Netflix crime documentary series, “I Am A Killer” highlights the stories of prisoners who have committed heinous crimes and are now serving their time in jail. The creators of the series give these prisoners a platform to speak their truth and explain why they had to go to the extent of killing somebody. Along with the prisoners, the creators also interview the convicts’ families and friends. The rollercoaster of emotions that we go through while watching “I Am A Killer” is ineffable. In season 4, episode 1, we get to see the story of an inmate named Anthony Standifer.
What Is The Episode About?
The first episode of “I Am A Killer” Season 4 starts with the introduction of Anthony Standifer, who shares his story with the viewers. Anthony was convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery. The viewers get to hear his side of the story, and along with him, we also get to know about what authorities have to say about the charges against him. The reason why “I Am A Killer” got so much attention is that it shows both sides and allows the audience to form an opinion.
Anthony Standifer grew up in an unstable house where his mother was a drug addict, and his father did not claim him as his son. Anthony tells the audience how his father would look at him but not call him his son; this affected Anthony when he was young. As he grew up, he got himself involved with criminal gangs and through them was introduced to the world of drugs. For what reason, you may wonder. Well, his mother was a drug addict and gave him up at one point. We see how Anthony’s mother had abandoned him when he was young, and thus he started living with his aunt. His aunt had six children of her own, so according to her, she could not let a kid from the “hood” be involved with her kids. She wanted a safe environment for her children.
Anthony later grew up in foster care and never felt the love of a family. Often in true crime stories, we hear a similar pattern. In “Mindhunter,” we see the psychological reasoning as to why crimes are committed. We judge criminals so quickly, but there are always factors and red flags leading up to one particular moment. It is not as simple as saying, “Oh, this person is a bad guy.” Why did one kill an innocent soul? Why could Anthony not make a different choice? We get such questions in our minds while watching the episode. Like “Mindhunter,” this particular docuseries focuses more on the “why” aspect of the crime.
Anthony had been involved in robberies and dealing drugs while growing up. In 2010, when he was 25 years old, he decided to rob a “drug dealer” after he got a call asking him if he could rob money from the dealer. Anthony and the accomplices started driving around the area described by the person on call, Jay Nicks. They reach a house, thinking it is their target’s home; however, upon kicking the door open, Anthony and his accomplices find out that they are in the wrong house. One must think they would leave and spare an innocent lady they spotted in the house. However, Anthony had something evil in his mind. His excuse for killing an old lady was that she had seen his face, and since he did not want to go back to prison, he shot her. The person he shot was an old lady named Beverly Crowl. She was a retired police clerk who had been like a mother to her co-workers. Episode 1 of “I Am A Killer” Season 4 further gives us in-depth interviews with several people, including Anthony’s mother, uncle, and aunt. Along with that, the episode explores the lives of the victim’s family after her death.
What Does Beverly Crowl’s Family Think Of Anthony?
After the murder of Beverly Crowl, her family was devastated. According to her daughter, Beverly was an amazing person who was warm and loving; her hugs were the warmest. Her twin sister also shared her experiences growing up with Beverly. Since childhood, the two shared an inseparable bond. They were identical twins, and people would get confused between them. Her daughter describes Anthony as a monster who killed her mother. She said he had a different option, and he chose the wrong one. Anthony could have chosen not to pull the trigger, but Anthony had no concept of fear at the time. Because of him, a daughter lost her mother, and her family still mourns her death. Since she was a police clerk, Beverly Crowl took care of official records and files.
Even the detective on the case was close to Beverly Crowl and was deeply affected by her death. According to the detective, Anthony is a liar and a psychopathic killer. When the police caught Anthony and brought him into custody, he refused to accept the crime he had committed. After deep interrogation, he finally accepted his crime. According to Beverly’s twin sister, Anthony’s crime affected him, his family, and Beverly’s family.
‘I Am A Killer’ Season 4: Episode 1 Explained – Is Anthony Eligible For Parole?
We see the interview of Anthony’s aunt, in which she says her family collectively failed him. He was raised in an abusive family where he had seen a life of violence from an early age. What can we expect from a kid who has grown up living with gangsters?
According to his uncle, whatever Anthony did was unforgivable. He says that guns and murders are glorified in songs. The statement is very true; guns and gangsters are very much glorified in the rap genre, and some of the artists even talk about murdering their enemies. But can we blame music for someone’s murder? Not entirely. However, having the mindset that gangsters are cool is also not a good sign, even according to Anthony’s uncle. Anthony’s uncle also says violence begets violence, and we can safely say that is true. If you see the psychological aspect of crimes, it always comes with reasoning. There is always some factor that leads a person to commit a heinous crime, such as murder. Here, the factor that led him to murder someone did not have a loving family.
Episode 1 of “I Am A Killer” Season 4 is called “Family Matters” for a reason. The environment in which these children grow up really affects his mindset. To say that every child who grows up in an abusive household becomes a criminal would be unjust; however, the percentage of serial killers and murderers coming from abusive households is very high. In the case of Anthony, we see the same. However, according to him, he regrets killing Beverly Crowl. Anthony spoke to the audience and said that he could go back and change his decision, he would. But what good does his statement bring? Beverly lost her life, and her family is still suffering. There is no way one could get over the fact that a person was murdered in her house without any reason. It is extremely horrifying to even think about what had happened with Beverly Crowl.
Anthony is currently serving his time in jail and was found guilty in 2011. The court sentenced him to 60 years in prison, and he will be eligible for parole in 2055. Even though Anthony says he has changed over the years and even sheds a few tears of guilt, you can’t help but not feel any type of emotion for him. He did have a choice to live a normal life like his uncle and other family members did; there is no justification for murdering an innocent soul.