True Crime Documentary Review Life with Murder, Canadian Sororicide by Mason Jenkins

True crime documentary Life with Murder takes us up to Canada for a brooding film about the murder of Jennifer Jenkins by her brother Mason Jenkins. At 20-years-old, he has been arrested for killing his 18-year-old sibling by shooting her multiple times. He creates an outlandish story only to admit a decade later he was the one who did it, but there’s a lot more. She may not have been the intended target.

Life with Murder is already more than a decade old and a non-flashy film nobody would seek out on purpose unless they were familiar with the case. I wasn’t but I was willing to take the risk. Could this “older” documentary keep me entertained?

What was good about Life with Murder

This was an incredibly intriguing story about a sibling murder with no real motivation. It’s a solved crime with so much left unsaid. Those kinds of documentaries fall into a special category. We know a lot of what happened. We just don’t have the why or necessarily a lot of confidence in the how.

Life with Murder is about more than Mason and Jennifer. Throughout, we see plenty of their parents who stand by their son even after he has admitted to being the one who pulled the trigger. The documentary moves slowly with a backdrop of a Canadian winter to set a dark mood. We see Mason in his cell plenty. We hear different versions of what actually happened straight from him including what he was thinking when he came up with lies.

This documentary was as candid as it gets. Mason lies, admits he lied, and becomes a Boy Who Cried Wolf type of character. It’s not until the end when we learn of what his actual plan was. It seems to fit into theories police had when the murder first happened.

What could have made Life with Murder better

On one hand, a more modern true crime documentary style could’ve made this equally as good if not better. On the other hand, I feel like this softer and simpler approach worked well.

The only thing that could have made Life with Murder a bit better would have been stretching it out. I could see a 20/20 episode on this case where the first half is more background and that midway point twist happens when Mason eventually changes his story. There wasn’t much initial mystery in this documentary. However, it made for it when the intrigue came about the motive. I love a good documentary where we know the who and the why is where all the unanswered questions come from.

Truly, there wasn’t much more Life with Murder could’ve done to be better. This was a good one.

Is Life with Murder worth watching?

Did you not read the above sentence? It’s okay. I skim things on the internet, too. Yes. Watch it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you because this is a pretty deep and human documentary.

Overall Score: 9 out of 10

A special shoutout to everyone in the music department. It helped set the mood. Life with Murder isn’t a true crime documentary legend. It’s a great watch nonetheless.

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