I am a Killer season 1, episode 7 recap: Family Affair


Episode 7 of Netflix series I am a Killer examines the case of Deandra Buchanan. Did drugs or possessive jealousy make him kill his girlfriend and others?

As Family Affair begins, Deandra Buchanan assures us that he’s a normal, down to earth normal person.

Still, there’s a basic fact that contrasts with this image: On November 7th, 2000, Buchanan fatally shot his girlfriend Angela Brown, his aunt Juanita Hoffman and his stepfather William Jefferson shooting at a house party in Columbia, Missouri.

Buchanan’s Backstory

Born in Centreville, Illinois, Buchanan says that, as a kid, he knew right from wrong, went to church, got good grades, was interested in music, sports, science, and all the stuff which shapes a well-rounded individual.

However, after his dad died in a tragic accident, Dendra says he started fighting and selling drugs, and carried weapons to avoid getting robbed. He says the glamour of the lifestyle captivated him, but “what’s in the dark comes to the light.”

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Eventually, he met a woman, Angela Brown, and they had two kids. Being paranoid due to his profession, Buchanan argued with Angela for bringing her cousin over to their home without permission.

Deandra says he had tight security protocol, and even hired other people to answer the door to avoid getting shot. He says this is why he grabbed her and shook her one day and she called the police. Of course, as often happens on I am a Killer, there are conflicting versions of these events, which we’ll get to in a bit.

Nov. 7th, 2000

On that day, Deandra, Angela Brown and her daughters were at a family gathering at Buchanan’s stepfather’s house. Deandra Buchanan says he had taken some drugs, and he remembers being fearful of a possible intruder in the house.

Though he claims to not remember what happened after taking the drugs, he does remember being fearful of his family trying to kill him, or some such paranoid thing.

I am a Killer: Different Views

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Lieutenant Krista Jones describes the scene as she arrived: An unconscious woman with kids on top of her, and with blood pooling around her neck. Krista found Buchanan near the scene, surprised that he was compliant yet agitated and yelling simultaneously.

He is described as being belligerent, sweating and afraid of getting killed. He was charged with killing 3 people and sentenced to death in 2002 (though his death sentence was later commuted to a life sentence).

Angela’s mom, Valeria says that, when she first met him, Buchanan was a gentleman. She wouldn’t think he was “a wolf in sheep clothing.” However, he became more controlling as time went on. Angela wasn’t allowed to visit her mom.

Drejanay Brown, Angela’s daughter, feels that Deandra got what he deserves.   Similarly, Toni Rush, Deandra’s cousin and victim Juanita Hoffman’s daughter, says he was spoiled and never mistreated at home.

Kevin Crane, the Lead Prosecutor in 2001 and now a Judge, maintains that Deandra was controlling at the party, and in control of his faculties. It is a bit complicated, though. In the police interview footage, Deandra says he fears his family was trying to kill him.

However, awareness (or legal sanity) was arguably established because Deandra re-loaded the gun. Furthermore, Crane notes that “being high” is not a defense, especially when he wasn’t so he couldn’t load and reload the gun — a pump action shotgun.

Devon McTye, a step-niece of Deandra, says her grandfather, William Jefferson, was a hero who treated him like a son. She also says Buchanan didn’t just shake Angela Brown once or twice in their disputes. He hit her with a baseball bat!

On another occasion (according to Devon) he beat her with a wire hanger. In fact, the court had separated them. So, according to McTye, he murdered Angela and the others in cold-blood.  In fact, she paints a clearer picture: He shot her in the neck as she held their 5-month old baby.

She also says he didn’t do it because he was high and that he had no reason to kill Juanita or her grandfather.

More on Deandra’s Version

It’s a complicated episode of I am a Killer because there could be something to his claims of paranoia, even if he had been consciously controlling Angela on other occasions. It could even be that he consumed a drug which pushed him over the edge and he flipped out.

However, it’s apparent that he was dangerous even before the fatal shootings — despite not knowing the whole truth of his mental state on Nov. 7, 2000.

Now he says he is sorry, insisting he’s not that same person. He believes it was the drugs and that his spree wasn’t planned. He really believes he was paranoid about someone entering the house, or that they were already there, or some such thing.

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He is annoyed by abuse allegations against him and says he’s going to get out someday. While that day may never come, one hopes he really has changed since then and that he poses no harm to anyone, free or otherwise.

That’s it for this I am a Killer recap! What are your thoughts on this Netflix original series? Let us know in the comments!