Netflix German series “Close to Home: Murder in the Coalfield” revolves around the mysterious death of a 17-year-old girl, Ramona, near a coal mine. Maik Briegand, the lead investigator who has recently returned to his hometown, teamed up with Annalena, a seasonal cop, to dig more into the case. The investigation led to the disclosure of some old secrets involving a few other murders that followed a similar pattern. Yet one of the murder cases had a clear connection to Maik. The reveal at the end may not come as a total surprise because “Murder in the Coalfield” starts out as a whodunit mystery with the antagonist mostly hidden and not even on the suspect list. Yet every episode has the power to hold viewers’ attention. Let’s look into the story to identify the murderer and his motivation behind the killings.
Recap: What Happens In ‘Close To Home: Murder In The Coalfield’?
Every episode starts out with Martin’s narration. Martin gave off the impression of being a rebel, challenging several facets of society and speaking specifically about a particular population that is stigmatized as outcasts. Martin focused on the history of coal mining and took pleasure in it; thus, he didn’t seem to be a fan of environmental changes. Martin may have been one of those misfits who, rather than speaking up, took the initiative to act on their own. While this may occasionally be done for the benefit of society, it can also be done to satisfy an individual’s ego. Let’s find out which faction Martin is a part of.
The plot opens with the discovery of the dead body of Ramona, a 17-year-old girl, next to the coal mining facility in Lauchhammer. She was strangled to death, but the most intriguing aspect was that the sleuthing team also found some drug and cash stashes around her body. In the course of their inquiry, Officers Maik Briegand and Annalena identified a few links with Ramona, including her mother’s old boyfriend, Andre Potschke, a State Police officer and Maik’s coworker. The suspect list started to grow following Potschke, one name after another. It was made clear that Ramona knew the local junkies and that she, too, was one of them. Even her lover, Juri, couldn’t be completely ruled out as a suspect. In addition, Maik recognized a man who was among the crowd. Maik’s childhood friend Oliver was a homeless maniac who appeared suspicious right away. Meanwhile, the investigating team applied pressure on the neighborhood drug gang, and from their boss, Maik learned a lot about Juri’s whereabouts. While the police were able to keep him at gunpoint, Juri jumped out of the building and severely injured himself.
Maik was adamant that Oliver hadn’t killed Ramona, despite forensic evidence showing that his DNA was present in her body. Oliver wasn’t really hostile, despite the fact that he had some sort of traumatic history and was hence wary of human interaction. However, the DNA results and a thorough investigation show that Oliver discovered the girl and scooped her up immediately after she was killed and put into the murky water. After he realized the girl was dead, he covered her eyes with stone shards, which didn’t quite appear to be a murderer’s act. Ramona’s body had several foreign DNAs and fibers, according to the forensic test results. The fibers may have come from a VW Passat, which was the model owned by Florian, the real estate agent who had filed several complaints to remove the addicts from the former coal mining areas.
Florian also happened to be Maik’s former wife’s current lover, which prompted Maik to investigate Florian’s car. The fingerprints that were discovered in Florian’s car did, in fact, match Ramona’s, but it was clear that Florian wasn’t the murderer. Under prodding from the police, Florian admitted that he had purchased cocaine the night before Ramona was killed, which explained her fingerprints in his car. After dealing with a large number of suspects, the investigative team came to the conclusion that they had a mole in their own squad that was actually supplying the local addicts with narcotics. This mole turned out to be André Potshke. He was close to Ramona’s mother, Jennifer, who also struggled with addiction. It was revealed that he had given Jennifer her initial taste of crystal meth and was continuing to give her more of it. Yet he provided for her son, Dustin, in every way and paid for his child support. Similarly, he also viewed Ramona as his own daughter.
Furthermore, a previous murder mystery was brought up in association with the most recent one. It was made known that when Maik’s father, Karl, worked as an investigator, he looked into the death of Katti Kamrich, a young woman Maik was seeing at the time. But no matter how far Karl dug to identify the murderer, the head of authority remained mute. It appeared as though a cover-up operation had been launched shortly after Katti’s murder. Thinking about his son Maik, who would have been falsely accused of the crime, Karl was no longer able to continue this case. Walter Schubert, a fellow officer, and colleague of Karl’s at the time, played a significant role in attempting to cover up the crime. As a result, Walter may also come under suspicion for Ramona’s murder.
Who Killed Ramona?
A lack of thorough inquiry is the cause of any crime not being properly resolved. Especially if the authorities are working to hide the offender. How many murders and similar instances have there been where the suspect only escaped due to their status, wealth, and a good reputation? This criminal organization never emerges from the shadows because they have a strong police presence surrounding them and protecting them at all times. The limited judicial system was unable to expose them and punish them appropriately as a result. Similar things happened to Katti Kamrich, Ramona, and many more young women who had been brutally raped and killed in “Murder in the Coalfield.” Everyone has a second chance in life, but it seems that criminals have many more chances to get away with each crime they commit, thanks to their illimitable resources and power. Karl Briegand was nearly weary of chasing after Katti’s murderer and getting no real assistance or response from the precinct, but now that his son was in charge and had the final ability to look into it, he wouldn’t be staying quiet.
Once Karl revealed that the police had been involved in the murder of Katti, Maik formally compelled Walter to provide the information. Walter finally admitted that they had defended the perpetrator. He subsequently admitted that they had all defended a party official under the German Democratic Republic. Also, he served as Lusatia’s board minister. The main suspect in Katti’s murder was actually his son, Martin Jaschke. For over 40 years, Walter and the other officials kept quiet in order to protect his identity. But Walter insisted that Martin wasn’t responsible for the murder of Ramona since, ever since Katti was killed, he had been incarcerated in a mental institution. A little further research, however, showed that Martin was really hidden in a looney bin in 1982 rather than being imprisoned. Afterward, he was imprisoned in a facility until 1993, but he was released after winning compensation for suffering under the SED government. Martin had recently moved into the town with an old woman.
However, Martin was gone by the time cops raided his house. Some of the information found in Martin’s home helped Annalena comprehend his motives for the crimes. Martin belonged to the misogynistic organization Incel. He posted images, films, and audios of himself talking in a perverse manner about women, even within their group. Annalena noticed a few pictures of Jackie, his prospective next victim, on his computer.
Why Was Jackie The Next Victim Of Martin? Was Martin Alive?
Oliver gave his final testimony, saying that on the day Katti was killed, he saw a young man riding a scooter pass by. Martin, who might have been a classmate of Maik and Katti, was envious of Katti’s relationship with Maik and turned out to be the young man whom Oliver saw that day. He provided the monologue at the beginning of each episode that discussed being one of the misfits. Yet before we could feel sympathy for his comments, he explained why he was an outcast. He always viewed women in a perverse way. He couldn’t stand beautiful ladies living independent lives or being with a man they loved. He always had to step in to steal their dreams away from them by strangling them to death. Similar to how he treated Katti, Ramona, and several other victims whose bodies or remains had been discovered. He raped Katti and strangled her to death because he couldn’t take the idea that she would get close to Maik and be happy. The same thing happened to Ramona, a regular girl who was under pressure to sell drugs in order to earn a living and leave the neighborhood. And now Jackie, who would be at the climate change protest with her boyfriend, would be his next victim.
Jackie belonged to a group of anti-coal mining activists who were adamantly opposed to global warming. Martin sneakily disguised himself in a group of energetic activists’ outfits when they all congregated in the Lauchhammer forests to oppose the mining. But Martin had plenty of other reasons for picking Jackie as the target, including the fact that she participated in anti-coal activism, which served as a first warning sign for him given that his father was the board minister of Lusatia Coals. And secondly it describes that Jackie was Maik’s daughter. Martin may have been envious of Maik and his success since the very beginning, and that’s why he first slaughtered his love and then set out to murder his daughter. But his plan didn’t work out the way he had hoped. Police were able to locate Jackie and Martin using the drone camera that the activists were using. As the cops approached Martin’s car and pointed their guns at him, Jackie was saved by his father. Martin, a sociopathic serial murderer who had always operated undercover and avoided capture, didn’t give himself up to the authorities. He committed suicide by jumping off the cliff, drawing a conclusion to the murder mystery of Coalfield.
Final Words: Will There Be Season 2?
In “Close to Home: Murder in the Coalfield,” every facet of the inquiry is described in depth. There are a lot of things to admire about the investigative sections since they were so cunning, but because the antagonist was mostly unseen and had little bearing on the plot, the closing climax didn’t really excite us. To make a story appear crisp, revealing everything about the enemy at the climactic scene wouldn’t be enough; there has to be some preliminary buildup. We had higher expectations for an organized crime thriller like “Close to Home” to flawlessly unveil its killer, which didn’t actually happen. The conclusion seems rushed and lacks the eerie atmosphere we had been anticipating from the beginning. Yet, whether you find the ending to be satisfying or not, “Murder in the Coalfield” was intriguing to watch via a deft screenplay and with the help of the gloomy visuals of the series, which added to the sense of unease. Although we don’t yet have any official word on whether the second season of the series will air or not, if it does air in the near future, I wouldn’t mind giving it a watch.