The Murders at White House Farm

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Murders at White House Farm TV Poster Image
Murder mystery drama based on true story is well-done.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The Murders at White House Farm is about the value of seeking the truth and believing in your convictions, no matter what stands in your way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters show fortitude, ingenuity, observation, and skill in the search for the truth behind the White House Murders. 

Violence

Though the show revolves around a brutal mass murder, including the murder of children, The Murder at White House Farm treats violence thoughtfully and only shows brief glimpses of the crime scene. A morgue and autopsies are also show, and violence, abuse, and amorality are topics of discussion.

Sex

The Murders at White House Farm contains some sexual content, including one simulated sex scene and brief female nudity.

Language

Features moderate profanity, including "f--k." "s--t," "damn," and "hell." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke socially. No drug use is shown, but anti-psychotics are a frequent topic of discussion.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Murders at White House Farm is a mystery drama about the 1985 murder of an English family, which included two small children. The show is in many ways about the nature of evil and the obstacles that can stand in the way of truth. It's thoughtful about how it depicts violence, but the details of the crime and depictions of the crime scene and investigation may be disturbing for some viewers. The show is generally light on sexual content, but does feature one sex scene where female nudity is briefly shown. Moderate profanity is used ("f--k." "s--t," "damn," and "hell"), and characters are seen drinking and smoking. Psychiatric medication is a frequent tropic, and at least one character may be a diagnosed schizophrenic.

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What's the story?

THE MURDERS AT WHITE HOUSE FARM is based on a real murder that took place in England in 1985. Sheila Caffell, a former model who is being treated for schizophrenia, takes her twin sons to visit her parents at their farm in Essex. That night, the police are called to the farm by Sheila's brother, Jeremy, who claims that Shelia is holding the family hostage with a rifle. The police eventually find the entire family dead in what looks like a murder-suicide at Sheila's hands. But when Detective Stan Jones looks closely at the crime scene, the details don't add up. He begins to suspect that something entirely different has happened at White House Farm.

Is it any good?

Detective work often comes down to seeing small details that no one else does. The Murders on White House Farm's mystery is driven by a policeman who makes a series of discoveries that his peers don't care enough to notice, and what appears to be a straightforward crime unravels into a much more complex and morally ambiguous morass. Similarly, the series itself feels detail-oriented in a way that most crime shows are not. Every aspect of the investigation is revealed clearly and thoughtfully, allowing the case to feel both complex and easy to follow. Crime dramas often seem interchangeable, but that attention to detail makes The Murders on White House Farm stand out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the crime. What appears to have happened at White House Farm? Why does DS Jones suspect something different happened? Are there any clues that we know that DS Jones doesn't? What are they?

  • What is standing in the way of DS Jones discovering the truth about the murders? How does he navigate these obstacles? 

  • What do you think happened at White House Farm? Why do you think the Bamber family was killed? How did your opinion change over the course of the show?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love crime dramas

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