger Hauer. Or Escape From New York or Fortress or any of a thousand films where your head blows up if you do this or that.

Fucking mental anyone would be both clever enough to design the bomb and dumb enough to think it would successfully yield $250,000. Nasty piece of work that woman. Lying is like breathing to her. She'd almost lie if telling the truth was easier.

checkoutgirl

  • "C" - Big blue wobbly thing that mermaids live in
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2018, 07:33:08 PM »
If Brian Wells was forced to do the heist, why was he being so relaxed and almost jovial at the bank? Didn’t they say he was twirling his shotgun cane like Charlie Chaplin? Would like to know what that was all about.

They indicated at the start that he was a bit simple and might not have fully understood the enormity of what was going on. He should have ran straight to the cops if he had much common sense but he seemed a bit innocent. I concede he did fuck crack whores.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2018, 08:29:14 PM »
Nasty piece of work that woman. Lying is like breathing to her. She'd almost lie if telling the truth was easier.

From my limited understanding of these things she probably was telling the truth as far as she was concerned; people with that kind of disorder construct the world such that they are always wronged by it despite always doing the right thing (and never the wrong thing). They also just adjust the facts to fit what the situation needs. See also Big Mandy from This Country and several places I have lived over the years. In fact I currently know a couple who are very similiar (but not murderous as far as I know) and it's pointless trying to get a straight answer out of them or arguing with them as they will just change a fact (lie) to make their point.

It's a shame (for the documentary) that Rothstein died without being interviewed like Marjorie was. Would have been interesting to see if he was quite as extreme as she was. I wonder if she massively decompensated after being in prison or was always that manic. He didn't seem to be but I bet he was as evil.

phes

  • Member
  • **
Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2018, 06:14:40 PM »
I think this whole 'very intelligent' thing that comes up again and again in this and other true crime documentaries is just a way of deflecting from the low intelligence and errors of people involved in policing and investigating. It was a bit of a shock, I think in Making a Murderer, to see that some of the everyday Joe cops with ultimately crucial responsibilities are borderline retarded (sorry, I couldn't work out what the appropriate word was)

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2018, 01:18:51 PM »
Sorry, bit late to this, only just got a chance to watch.

Yes - they were "very smart" in a dumb way. It's like they went to the effort of concocting a plan that seemed clever and elaborate, like something the Joker would do, that in reality could never actually work.

Rothstein clearly got off on being thought of as a master criminal / supervillain, hence his line to the FBI agent that he was "the smartest man in the room." Literally the only reason he had to say that was to taunt the guy - he was confessing without confessing. He was probably picturing Pacino and De Niro in Heat. I think he called in about the body in the freezer to bring heat on them, knowing that everyone would realise he was the bomber but not being able to prove it. Again, smart but thick - he thought he could get the notoriety without getting caught, and he fucked the rest of the gang over by doing so. If he hadn't died he would undoubtedly have given the game away years earlier.

It's interesting that there was a second pin on the collar that would have given Wells an extra hour on the bomb, perhaps suggesting that he wasn't necessarily always meant to die - presumably if he'd delivered the money successfully they would have pulled that second pin to give them extra time to safely remove the collar.

Re: Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2018, 01:39:33 PM »
The Casefile podcast covered the case on a recent episode. Well worth a listen.