American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders – Review of Netflix’s True Crime Docuseries


Netflix has been consistently delivering gripping true crime documentaries, and their latest offering, “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,” is no exception. This four-part docuseries delves into the mysterious death of journalist Danny Casolaro and his investigation into a conspiracy known as “The Octopus.” With its intriguing storyline and compelling characters, this series is sure to captivate true crime enthusiasts.

The Premise

Danny Casolaro, an investigative journalist, was found dead in his hotel room in West Virginia. While the authorities ruled it as a suicide, his family and colleagues suspected foul play. Casolaro was deep into investigating a conspiracy he called “The Octopus,” which involved stolen government spy software, unsolved murders, and major political scandals of the 20th century. “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders” follows Christian Hansen, a photojournalist, as he attempts to unravel the secrets behind Casolaro’s death and the conspiracy that consumed him.

The Story Unfolds

Danny Casolaro and The Octopus

Danny Casolaro’s investigation started with the Inslaw Case, where a software company alleged that the U.S. government stole their software, PROMIS. Casolaro believed that PROMIS had a backdoor that allowed for monitoring by the U.S. government. His investigation led him to Michael Riconosciuto, who claimed responsibility for installing the backdoor. Casolaro also delved into the “October Surprise” theory, which suggested that Ronald Reagan and his cohorts convinced Iran to hold American hostages until after the 1980 election.

The Rabbit Hole of Conspiracies

As Casolaro and Riconosciuto dug deeper, they became convinced that a powerful cabal known as “The Octopus” controlled the world through illegal activities. This secretive group, consisting of eight influential leaders, allegedly orchestrated major global events. The series explores the mind-boggling theories and the evidence (or lack thereof) behind them. It raises questions about the extent of power and manipulation in the highest echelons of society.

Director Zachary Treitz’s Approach

Director Zachary Treitz brings a unique perspective to “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders.” He approaches the story with a healthy dose of skepticism, replicating Casolaro’s descent into obsession and paranoia. Treitz tells the story through the eyes of Christian Hansen, a researcher who becomes consumed by the case. Hansen’s journey serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of delving too deep into dark corners. Treitz’s direction adds an additional layer of intrigue to the series.

Production Details

Release Date and Availability

“American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders” premieres exclusively on Netflix on February 28, 2024. The entire four-part series will be available to stream at once, allowing viewers to dive into the story at their own pace. Netflix offers various subscription plans, starting at $6.99 per month.

The Creative Team

The series is produced by Duplass Brothers Productions, known for their work on other true crime documentaries like “Wild, Wild Country” and “Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist.” Jay and Mark Duplass serve as executive producers, bringing their expertise in crafting compelling narratives. Director Zachary Treitz skillfully guides the storytelling, ensuring a gripping and thought-provoking experience for the audience.

The Cast

While the primary focus of “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders” is the investigation itself, the series features archival footage of Danny Casolaro and interviews with key individuals connected to the case. The cast includes Christian Hansen, the researcher determined to uncover the truth, and various experts who provide insights into the conspiracy and its potential implications.

Episode Guide

Episode 1: “Unraveling the Threads”

In the first episode, the series introduces Danny Casolaro, his investigation into the Inslaw Case, and his encounter with Michael Riconosciuto. It delves into the theory of the October Surprise and Casolaro’s growing obsession with uncovering the truth.

Episode 2: “The Tentacles of Power”

Episode 2 explores the concept of “The Octopus” and the alleged cabal controlling world events. It delves into the illegal activities orchestrated by this group and the potential consequences of their actions. Christian Hansen’s role intensifies as he becomes more entangled in the investigation.

Episode 3: “A Journalist’s Demise”

This episode focuses on the circumstances surrounding Danny Casolaro’s death. It examines the official ruling of suicide and the doubts raised by his family and colleagues. Christian Hansen’s determination to continue Casolaro’s work grows, despite the risks involved.

Episode 4: “Unveiling the Truth”

In the final episode, Christian Hansen ventures further into the labyrinth of the conspiracy. He uncovers new leads, confronts potential threats, and attempts to bring closure to the case. The series concludes with a thought-provoking exploration of the power dynamics at play in the world.


“American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders” promises to be an engrossing true crime docuseries that delves into the dark underbelly of power and deception. With its compelling storytelling, captivating characters, and thought-provoking themes, this Netflix series is a must-watch for fans of the genre. Prepare to be taken on a thrilling journey through the tangled web of American history.

Disclaimer: This article is based on available information and does not contain spoilers beyond what has been officially released. Please watch the series to uncover the full story.