REVIEW: ‘Teens Who Kill’ raises interesting questions of society, mental illness and blame
On April 22 2016, schoolboy James Fairweather was found guilty of two brutal murders in Colchester. He was only fifteen when he committed the heinous crimes.
Tonight, CBS Reality’s new documentary ‘Teens Who Kill‘ unravels the story behind two of the country’s most harrowing crimes and their teenage perpetrator. It outlines the brutal deaths of defenceless brain-damage sufferer James Attfield and university student Nahid Almanea, both from violent and numerous stab wounds. Neither knew Fairweather. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.
‘Teens Who Kill‘ outlines the timeline from Attfield’s murder to Almanea’s murder to an attempt at a third killing, before covering a trial in which Fairweather showed no remorse for his actions. It examines the seemingly stable family life of Fairweather, his undiagnosed autism and his sick obsession with serial killers and violent porn.
It uses the story of the fifteen-year-old to ask important questions about the society in which we live. If a child murders another person, who is to blame? Is is the child – or is it the society that failed to protect them? Is it the fault of the healthcare and education system that failed to find them and help them before it was too late? Can someone so young really be held responsible for the most heinous act of them all?
It’s a horrible, harrowing subject matter. There’s something particularly unsettling and hard-hitting about a youngster committing such atrocious crimes. The documentary offers a lot of expert opinion as to the answers, but there’s no universal conclusion. There shouldn’t be. Documentaries like ‘Teens Who Kill’ exist to make one think, perhaps about a subject one would rather not imagine. It’s a challenging watch, but not one without reward.