Netflix’s I Just Killed My Dad has just been released and you’ll be left pondering these questions after watching it. 

More often than not, the marker of a good true crime documentary is the depth of the wormhole you find yourself down after watching it. We want a film to answer our burning questions, of course, but there’s something about seeing a case unfold before your eyes that sets off a spark and search for even more answers.

Netflix’s I Just Killed My Dad was always going to be a head-scratcher – all you have to do is watch the ominous trailer to be left confused. But the case at the heart of the series is quite straightforward (as the title suggests), it’s only when we consider the motivations behind the crime that there’s some serious confusion.

On 3 June 2019, 17-year-old Anthony Templet shot his father, Burt, during an argument in their Louisiana home. He quickly called 911 to report the incident and identify himself as the shooter. Anthony has never denied what he did, but the documentary is a chilling exploration of not if Anthony Templet committed the crime – but rather why he did so.

The deeper you get into the series, the more you realise that there are some glaring questions that need answering. Not only do you start to consider the seriousness of missing child cases in the US, but you also can’t help thinking about how the series (and the case itself) reaches such a point.

With that, if you’ve watched I Just Killed My Dad and have some burning questions at the forefront of your mind, read on. 

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Why were there so many cameras in the Templet household?

One of the initial – and most haunting – things to come out of the documentary is the fact that Burt kept strict surveillance over every part of his house and the people in it. Living in his home with Anthony and his second wife, Susan, he put multiple cameras all over his property.

We learn that he had all the entrances and driveways covered – basically everywhere apart from the master bedroom, according to Susan in the documentary. As a result, Anthony’s every movement was tracked and Burt also installed a tracking device on Anthony’s phone. His controlling nature didn’t stop there: in fact, when Anthony was seen to be in one place – such as working at local garden centre Clegg’s Nursery – for too long, Burt would contact his manager Elena to enquire about Anthony if he hadn’t moved for half an hour.

In brief, the invasive amount of surveillance in the Templet household was just a window into Burt’s controlling and abusive behaviour. 

Was Burt Templet ever charged for any of his previous abuse?

During the documentary, we learn that Burt had a long history of abuse. Not only had he tormented Anthony but he had also assaulted Anthony’s mother Theresa for years. Hearing her account of the physical abuse she suffered makes for some of the most harrowing moments of the documentary, not least because her own mother describes it as being part of a long history of women in their family being abused. Burt was arrested multiple times for assault and also imprisoned.

Even so, Burt still managed to kidnap Anthony from his mother and raised him to believe that Theresa was a drug addict who wanted nothing to do with him. 

Why exactly did Anthony Templet kill his father?

Throughout the documentary, Anthony calmly talks about the years of abuse he lived with.

As well as being neglected, physical abused and kept out of the school system, Anthony initially claimed that he shot Burt in an act of self-defence. But then, once the media began reporting on the crime, Anthony’s long-lost half-sister, Natasha, revealed that Anthony had been abducted by Burt 11 years earlier. Soon, the truth came out about Burt’s long-standing history of abuse and how he had isolated Anthony from the outside world.

The teenager had never heard of celebrities like Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise and didn’t even know how to high-five, according to Anthony’s former manager. Anthony was initially charged with second-degree murder but that charge was later reduced to manslaughter, after the prosecutor confirmed that he had been acting in self-defence after years of abuse.

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Where is Anthony Templet now?

In 2021, 19-year-old Anthony took a deal where he pleaded no contest to negligent homicide for the death of his father. He served no prison time but now has a five-year probation period that will continue until 2026.

As part of the agreement, he has been advised to attend therapy sessions and has to get his General Educational Development (GED) diploma. He must also hold either a full-time job or be enrolled in school full-time and, if he meets all requirements, then he will be eligible to have his record expunged.

Anthony and Burt Templet.

Does Anthony have a relationship with his mother?

As we learn in the documentary, Anthony has worked to rebuild a relationship with his mother and grandmother but it hasn’t been easy.

“This is harder than losing him,” Theresa confesses in the documentary. “I want to be his friend, because I know it’ll never be a mother/son relationship. That was the past.”

I Just Killed My Dad is now available to stream on Netflix

Images: Netflix

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