There’s something particularly thrilling about unfolding a true crime story – the suspense, drama and primal fear are what gets us on the edge of our seat. Whether you’re already obsessed or just wading into the world of cold cases, solved mysteries, and red herrings, here are our picks for the best true-crime documentary to watch now.
Abducted in Plain Sight
This gripping and strange documentary is a bewildering account of a 12-year-old girl’s kidnapping by a family friend. In this true crime documentary, the Broberg family falls prey to the manipulative charms of Robert Berchtold who abducts and brainwashes Jan Broberg.
Wild Wild Country
Psychologically and weirdly fascinating, the Wild Wild Country revolves around a controversial cult leader, Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert. This six-part series showed the conflict that stirred among the locals, which ultimately lead to a national scandal. If you’re wildly intrigued by the premises of cults, then this should be your go-to Netflix binge-watch.
After the mysterious death of his wife, author Micheal Peterson was put into question by his children, legal experts, and friends. Accident or murder – the documentary follows Peterson’s life as it goes under the microscope. After being found dead at the bottom of a staircase, Kathleen Peterson has been the subject of much media attention. Now, HBO Max has even turned the story into a scripted drama, entitled The Staircase.
Don’t F**K With Cats
This true crime documentary series sees a group of amateur sleuths on a manhunt for an internet killer after terrible, gruesome videos were published on the web. Shocked by the heinous crimes of the Canadian killer, Luka Magnotta, these people uncovered more dirt on him including the murder of Lin Jun in Montreal, Canada in 2012. The narration of the risky manhunt will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the series.
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
This four-part true crime series features never-before-seen footage, audio recordings, present-day interviews and testimonies by women who escaped Ted Bundy’s wrath. Known as one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Bundy’s story is brought to light in this documentary – showing the infamously twisted mind and a searing portrait of the serial killer. Watch this docu-series before you watch Zac Efron play the famous serial killer in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
This documentary takes a detailed look at the disappearance of the 3-year-old Madeleine Mccann who vanished from her parent’s hotel room at the seaside resort of Praia de Luz in Portugal. Though the story doesn’t have the McCanns telling us their side of the story, the documentary explores the whole investigation and theories on what had happened to the young girl. It’s an emotional and hair-rising kind of documentary you’d not want to miss.
This riveting documentary follows a team of investigative reporters at The Indianapolis Star as they uncovered the despicable crimes of Larry Nassar, the doctor for the women’s program at USA Gymnastics. The story sees the reporters breaking the story of how Nassar has sexually assaulted young female gymnasts and how the president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, tried to cover up the countless crimes.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Paralysing you with fear, this four-part miniseries revolves around the serial killer, Richard Ramirez who went on a spree of kidnapping, murdering, and raping his victims. This story sees two detectives hunt down Ramirez and bring justice. Featuring archival footage, graphic crime scenes, and eerie cinematography – you’ll definitely be enthralled by this narration.
American Murder: The Family Next Door
Giving us raw, firsthand footage – this documentary focuses on the disappearance of Shanann Watts and her two young daughters. Quick yet chilling, the brutal true crime story unfurls through home videos, social media posts, police body-cam recordings, news reports, and private text messages. It’s a sinister documentary that will grip your attention immediately.
The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez
The heartbreaking and unsettling case of Gabriel Fernandez was taken to screen to showcase how the social worker system allowed child abuse to flourish undetected in the United States. The story follows Fernandez, an eight-year-old boy who died in May 2013 after being severely abused and tortured by his mother and her boyfriend, both of whom were arrested and convicted for his death. This story will make you angry and strive to make a difference in the world.
This documentary series will be your newest obsession and you will want to binge-watch the whole two seasons in one day. The series uses re-enactments and interviews to spotlight unsolved mysteries. Focusing on paranormal events and most importantly, crime. Viewers get the information needed to help solve the mystery. This film lets you put on your thinking head and become a detective.
Why Did You Kill Me?
This Netflix true crime documentary explores Crystal Theobald’s tragic death and the efforts her family initiated to ensure her death was held accountable by the killer. Through the efforts of Theobald’s mom, Belinda Lane, she found justice for her daughter by finding information through Myspace. Blurring the line between justice and revenge, this documentary will give you goosebumps with the narration, re-enactment scenes and interviews.
The Tinder Swindler
This documentary will get you angry, emotional and exasperated. This jaw-dropping documentary follows three women – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Koeleman – who were conned by Shimon Hayut through the effects of love and friendship. Heartbroken and seriously in debt, the three women worked together to bring down the narcissicist.