'One Of The Most Unsettling’ True Crime Docs Viewers Have Ever Watched Has Finally Come To Netflix

By Harsh Rana in Movies & TV On 24th June 2024

Netflix has just released a new true crime documentary, and it’s been executively produced by none other than Louis Theroux.

However, viewers are warning that it’s among 'the most unsettling' they have ever seen.

The documentary is directed by Nick August-Perna, known for his work with The Swell Season, and it brings to light the controversial case against Anna Stubblefield.

Stubblefield was a philosophy professor whose relationship resulted in a criminal conviction, making this story particularly gripping and intense.

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Back in 2009, Stubblefield, who was 41 at the time, met Derrick Johnson.

Derrick was a 30-year-old non-verbal man with cerebral palsy, and their meeting happened through Derrick’s brother, John Johnson.

Derek Johnson (left) is the subject of a new true crime documentary Netflix

John was enrolled in one of Stubblefield’s courses at Rutgers University, located in Newark, New Jersey.

He soon approached his professor about his brother’s condition, seeking advice or assistance.

According to a 2015 article in The Times, both of Stubblefield’s parents had Ph.D.s in special education and had dedicated their careers to working extensively with people with disabilities.

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It seems that Stubblefield was following in her parents' footsteps when she offered to help Derrick with his communication skills.

This assistance soon led Derrick to take a class at the university.

Stubblefield, who was married at the time, has claimed that what transpired between her and Derrick was a consensual sexual relationship.

However, Derrick’s mother, Daisy Johnson, has a very different perspective.

One viewer said the doc was 'unsettling' to watch Netflix

She asserts that her son was incapable of engaging in physical or emotional intimacy.

This conflict is at the heart of the documentary, which chronicles the relationship between Stubblefield and Derrick and the events that led to a criminal trial and ultimately a felony conviction.

If this has piqued your interest, you can watch the trailer for the doc on, Tell Them You Love Me.

Netflix describes the documentary as 'scandalous' and says it explores 'the controversial relationship between a professor and a nonverbal man that leads to a trial over race, disability, and power’.

Stubblefield initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. However, in 2016, she was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In 2017, an appeals court overturned her conviction and ordered a retrial.

By the following year, Stubblefield pleaded guilty to ‘third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact,’ although she continues to maintain in the documentary that she was ‘not guilty of a crime'.

Professor sentenced for sexually assaulting disabled man nj.com

Since this Theroux-produced true crime documentary landed on Netflix, viewers have been very vocal about their opinions on social media.

One user on X shared: “Tell Them You Love Me might be one of the most unsettling documentaries I’ve ever watched on Netflix," calling it 'insane’.

Another viewer commented: “Just watched Tell Them You Love Me, and I really want to have a conversation about it. I’m so conflicted because I can see both ends of the spectrum.”

A third person expressed that the documentary made them feel 'very uncomfortable’, and someone else added, “Tell Them You Love Me has to be one of the most disturbing documentaries on Netflix.”

This new release has certainly sparked a lot of discussion and debate, making it a must-watch for fans of true crime documentaries who are looking for something thought-provoking and deeply unsettling.