The Watcher miniseries has arrived on Netflix as another Ryan Murphy production. Granted, there are a lot of these Murphy projects, and some stand out much more than the rest. Dahmer may have stood out for some wrong reasons, but it’s still the streamer’s second most-watched series already, so Murphy knows a thing or two about making compelling shows out of horrific situations. And The Watcher does dramatize a truly upsetting real-life situation for one family who bought (what they believed was) their dream home, only for the situation to quickly devolve into a mystery person stalking the home (and the Broaddus family).
The situation later turned into a real-estate nightmare. Derek and Maria Broaddus are portrayed by Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts in this show, and they initially purchased their cursed home from a real estate agent portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge, but that’s not the real estate who’s talking about the house these days. Rather, that would be David Barbosa, who came to the gig after a 2018 article by The Cut, which detailed how a mystery party fired off a series of disturbingly threatening letters to the Broaddus family. This person claimed to have been tasked with watching over the house for decades, and he knew far too much about the parents and their children while referring to them as “young blood.”
That was only the beginning of the letters, and the article sent the house into viral infamy with people flocking to take photos and generally gawk. Entertainment Weekly spoke with Barbosa about how his clients took a big loss on the $1.4 million house (listed for $999,000 and selling for $40,000 less), but someone eventually did buy it after a deluge of prospective buyers nope-d out:
“The deal was that, if you were going to put an offer in on the house, you had to go down to the attorney’s office and look at [all of the evidence], so you knew what really happened before we went into a hard contract,” he explains. One man, whom Barbosa remembers confidently told him that he didn’t “give a s—” about the hostile letters the Broadduses received, backed out after delving deeper into the case.
“He went down to the attorney’s office and called me and said, ‘Yeah, I’m out.’ He just said, ‘Listen, after reading everything, there’s no way I’m going in that house,'” Barbosa says with a laugh.
From there, no one knows what happened with The Watcher because the new owner didn’t experience the same harassment. Did he suddenly pass away, and no one knew it? The abuse doesn’t appear to be targeted against the Broaddus family since a former owner received a disturbing letter, too. Well, Netflix viewers are now left to evaluate the situation, and that’s precisely what they’ll do while binging.
The Watcher is streaming on Netflix.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)