There were 11 members of a Delhi family found dead in their home. Was it suicide, murder… or something else? Netflix’s House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths is the haunting new true crime documentary series, which explores the chilling truths and theories surrounding their deaths.
The three-part docuseries covers the death of the 11 members of the Chundawat family in Burari Delhi, India. The deaths were believed to be the result of a mass suicide, but some people theorize something else happened. Though much coverage hasn’t been given to this case in America, there were countless terrifying headlines across South Asia, specifically in India where the events took place.
On July 1, 2018, a friend of the Chundawat family discovered all 11 members, ranging in age from 15 to 80 years old, dead in their home. Shortly after the investigation by authorities, they found 11 diaries kept for 11 years by the Burari family members. It appeared they died because of a ritual, detailed within the writings, gone horribly wrong.
According to the journals obtained by the police, on the night of their deaths, the family performed a ritual which involved binding their hands and feet, taping their mouths shut, and blindfolding themselves. They then hung themselves in a courtyard of the family home. As if the story couldn’t get any weirder, the 80-year-old grandmother of the family was found strangled in a room of the house by herself.
Similar to the rest of the country’s citizens upon hearing the news, Mumbai-based filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed films Parched and Rajma Chawal, Leena Yadav, was concerned after reading the gruesome headlines about the incident.
“It was something that greatly disturbed me,” she told Vice in a recent interview. “But then it became weird, and the media spun multiple narratives out of it. But none of them had any answers.”
Yadav began uncovering answers for herself, leading Netflix to its next major true crime documentary series, which the streaming platform released last week. The series has since been trending in India, Pakistan and most countries in South Asia.
Yadav’s findings detail what happened to the Chundawat family and how the family could have, what police referred to as a “shared psychosis,” without anyone outside of the family realizing.
“The whole idea of the documentary was to highlight that it’s easy enough for all of us to look at a case like this and pretend this doesn’t happen in our families,” she told Vice. “But this case is just an exploded view of the secrets all of us hold, the truths we like to hide, and the traumas we ignore.”
Leena noted that when she noticed friends and extended family members only had positive things to say about the Chundawat family with no hint at what was to come, she realized there was a much bigger story.
She explained it was a “continuation of the front that all of us put up, that the secrets of the house should remain inside.”
Be sure to watch the chilling docuseries House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths streaming now on Netflix. Watch the trailer below.