Netflix’s New Show,”The Watcher,” Is Based On A True Crime Case

By Hannah Lozada

Could you imagine your own neighbor stalking you and sending threatening letters to you? Imagine your privacy being invaded everyday, at any given time. Your paranoia prevents you from doing your daily routines when you hear unknown noises throughout your empty home. Well, chances are you’ve never had anybody stalk you. However, Netflix’s new show, “The Watcher,” is based on a true crime case about an unknown stalker who sends threatening letters to their victims. 

The Netflix Adaptation of, “The Watcher,” was produced by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. The show follows a true crime case about the Broaddus family and The Watcher. It will be released on October 15, 2022. 

According to the true crime case, In June 2014, Maria and Derek Broaddus were preparing for a new chapter in their lives. They were planning to sell their 770,000 dollar home, and move into a 1.3 million dollar home. They were planning to move into 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey. The 6-bedroom home was, quote, their “Dream House.” After they bought the house, a letter arrived at their residence three days later. 

On the front of the envelope, it read, “The New Owner,” in a thick font. The typed letter introduced the Broaddus’ to the neighborhood. However, the letter wasn’t welcoming at all. The person in the letter claimed that they were instructed to “watch” over their new home, which would grant them the nickname, “The Watcher.” The Watcher also claimed that their family watched over the house for nearly 100 years, and it was finally their time to watch over the new property owners. 

The second letter that was sent by The Watcher would include very personal details about the Broaddus’ family. This includes the Broaddus’ names (misspelled), the birth order of their children, and their children’s nicknames. The letter also mentioned their daughter painting outside, asking, “Is she the artistic one in the family?” 

The Watcher also referred to Mr. and Mrs. Broaddus’ children as, ‘Young blood,’ asking, “Will the young blood stay in the basement? I’d be scared if I was alone down there. If you stayed upstairs you wouldn’t hear their screams.” An excerpt from the 2nd letter also states that the Watcher can track the family through the windows and doors. 

After the family received the second letter, the Broaddus’ stopped bringing them to the home, and postponed their plans to move in. The Broaddus family became very stressed and paranoid due to these letters. Derek was suffering from depression, while Maria was suffering from PTSD. 

A couple weeks later, a third letter arrived at their residence. It read, “Where have you been.. 657 Boulevard misses you.” This is the last letter that the Watcher sent to the Broaddus family. 

There aren’t any leads about who The Watcher could be. There isn’t enough evidence to make arrests or to make a case about certain suspects. The stalker never left anything for investigators to work from, besides the threatening letters. This case is very recent, and maybe a future break in the case will allow justice for the Broaddus family. 

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