The devastating true story of ‘Worst Roommate Ever’
(Credit: Netflix)

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The devastating true story of ‘Worst Roommate Ever’

Tales of dastardly deeds and wanton criminality have always been one of the easiest ways to draw in Netflix subscribers, with Worst Roommate Ever proving so popular it was renewed for a second run of episodes that premiered on June 26th, 2024.

Watching even one instalment is enough to put anybody off the idea of co-habitation for the foreseeable future, with the series digging into the shocking stories of death, deceit, violence, and despair that plunged unsuspecting and unfortunate roommates into situations they could have never anticipated.

Season two premiere ‘My BFF Tried to Kill Me’ is fairly self-explanatory in the broadest sense, but it doesn’t come close to doing justice to the devastating dissolution of the lengthy friendship between Janie Lynn Ridd and her roommate Rachel, who’d been as close as sisters for 25 years after first meeting in 1995.

The pair even acted as informal co-parents to Rachel’s nonverbal autistic son, with their inseparable bond seemingly in the best interests of both. However, when Rachel repeatedly became ill on a number of occasions without any reasonable explanation, left her unable to work, she found out that she’d been the victim of a long-running vendetta.

Janie had been poisoning her so-called best friend with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, born from an increasingly obsessive sense of jealousy and possessiveness. After giving birth to her son in 2010, Rachel took out a life insurance policy on herself and Janie, who were each other’s beneficiaries. Not only that, but the latter was named as the legal custodian of her child if the former were to pass away.

By 2018, things had soured between them, with Rachel alleging that Janie was telling people at the boy’s school that she was the parent, even being sued for custody of her own son in 2018. They moved back in together after putting their differences behind them, or so it seemed, with Janie even assisting in Rachel’s recovery from surgery.

And yet, her suspicions began to arise after she suffered what was called “a suspicious MRSA infection,” dangerously high blood sugar levels, unexplainable infections following another surgery, and a case of E. coli, before the authorities discovered Janie had been trying to obtain a lethal bacteria called VRSA on the dark web, which came after she’d illicitly purchased ketamine, Xanax, and insulin injectors.

Janie was ultimately arrested and charged with aggravated intentional abuse of a disabled or elder adult, attempted intentional abuse of a disabled or elder adult, and attempted possession of a weapon of mass destruction. She was sentenced to between one and 20 years behind bars, but only served 25 months before being released.

Rachel had no reason to suspect there were any ulterior motives when she moved in with her best friend of 25 years, only to discover in a harrowing fashion that her closest compatriot was actively poisoning her, presumably with the endgame of killing her and taking custody of her son.