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Director of chilling new Netflix documentary ‘haunted’ by disturbing discovery made in series
Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Director of chilling new Netflix documentary ‘haunted’ by disturbing discovery made in series

Many people have died while investigating the case...

Warning: This article contains discussion of suicide which some readers may find distressing.

The director behind Netflix's disturbing new true crime docuseries has revealed he's been left 'haunted' by the chilling tales.

It follows the mysterious death of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, who was found in a hotel bathtub in 1991, at the age of just 44.

At the time, his death was ruled as a suicide, but those closest to him remained convinced he had been murdered after getting too close to a government conspiracy, which he titled The Octopus.

Check out the trailer for American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders below:

Casolaro's investigation began when he was made aware of a dispute between the Department of Justice and technology information company INSLAW's founder.

The original story quickly snowballed into the journalist looking into a series of powerful people connected to the Reagan administration, leading him to discover a much bigger story.

Casolaro started making startling connections between a whole host of different crimes, including drug trafficking, money laundering and the Iran hostage crisis. He later gave his investigation the moniker of 'The Octopus', linking each tentacle to a high-ranking government official who he believed was responsible for these events.

Danny Casolaro was found in a hotel bathtub in 1991 at the age of just 44.

Years later, journalist Christian Hansen stumbled across Casolaro's findings and decided to continue his research for him, alongside his filmmaker childhood friend, director Zachary Treitz.

In an interview with The Mirror, Treitz revealed the decision to continue the investigation sometimes left him feeling as though he had 'lost his mind' because 'people die' when they try and uncover the truth behind The Octopus.

Throughout the project, which continued for some seven years, the two men met a number of potentially highly dangerous characters, but Treitz has revealed there was one person who haunted him most.

Former military official Joe Cuellar is apparently one part of the puzzle that doesn't quite add up for the director.

In the docuseries, we learn that Cuellar and Casolaro met by chance in a bar, where they began discussing the in-depth investigation at length, with the official appearing to know quite a lot about the case.

Christian Hansen decided to continue the investigation.

He explained: "It has always kind of haunted me that there's very few notes about that guy," despite that someone of Cuellar's description was said to be the last person with Casolero before his death.

Treitz continued: "When you think about the possibility of Danny's notes being gone [if he had been murdered], that's always kind of haunted me. We have notes on everybody in the story, but there's proportionately fewer on Cuellar.

"It's circumstantial story, but I think that his son kind of told us in a succinct way that his dad was a military intelligence officer specialising in psychological warfare... he was a guy that got s**t done.

"Him hanging out with Danny talking randomly, just chewing the fat, meeting up with him multiple times talking about his story, I just don't buy it at all. He wouldn't need to talk to Danny. He's got plenty of interesting things that go on in his own life."

American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders is available to stream on Netflix now.

Topics: Netflix, True crime, Film and TV