I Just Killed My Dad is a true crime documentary on Netflix, But what looks like a straightforward privileged-rich-kid-kills-his-father type crime soon unravels disturbing family secrets that have been kept buried for years.
From the makers of The Girl In The Picture, I Just Killed My Dad opens with teenager Anthony Templet calling 911 from his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 3, 2019 at around 3.15am and simply telling the operator: "I just killed my dad".
The police are surprised to find Anthony waiting for them on the drive of his home, where he willingly hands himself in and cooperates as they cuff him and put him into the back of a police car. However, the fact that Anthony doesn't seem to be showing any emotion at all, odd for someone who has just shot their own father, alerts the police to the fact that something about this crime doesn't quite add up.
So who is Anthony Templet, why did he kill his own father, and where is he now? Here is everything you need to know about I Just Killed My Father...
I Just Killed My Dad: Is it a true story?
Shockingly, yes this is a true crime documentary and so Anthony Templet's story is completely true. One surprising element to the Netflix documentary is that we also hear directly from Anthony Templet as he is interviewed at various stages throughout the three episodes.
Why did Anthony Templet kill his dad?
One of the most fascinating things about Anthony Templet's crime is that he has never, not for one second, denied shooting his own father. As soon as he was taken into questioning by the police, Anthony told them in great detail how he shot Bert Templet three times following an argument while the pair of them were alone at the family home.
Anthony has always claimed he was acting in self-defence, worried for his own safety that fateful night that his dad was shot. But while at first the police couldn't see any signs of abuse on the teenager, family secrets soon started to unravel and it turned out that what had been happening behind closed doors of the Templet home was far worse than anyone could have imagined.
Bert was still alive when the ambulance arrived on the night he was shot by his son, however he died three days later from his injuries. But, when the police started their enquiries, something troubling about the Templet family came to light. Not only did none of the neighbors have a good thing to say about Bert, but they also knew very little about Anthony, with some neighbors claiming they had never even seen him before.
What was Anthony Templet arrested for?
Anthony was originally arrested for manslaughter (killing without malicious intent) but that later changed to second-degree murder as more evidence came to light. The second-degree murder charge also saw Anthony's case moved from a juvenile to adult court, meaning it could have eventually resulted in him getting a life sentence if found guilty at trial.
How was Anthony Templet kidnapped?
When initally interviewed by the police, Anthony admitted that he didn’t know simple things like his birthday or his own address. This made the police quickly realise that they weren't dealing with a straight forward murder any more. Not only was Anthony kept indoors by his father throughout his childhood, there were also security cameras everywhere around the house and a tracker on Anthony's phone, so when he went to work, his dad could watch his every move.
The real twist in the tale came when Elena Fennell, Anthony's co-worker at a local garden nursery, heard about the shooting and realised that something wasn't right. After working with Anthony for a while, she realised he hadn't been homeschooled like his father claimed and that he had lived a very sheltered life, had no friends his age or even knew who his biological mother was or if he had any grandparents.
Elena tracked down Shayna Landry, a DNA and genealogy researcher to help find Anthony's biological mother, and it soon transpired Anthony had been kidnapped at the age of five from his mother, Teresa Thompson, by dad Burt, who then raised him after telling him that his mom was a drug addict who wanted nothing to do with him.
In fact, Burt had stolen Anthony from the family while he was at his grandmother’s house with the help of the police. It was only when Teresa was tracked down that the true extent of Bert's history of mental and physical abuse over his family was revealed.
Who is Anthony's birth mum Teresa Thompson and where is she now?
After Anthony was snatched from their family home by Bert, his biological mother, Teresa Thompson, spent the next 11 years searching for her son, not knowing if he was even still alive. After hitting various dead ends in her hunt for Anthony, Teresa eventually ran out of money and admitted that by the time he was a teenager, she wouldn't have any idea what he looked like.
But Teresa's prayers were finally answered when genealogy researcher, Shayna Landry, tracked her down in 2019 after hearing about Bert's death and the complexities of Anthony's case.
But while Teresa was thrilled to have finally got the news that her son was alive and well, her happiness soon turned to dread when she discovered what had happened. In the documentary, she says: "I was just so happy, I was jumping up and down and screaming, 'They found him'." But her excitement turned to shock as she added: "It didn't turn out that happy by the end of the conversation.”
Since Anthony left jail, he has been to see Teresa in his old home in Texas where she still lives. He has also reunited with his biological grandmother and aunt. But, while they are thrilled to be back in each other's lives, there is a lot of lost time to make up for, with Teresa admitting in the documentary that she knows her role in Anthony's life will be more as a friend than a mother after so many years apart.
Who is Susan Templet in I Just Killed My Dad?
Susan is Anthony's stepmom and she and her son Peyton lived with Anthony and Bert at their home in East Baton in Louisiana until about six months before the shooting. Both Susan and Peyton were also victims of Bert's physical and emotional abuse, something which eventually helped prove exactly what sort of man Bert was before he died.
Both Susan and Peyton have stood by Anthony since the shooting and have campaigned to prove he acted in self-defense.
Who is Jarrett Ambeau in I Just Killed My Dad?
Jarrett Ambeau is Anthony's defense attorney and has fought for his innocence since they met. After seeing something of his own troubled childhood in Anthony, Jarrett vowed to help the teenager get out of jail on a pro-bono basis, meaning he didn't charge him a penny.
Eventually, psychiatrists testified Anthony was not a threat to society and the district attorney’s office admitted there was mounting evidence that Anthony was a troubled boy who had dealt with a harrowing childhood. It was then agreed that the teenager's case wouldn't have to go to trial.
Speaking in the documentary about his hopes for Anthony in the future, Jarrett said: “I have a strong want and desire for Anthony to be successful in life, he left an incredibly hopeless life and no one got involved to help him until he shot his father”.
Who is Dana Cummings in I Just Killed My Dad?
Dana Cummings was the Prosecutor on Anthony's case. When he received his five years probation with credit for time previously served she said: “What would time in jail do for this young man who has never actually had a chance to learn or to have friends or to be in the world? What would that achieve? I just think it would keep him from ever being able to be productive.” At the same time, it was also decided that if Anthony meets all his probation requirements, he will be eligible to have his criminal record removed.
Was Bert Templet ever charged for his previous abuse?
Throughout the documentary we hear about Bert's history of violence against his family, not only abusing Anthony as he grew up, but he had also assaulted Anthony’s mother Theresa for years. Her account of what she went through while in a relationship with Bert is one of the most harrowing parts of the show, but despite Bert being arrested multiple times for assault over the years and even imprisoned, still he managed to get the police on his side so he was able to remove Anthony from his grandmother's home and raise Anthony believing that Theresa was a drug addict who wanted nothing to do with him.
Where is Anthony Templet now?
After confessing to killing his dad, Anthony spent time in prison waiting for his case to go to trial. However, in 2021 his lawyer negotiated a plea deal after insisting that the teen was acting in self-defense. Anthony pleaded no contest to negligent homicide for the death of his father, and while he didn't get any further prison time he did get a five-year probation period that will end in 2026. As part of the probation agreement, Anthony has to attend therapy sessions, wear a tag and has to work towards getting a high-school diploma.
Why is the documentary called 'I just Killed My Dad'?
The name of the show, I just Killed My Dad, references what Anthony told the operator when he dialed 911 just moments after shooting his own father at their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The 911 call is also played in the documentary's opening scenes... meaning viewers get to hear the original recording of Anthony's call to the emergency services.
Is there a trailer for I Just Killed My Dad?
Yes, the trailer reveals how Anthony Templet's story unravels from the moment he makes the 911 call after shooting his own father...
Where can I watch I Just Killed My Dad?
I Just Killed My Dad is now available to stream on Netflix.
How many episodes are there of I Just Killed My Dad?
There are three episodes of I Just Killed My Dad, with each one lasting around 45 minutes. The opening episode is called “I’m Not a Killer” the second is titled “I Found My Son” and the finale is called “Big Bad Burt”.
Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
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