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Director of ‘insane’ new Netflix conspiracy documentary says he’s ‘haunted’ by disturbing discovery made while filming

Director of ‘insane’ new Netflix conspiracy documentary says he’s ‘haunted’ by disturbing discovery made while filming

The creator of the docuseries, Zachary Treitz, still can't get one thing off his mind

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

If you're into conspiracy theories, unsolved murders and tangled webs of deceit, then this 'insane' new Netflix documentary could be right up your street.

It has had viewers in a chokehold - and awake all night - since it landed on the streaming platform on 28 February.

The four-part series delves into the disturbing case of Danny Casolaro, an investigative journalist who had been looking into a 'multi-tentacled conspiracy' which he dubbed 'The Octopus' before he was found dead at the age of 44.

Take a look at the trailer for American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders here:

He was discovered in a bathtub in a hotel room in West Virginia back in August 1991 and his death was ruled a suicide, but his loved ones were convinced that there was foul play involved.

His nearest and dearest feared he was silenced due to the fact he could have been on the cusp of exposing an array of 'hidden secrets' which involved corrupt government figures, spyware and money laundering.

The story was a familiar one with journalists in and around Washington DC in the 1980s - of which there was a dispute between the Department of Justice and a technology company called INSLAW.

The disagreement appeared to be over intellectual property rights, but it was soon discovered that it was much more serious than initially seemed.

Danny Casolaro's mysterious death sparked even more conspiracy theories.

After a lot of research consisting of old clippings, handwritten notes that were hard to read and the names of former CIA officers and arms dealers, Casolaro believed that he had uncovered a hidden organisation.

Casolaro became 'obsessed' with the case which he believed revolved around a computer program called Promis and resulted in a string of suspicious deaths - seeing him head out to a motel in summer 1991 expecting to interview a key source for the story, only to never return.

American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders was created by Zachary Treitz, who essentially picked up from where Casolaro's investigation left off with his pal and photojournalist, Christian Hansen.

His docuseries is jam-packed with a decades worth of information which they uncovered after delving down more than enough rabbit holes, all of which is pretty chilling to say the least.

The four-part documentary delves into the complex case.

But there is something in particular which has 'haunted' Treitz throughout the ten years he has spent digging into 'The Octopus' with Hansen.

Out of all the shady figures he met, the filmmaker explained that there was one bloke in particular who piqued his interest.

Former military official Joseph 'Joe' Cuellar is the fella who creeps in his dreams at night, as he has never been able to work out what went down with him and Casolaro - who was reportedly receiving death threats before he passed away.

In the series, Treitz said that the pair seemingly met by chance at a bar before they started talking about 'The Octopus' theory and all it's 'tentacles' - which, strangely, they were both aware of.

Casolaro's brother, Tony, said in the Netflix show: "It turned out that he was quite familiar with everything Danny was doing… It seemed a bit coincidental. However, as we’ve all learned, it’s a small town."

Chris Hansen (pictured) worked alongside Zachary Treitz.

The same thought has plagued Treitz, as the director revealed that it still plays on his mind to this day.

He told The Mirror: "It has always kind of haunted me that there's very few notes [of Casolaro's] about that guy.

"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 watch on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Conspiracy Theory, Crime, Documentaries, Netflix, True Crime, TV and Film