The Motive: release date and how to watch Israeli true crime docuseries

Everything you need to know about the new Israeli true crime series.

The Motive

Looking for your new true crime watch? Then you’re in luck, as The Motive is set to arrive on Netflix this week.


The Israeli docuseries looks at the murder of a Jerusalem family by their teenage son in 1986 and how the police and community were rocked to their core by the massacre.

“In this docuseries, insiders come forward,” Netflix teases, with the limited series featuring interviews with journalists, lawyers, judges, doctors and other key figures in the case as they tried to understand why a 14-year-old boy would commit such a crime.

Read on for everything you need to know about The Motive.

The Motive release date

The Motive arrives on Netflix on Thursday 28th October.

The docuseries, directed by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry, is a Hebrew-language documentary – however, English subtitles are available.

What is The Motive about?

The Motive looks at the 1986 murder of an entire family in Jerusalem, a crime a teenage boy was suspected of committing.

“In Jerusalem 1986, a 14-year-old boy shoots his family point-blank in their beds. Yet questions persist. In this docuseries, insiders come forward,” Netflix teases.

Is The Motive a true story?

The Motive looks at the real-life murders of a family living in Jerusalem, when on 22nd February 1986, their son woke up in the middle of the night, took his father’s M-16 assault rifle and killed his parents and two sisters.

According to the documentary, the teenage boy – known as ‘A’ – changed his clothes and ran to the neighbours house. When police arrived and asked why he had murdered his family, he said that a green creature had told him to do so.

The documentary features interviews with judges, lawyers, doctors, journalists and police officers involved in the case as well as a counsellor from the home for young offenders that housed A for several years.

“Throughout all the years that have passed, everyone continues to be disturbed by the dissonance between the character of the small, bespectacled boy who was so composed, brilliant, and kind – and the monstrous massacre that he committed,” the series description reads.


The Motive trailer

A trailer for The Motive is available online and on the Netflix homepage.

Read our guides to the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix. Check out more of our Documentaries coverage of visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.