Ryan Murphy’s new thriller series, The Watcher, on Netflix, is based on actual events that were initially reported in a 2018 piece with the same name in The Cut.
In Westfield, New Jersey, 657 Boulevard, a house with six bedrooms, was purchased by Derek and Maria Broaddus in 2014. Derek discovered a note addressed to “The New Owner” while performing maintenance on the home before they moved in. The author of the letter refers to themselves as “The Watcher” and asserts that they were given the responsibility of keeping watch over the house until its “second coming.”
The dearest favorite new neighbor at 657 Boulevard, please accept my sincere condolences. I’d want to extend a warm welcome to the neighborhood. As 657 Boulevard approaches its 110th birthday and has been the focus of my family for years, I have been given the responsibility of keeping an eye out for its second arrival. Both my father and grandfather kept watching over the house in the 1960s. My time has come. Do you understand the house’s past? Do you know what’s inside 657 Boulevard’s walls? How come you are here? I’ll research it. ”
The Watcher’s letter continues with a discussion of Derek and Maria’s children, claiming to have “noticed” them and accurately identifying that they had three. With the letter in hand, Derek went to the police, who warned him not to share its contents with his new neighbors. The former owners of the house responded via email to Derek and Maria’s inquiry.
They also stated that they had received a letter identical to Derek and Maria’s right before they left, but had not encountered anything comparable during their 23 years as residents, so they threw it out. The family continued to get letters from The Watcher throughout time as repairs were made to the home before they moved in, and he kept getting the nicknames of the kids right. As a result of his home’s proximity to the Broaddus and the neighborhood’s perception that he was a member of an eccentric family, Michael Langford was detained by police for questioning.
Langford was ultimately exonerated of any wrongdoing, though. Then, Derek and Maria commissioned their own private investigators to look into the matter. The letter had numerous passages that, according to one of the detectives, veteran FBI agent Robert Lenehan, suggested The Watcher was an older man or woman. The detective proposed a number of theories regarding potential buyers who passed on the property and previous occupants who had worked at the residence. It has even been suggested that The Watcher might have been influenced by the Keanu Reeves film The Watcher, in which a serial killer stalks the detective in an effort to catch him.
But in 2014, the inquiry was called off following a number of unanswered questions and theories from the police and private investigators. Derek and Maria put the house on the market six months after getting the first letter. Eventually, in 2019, the house was sold for $400,000 less than Derek and Maria had originally paid for it.
Who Is In The Cast Of “The Watcher” On Netflix?
An outstanding cast has been assembled for The Watcher. Derek and Maria Broaddus are portrayed by Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale as Dean and Nora Brannock. Their daughter, Ellie Brannock, is portrayed by Isabel Gravitt. The family’s realtor, Karen Calhoun, is portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge. According to Collider, Mia Farrow plays Pearl, a neighbor of the family.
Who Is The Watcher?
The Watcher was never apprehended in spite of continued inquiries. At first, Michael Langford, a neighbor of Derek and Maria, was thought to be guilty. But there was never enough proof to make him a suspect. Later, it was discovered through a DNA test that the letters’ author was a female.
Authorities looked into Michael’s sister Abby Langford, the previous owner of the house before Derek and Maria, Andrea Woods, and Maria herself as a consequence. But none of them matched up. It has yet to be discovered who the Watcher is. There is no evidence to support the neighborhood’s persistent belief that Derek and Maria penned the letters themselves in an effort to sell the property. And did it to get a movie deal.
Where Was “The Watcher” On Netflix Filmed?
The majority of the Netflix series was filmed in a New York suburb, despite the fact that the genuine 657 Boulevard is in New Jersey. According to The Cinemaholic, the house from the series is situated in Rye.