Was the true story behind The Watcher on Netflix ever solved?


Netflix’s latest thriller might be a scripted series, but the true crime story that inspired it is seriously real. The Watcher just hit the streamer today, and it tells the chilling tale of a family who buys a gorgeous home in Westfield, New Jersey, only to be stalked by a mysterious person sending them letters. What makes this real-life account so frightening is that the anonymous messenger knows things about the family that only someone who’s been close to them would know.

The Watcher has a star-studded cast, including Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, Emmy nominee Bobby Cannavale, Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge, and Golden Globe winner and all-around icon Mia Farrow. The series is based on the 2018 article from The Cut, originally titled “The Haunting of a Dream House,” which is a thorough account of the case including interviews with the family. We have no doubt this new series will be extremely popular for the streamer.

If you start watching The Watcher and want to learn the real story behind the show, we don’t blame you! It’s truly fascinating and really creepy. And most importantly, you might be wondering whether or not the stalker was ever caught. Did the police or the family ever solve the case?

The Watcher real-life story: Was the stalker ever caught?

What makes this story all the more terrifying is that unfortunately, “The Watcher” was never caught. According to The Cut, the Broaddus family decided to sell the house six months after they started receiving the letters. The mystery was never solved, though there were plenty of suspicions.

There was one suspect the family believed could be their stalker, who they heard about at a barbeque. Derek was told about the Langford family who lived next door, consisting of an elderly woman Peggy and her adult-age children. One of her sons, Michael, was flagged as “kind of a Boo Radley character,” and from that description, Derek thought he may very well be the person sending them the messages.

But when the family brought this suspicion to a detective, they were informed that Michael had already been brought in for questioning and denied any involvement. After the police told them there wasn’t much they could do without evidence, Derek took it upon himself to get to the bottom of it. After hiring a private investigator, the family discovered there were two sex offenders living nearby. Other suspicious activity from neighbors was observed. Essentially, anyone could be a suspect in the case.

After investigators did a DNA analysis on one of the letters, they discovered something surprising. The DNA from one of the envelopes came from a woman. After that, Michael Langford’s sister Abby Langford was investigated, but her DNA did not match. The prosecutors eventually ruled out the Langfords as suspects altogether, though they did not reveal the reason.

Though other people were identified as suspects, there ultimately was not enough evidence to keep the case going. To this day, the mystery is still unsolved. Some people even theorize the Broaddus family sent the letters to themselves in order to perhaps get out of a sale they could not afford, or maybe to sign a movie deal. Of course, this speculation has not been confirmed.

Read the full story from The Cut right here.

The Watcher will no doubt be one of the scariest releases on Netflix this month just in time for Halloween. You can stream all episodes right now.



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