What happened between Rachel and Janie? The chilling true story behind Netflix's Worst Roommate Ever.

The Netflix true crime series Worst Roommate Ever has captivated audiences with its second season, delving into the disturbing case of Janie Lynn Ridd.

The season premiere, titled 'My BFF Tried to Kill Me', tells of the twisted relationship between Janie and her best friend of 25 years, Rachel.

Janie and Rachel met in 1995 in Utah when Rachel was 22 and Janie was 26 — they quickly became close friends. Their bond deepened over the years, leading them to become (you guessed it) roommates. 

Over the years Rachel, a former paramedic, faced numerous health challenges, including a debilitating back injury. During these vulnerable times, Janie assumed the role of caregiver, especially when Rachel was pregnant with her son, Ryder, and after he was born.

"For the first time in our friendship, Janie had 100 per cent control over me because I didn't have a job, I was pregnant, I had a back injury, and I was in so much pain, I needed her," Rachel said in the docuseries.

Ryder has autism and is conversationally nonverbal so to ensure her son was taken care of, Rachel listed Janie as Ryder's guardian on her will and took out a large life insurance policy. 

But Janie's relationship with Rachel's son took a worrying turn, as Janie let people believe at Ryder's school that she was his mother.

That was when Rachel received a letter to say Janie was suing her for custody of Ryder. Janie claimed Rachel was addicted to opiates, and was unable to take care of her own son — a complete fabrication. Although Rachel had been taking painkillers after her operation (a fact Janie left out of her filing), she was never addicted.


Ryder was eventually returned to Rachel's custody after Child Protective Services discovered that her roommate was lying about her claims, and the mother-son duo quickly moved out.

worst roommate ever janie ridd rachel where nowJanie (left) and Rachel (right). Image: Netflix. 

Rachel and Ryder briefly lived in a women's shelter, but the new environment was not something that her autistic son was able to adjust to. But they had nowhere else to go — and Rachel needed help after another surgery that required someone to attend to her post-surgery incisions. 


That's how Rachel and Ryder ended up moving back in with Janie. 

During this time, Janie would roughly rub the site, causing Rachel more pain. This ended in a massive infection caused by MRSA, a type of staph bacteria that can be resistant to several antibiotics.

Rachel continued experiencing mysterious health issues, resulting in multiple hospitalisations. Strangely, after one of those visits, Rachel recalled her sister saying that Janie "seemed almost mad that you survived".

What Rachel didn't know was that Janie had been slowly poisoning her with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and injecting her with insulin.

An FBI investigation found that Janie had purchased a deadly strain of Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) from the dark web. Posing as a biology teacher, she acquired the VRSA for $300 in Bitcoin, intending to use it to harm Rachel. Janie also bought other substances, including sedatives and insulin, which she used to drug Rachel while they were living together.

In December 2019, Janie was arrested and charged with three felonies: aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, attempted aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, and attempted acquisition of a biological weapon.

According to court documents, Ridd was sentenced to serve consecutive sentences of at least one and up to 15 years for attempted possession or use of a weapon of mass destruction and up to five years for attempted aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult. 


When FBI agents asked Rachel whether her friend would use a biological agent on her, she said, "No, she's my best friend and whether we argue or not, she's been my best friend for 25 years and I love her like a sister."

worst roommate ever janie ridd rachel where nowRachel shares her story on Worst Roommate Ever. Image: Netflix. 

Where Is Janie Ridd now?

In 2020, Janie was sentenced to prison. However, she served only 25 months before being granted parole and she was released in January 2022. Her early release has raised concerns about the safety of those around her, particularly Rachel and Ryder.


Viewers shared their disbelief with such a light sentencing over on X. "How did Janie only get 25 months in prison when she clearly tried to murder her friend 5 times?" one posted.

"She should [have] been done for attempted murder and kept her arse in prison! She isn't safe to be out! Hope Rachel and Ryder are safe," added another.

Since her release, Janie Ridd has kept a low profile. She is believed to still reside in Utah, and a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to her lists her as working at an education centre in the state. However, there have been no public statements or interviews from Janie since her release, leaving many questions unanswered.

In an eerie phone recording played at the end of the Netflix episode, Janie said she planned to get Ryder back. 

"I know what's going to happen. I'm going to end up out of here," Janie said from the Salt Lake County Jail. "I'm going to find a way to get him away from her. He needs to come back to me now."

Meanwhile, Rachel has rebuilt her life following her best friend's betrayal.

"I really have a hard time believing that the person that I've known for 25 years, my best friend and roommate, could do what she did," Rachel says at the start of the docuseries. 

"It was evil. It was plotted and planned so perfectly."

Season two of Worst Roommate Ever is now streaming on Netflix. 

Feature image: Netflix. 

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