The public reacts to The Poughkeepsie Tapes

Amelia Symons, staff writer

Over the last six or more months, the app TikTok has skyrocketed with popularity. Formerly known as, TikTok is an app where people create 15- to 60-second long videos of themselves dancing, cooking, lip syncing, or showing their favorite movies or music playlists. Over the past few weeks, my feed has been flooded with peoples’ reviews of a documentary called The Poughkeepsie Tapes. Intrigued, I decided to watch it. 

This film shows serial killings by a man named Edward Carver, aka the Water Street Butcher. The Butcher did unspeakable things to innocent people all while videotaping every second of it. Carver began his stalking, torturing, and killing career in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Between 1988 and 1993, he killed four people that are known. The police in Poughkeepsie became aware of these crimes in 1993, causing Carver to begin acting as a police officer. He used one of the people he kidnapped, Cheryl Dempsey, to help him commit these crimes. Carver planted evidence on a detective, named James Foley, who was convicted and given the death penalty, only to be exonerated three days later. The police found the Butcher’s house from an IP address on a map. At the house, they found over 800 tapes filmed by Edward Carver showing every step of his attacks from the stalking and abduction to the mutilation of the bodies after the people had  been killed.

This documentary was scheduled to be released many times, first in 2007 then later in 2008 and 2014. Each time the release was cancelled because of rumors of a poor festival reaction. The film was finally released onto DVD and Blu-ray in October of 2017 and has just recently been receiving a lot of popularity.

I have always been interested in true crime stories. Although this documentary freaked me out for a few days after watching, I would definitely recommend watching this film if you are into true crime or horror films.