Where Story Happens

Here are Some Genuinely Creepy Facts About The Actual Crime That Served As The Inspiration For Netflix’s “The Watcher,” Which Has Everyone Talking.

0 1

Many people are discussing the unresolved mystery that served as the show’s inspiration, The Watcher, a new Netflix series that debuted last week. The Broaddus family, who started receiving unsettling letters from an unidentified stalker after acquiring a home in Westfield, New Jersey, is the subject of the tale, which was initially covered by the Cut in 2018. Here are some facts about the true mystery that served as the inspiration for The Watcher, whether you’ve already binge-watched the entire series and are itching for more information or are just wondering about the highly spooky circumstances behind the show:

Derek and Maria Broaddus bought 657 Boulevard, a home in Westfield, New Jersey, in June 2014. The three children’s parents intended to make some improvements before moving in. Their new house was only a few blocks from Maria’s childhood home in Westfield, where she had lived most of her life.

When Derek opened the mail one evening, he discovered a letter addressed to “The New Owner,” he revealed to the Cut. Before taking an unsettling turn, the note welcomed the family to the house. “In the 1920s, my grandfather kept watch, and in the 1960s, it was my father. My time has come,” the letter said. “Are you familiar with the house’s past? Do you know what is included within 657 Boulevard’s walls? What brought you here? I will investigate. They had been keeping an eye on the family’s three kids, the author added. “Do you need to bring in all the fresh new blood I asked for? improved for me. Was your previous home inadequate for the expanding family? Or did it?Do you need to bring in all the fresh blood I asked for? improved for me. Was your previous home inadequate for the expanding family? Or did you bring me your kids out of greed? I’ll call to them and lure them to me once I know their names. “The Watcher” signed the letter. Derek told the Cut that after receiving the letter, he called the Woods family from whom the Broadduses had bought the house and the police. According to the report, Andrea Woods informed Derek that they had gotten a letter identical to this before leaving the house.

Maria discovered a second letter in the mail two weeks after the first one. Although it was misspelt, the second letter made a direct reference to the family by name, which made them wonder if “The Watcher [had] been close enough to hear one of the Broadduses’ contractors addressing them.” The author was also familiar with the names and ages of the family’s three children and even mentioned that they had seen one of the kids painting at an easel inside a covered porch, which the family later told authorities was in a place where it was difficult to see unless one was right next to the house.The letter continued by inquiring as to whether the kids were too afraid to play in the basement. “If I were them, I would [be] really terrified. The remainder of the home is far from it. They would never shout if you were upstairs.” In order to “plan better,” the Watcher also inquired as to which bedrooms the family would be sleeping in. The family made the decision to cease bringing their kids over to the residence after reading the letter.

According to Derek, one of his neighbours informed him about the Langford family. The neighbour described Michael Langford as “kind of a Boo Radley guy” because he shared a home with his elderly mother. The Cut claims that because the Langfords’ house was adjacent to the porch where the easel was kept, Derek assumed Michael had to be the culprit. Police informed him that although they had already looked into Michael but couldn’t do much without more concrete proof when he approached them with this hypothesis. Derek told the Cut, “This is someone who threatened my kids, and the police are telling, ‘Probably nothing’s going to happen. Most likely isn’t sufficient for me.

According to The Cut, Derek decided to launch his own investigation after becoming impatient with the police’s lack of movement on the matter. He installed cameras, as well as many detectives to scout the house and examine the letters for hints. Former FBI agent Robert Lenehan “identified some old-fashioned tics in the letters that pointed to an older writer,” such as double spaces between sentences and the use of an outdated address format, “M/M Braddus,” in the letter. Lenehan added that the writer was probably “less macho” if there was “lack of swearing.”

Private detectives discovered a number of other leads despite Derek’s assertion that he believed the Langfords were the criminals. Two child sex offenders allegedly resided close by, according to The Cut. A painter who was working in the house, Bill Woodward, claimed he saw two chairs strangely placed close to the Broadduses’ residence in the home behind them. One day, Woodward told the Cut, “I was looking out the window and I saw this older person sitting in one of the seats.” He was facing the Broadduses’ home rather than his own.

Westfield residents started to circulate suspicions that the Broadduses were responsible for the messages themselves. The family “suffered from buyer’s remorse, or realised they couldn’t afford the home, and devised an intricate ruse to get out of the deal,” according to one scenario. Some people believed the couple was trying to commit insurance fraud, while others believed they were looking for a movie contract. Derek asserted that he thought the hypotheses were being propagated because they would damage Westfield’s standing as a safe community. According to him, “People don’t want to believe this could happen in Westfield.”

John List murdered his mother, wife, and small children in his home, which was also in Westfield, years before the Broadduses moved there. According to the programme, which refers to List as John Graff, he allegedly received similar letters, which served as the impetus for him to brutally murder his family. Actually, John List shot and killed his mother, his wife, and their three teenage children on November 9, 1971 after he lost his job and started wasting the $200,000 in funds his mother had.

Authorities searched for the bodies for more than a month. Only until neighbours reported their worries to police did they conduct a search of the Lists’ residence. They also discovered a note written by List inside the house, in which he claimed that he had slain his family to shield them from the wickedness in the world. List had already left Westfield at this point, and the police had no leads. America’s Most Wanted featured the case in an episode that aired in 1989. List was detained by authorities after a Richmond, Virginia, lady who was watching the show saw that List resembled her neighbour Robert Clark. List had been a resident of Richmond for eighteen years, worked as an accountant, and had tied the knot with a woman he had met at a religious function. He was found guilty and punished.

In the end, the Broadduses decided it would be unsafe for their family to occupy the house, so they moved in with Maria’s parents. The couple chose to sell the house six months after the letters first started. The Cut claims that despite lowering the price, they were still unable to find a buyer since there was so much rumours floating around regarding the letters. The Cut said that one broker sent an email to explain that although her client “liked” it, there were “so many unfounded stories swirling about,” ranging “from sexual predator to stalker,” that they needed to know more. Even though the couple shared The Watcher’s tale, they claimed they were hesitant to show the letters to others until they were certain they were serious about buying the book.

The Broadduses sued the Woodses, the couple they purchased the house from, in June 2015 for failing to disclose that they had received a letter from The Watcher immediately before they left. The story quickly caught the attention of the media. The Broadduses contend that they received over 300 media inquiries; nevertheless, according to The Cut, they ultimately “decided not to speak publicly to spare their kids even more attention” and departed the city.

Eventually, the Broadduses were able to find a family ready to rent the house from them, but only if they agreed to include a provision allowing them to terminate the lease in the event that another letter was delivered to the property. A letter bearing the words “Violent winds and terrible cold/To the vile and spiteful Derek and his wench of a wife Maria” was delivered two weeks after they had moved in. This letter supposedly contained particular information about Derek’s investigation and the media coverage. The Cut claims that when Derek assured the tenant that security cameras would be installed, the renter who was barely referenced in the letter decided to remain in the property.

Several families who had been openly criticising the Broadduses in 2017 received anonymous notes in their mailboxes on Christmas Eve. These messages were from “Friends of the Broaddus Family,” not “The Watcher,” who usually signs his correspondence. Derek eventually acknowledged writing the letters to The Cut, but claimed that they were the only ones he had sent. According to The Cut, “he had been at his wit’s end, tired of sitting silently while people flung allegations at his family based on absolutely nothing.”

The Cut published a follow-up story in 2022 describing new discoveries that have emerged since the publication of their initial report. Robert Kaplow, a recently retired English teacher and the author of Me and Orson Welles, is one fresh notion that also makes an appearance in the programme, and he may have been responsible for the letters. His former pupils revealed to the Cut that he routinely discussed sending letters to a residence in his hometown. Kaplow told the Cut that he had sent letters to a separate Westfield residence that were “admiring, not threatening,” and that he denied any participation.

Although “The Watcher” has not yet been located, investigators think an elderly woman who lives close to 657 Boulevard is to blame. Following the publication of the original report, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office asked neighbours for saliva samples so that DNA tests could be run against the envelopes. Two nearby neighbours objected. “At least one of [those who refused] was a ‘near neighbour’ of 657 Boulevard and someone the police had regarded as a suspect,” The Cut stated.

The Broadduses reportedly sold their home in 2019, according to The Cut. The new owners have not claimed any as of 2022.Netflix is currently streaming The Watcher.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.