BYOK's 2021 Top 5 Interesting Documentaries

Updated: Jan 28

I LOVE documentaries! Learning about the past has always been interesting to me. This year I realized how much I did not pay attention to the news as a child, which is odd because my grandma watched the 9a, 12p, 9 pm, and 10 pm news. But I digress.


5. FRUITCAKE FRAUD on Discovery+


I never thought so much scandal would be wrapped up with America's most gifted edible treat, the fruitcake. Although I am the only one I know that loves fruitcakes, over 1.5 million of these delicious cakes are sold each year at Collins Bakery in the quaint town of Corsicana. With the astronomical amount of cakes sold, one would think this company would be rolling in dough, but it was the complete opposite. The owner, Bob McNutt, could not put his finger on how a business so successful was losing money. It was disheartening as he could not reward raises or bonuses to employees, and he was forced to lay off some workers.


They later hired Semetric Walker to look into invoices and she noticed a faulty check.


Semetric Walker


Fast forwarding, their Controller, Sandy Jenkins, and his wife Kay Jenkins embezzled more than $16 million from the company. The Jenkins were not subtle about it as they traveled across the country, drove lavish cars, purchased exorbitant jewelry, and so forth. Unlike the movies, when the Jenkins were exposed, they did not flee the country. Instead, they dumped Rolexes in a lake in Ohio. This is not even half of the foolishness. My mouth was open wide during this entire documentary and you have to see it to believe it!


4. The Staircase on Netflix


This documentary is the point of view of Michael Peterson in the trial of the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. Throughout this documentary, he consistently denied murdering his wife, but Kathleen's family felt different. The evidence was sketchy as the crime scene was compromised, and the suspected murder weapon, a chimney poke, had mysteriously appeared towards the end of the trial. If you are anything like me and did not know anything about this story, I won't spoil it for you. I will add that he and his family dedicated alot of money and time to prove his innocence.


Michael and Kathleen Peterson


I am a low-key a self-made detective, and I could not pick up murder vibes from him, maybe pretentious but not a murderer. He appears to have loved his wife dearly; one of the only fishy details was someone in his past getting murdered under crazy circumstances as well. I wish there were a documentary depicting Kathleen's family's point of view as it is hard to gauge anything when a point of view is one-sided.


3. Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story on Peacocktv


Never have the phrase, "I can fix you," had such a chilling connotation. Dr. Christopher Duntsch is reported to have harmed 31 and killed two patients. One of his victims was his best friend, Jerry Summers, who became paralyzed after being operated on by Dr. Duntsch. I blame the medical system as he probably hurt more people than reported as medical facilities covered up his acts and passed him along to other facilities. On top of paralyzing people, he cheated on his pregnant wife with his head nurse and was allegedly sometimes high or drunk before operating.


Dr. Death, himself


This story was so disturbing that Peacocktv created a limited series and presented a documentary to share the story. Both productions were cringe-worthy as I could not believe how hard it was for the heroes, Dr. Robert Henderson and Dr. Randall Kirby to report Duntsch to the medical board. His mistress, Kimberly Morgan, was aware of his malpractice and eventually reported Dr. Duntcsch. I always wondered what took her so long to say something. If you chose to watch this documentary, be ready to roll your eyes and yell at the television.


2. Wild Wild Country on Netflix


The title of this documentary could not have been more accurate. I wished I had written about this in real-time as I could have written a post alone about this documentary. Although the story is centered around guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers, the sannyasins; the focal point was the guru's secretary Ma Anand Sheela a.k.a Sheela. She was the spokesperson of the religion, and she was a fire pistol. She still is a fire pistol as there is another documentary about her on Netflix entitled, "Searching for Sheela".


Ma Anand Sheela and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


You would have to watch this documentary to understand the unbelievable details of this story. The gist of the story is Bhagwan and his followers relocated from India to Oregon and took over! The sannyasins got entangled in local government, took over the town, and allegedly poisoned people in an attempt to win an election. This group even recruited followers nationwide to gain enough American voters to control the state of Oregon. Sheela was supposedly the organizer of it all; she never denied or confessed to the claims. While watching this documentary I witnessed Indian religious immigrants temporarily effectively using American law against Americans. That is the only way I can honestly sum this story up.


1. LulaRich on Amazon Prime


If getting crazy money was a company, it would be LulaRoe. If you are familiar with the multi-level marketing company, LulaRoe, which sold "buttery" leggings with goofy graphics; then you may be left shocked about the events occurring inside the operation. The ex-employees stories are filled with claims of owners DeAnne Stidham and Mark Stidham body-shaming and wife-shaming the vendors while ostracizing workers who quit the business. Over time being a part of this company appeared to be Disney World had it been located in hell.


Owners of LulaRoe, DeAnne Stidham & Mark Stidham


One of my favorite commentators on the documentary was LaShae Kimbrough; she used to sell LulaRoe and recruit for the office. Her version of the story was even more insane and I had the pleasure of interviewing her on the BYOK podcast. Although people have openly shared their bad experiences, LulaRoe is still trucking and recruiting loyal employees. This must-see documentary is a witness of how serious some middle-class women can become over leggings.


Don't Be Shy. Have you seen any of these documentaries or is there a documentary you would like for me to see and review? If so, please leave it in the comments.


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