The 21 best true crime series on Netflix right now for real addicts
Because you know you’re addicted
Ok let’s be serious – being addicted to crime documentaries is real. Psychologists have even said that it’s perfectly normal to be obsessed with true crime, and a lot of us are. Netflix true crime is better than ever right now and the site keeps dropping them, and dropping them and dropping them.
Whether it be Ted Bundy, Don’t F*** With Cats, The Keepers or Dirty John The Dirty Truth – there is always a true crime documentary to talk about. You can say an obsession with true crime is weird, but everyone still continues to binge it.
Here are the best Netflix true crime documentaries on right now, in no particular order:
Abducted in Plain Sight
Abducted in Plain Sight is one of those true crime documentaries you will never be able to get your head around. Everyone backs it as one of the most fascinating yet.
The hour and a half documentary is about 12-year-old Jan Broberg, who was abducted from a small church-going community in Idaho, in 1974, by a trusted neighbour and close family friend.
Unbelievable is based on the true story of 18-year-old Marie Adler. Marie said she had been sexually assaulted at knife point in her apartment. Then she told police she had made the entire story up and was charged with a gross misdemeanour. She faced up to one year in jail.
Marie is played by Katilyn Dever in Netflix’s eight-episode series Unbelievable. In the show she is asked to repeat the chilling story over and over again to police. Those closest to her and the police constantly doubted her story.
Ted Bundy Tapes
Everyone has been talking about Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. The four-episode Netflix true crime series is about the story of Theodore Robert Bundy: a serial killer, kidnapper and rapist. After years of denying his crimes, Bundy admitted to 30 murders on women, but the true number of victims remains unknown. He was sentenced to death by electrocution and died in 1989.
The documentary has also been made into a film, in which Zac Efron players the killer.
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
Netflix has released a true crime version of the story of former NFL player turned killer, Aaron Hernandez. The documentary has been called “revolting”, “outstanding” and “wild”.
The three-part docuseries explores his crimes and includes exclusive courtroom footage and tapes of Hernandez’s phone calls from prison.
The documentary takes you through the struggles in his early life, how he became one of the biggest NFL players of his generation and then ended up as a convicted killer. Hernandez was charged with first degree murder in 2013, just a year after signing a $40 million contract with the New England Patriots football team. He was found guilty in 2015 and then died by suicide in 2017.
The Keepers is a seven-episode series based on the murder of a nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik. The mystery of her death remains unsolved. The series was released in May 2017, and has been called Netflix’s best true crime docuseries to date.
Cathy Cesnik, who taught English and drama, disappeared on November 7th, 1969, and her body was found nearly two months later. To this day, the killer remains unnamed. In the ’90s, the case returned to the spotlight after one of Cesnik’s former students accused the high school’s chaplain of sexual abuse and claimed she had seen her teacher’s then undiscovered body.
Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist is a 2018 Netflix true crime documentary series about the murder of Brian Wells. Season one on Netflix is made up of four episodes.
The series is about a Bank Heist gone wrong, that ended up as a public murder. The attempted robber was a pizza delivery driver who had a bomb around his neck, and the case was then named the “pizza bomber” case. The documentary explores conspiracies surrounding the story, as well as the story itself.
Don’t F*** With Cats
Don’t F*** With Cats has been called one of Netflix’s most graphic and horrific true crime documentaries ever.
The true crime series is about the crimes of Canadian killer, Luka Magnotta. He started off by posting videos online of him killing animals, before he moved on to killing people too. The documentary follows the crimes and the internet manhunt for Luka.
Tell Me Who I Am
Netflix’s Tell Me Who I Am has been described the new Abducted in Plain Sight. It’s a story so shocking, part of you refuses to believe that it could be true.
Tell Me Who I Am is a true story about twin brothers Alex and Marcus Lewis. Age 18, Alex Lewis was in a motorbike accident. He lost all his memory prior to the accident, and could only remember that Marcus was his twin brother. The documentary is split into two acts. In act one, Alex narrates his version of events and in act two, Marcus tells his.
Marcus had to retell Alex’s entire life to him and in act two, the audience discovers Marcus hasn’t been telling the entire truth and has been covering up a darker side of their childhood to protect him.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is all about the biggest missing child case in the world. Madeleine disappeared from her family hotel room in Praia da Luz when she was three years old.
The series covers everything from the conspiracy theories surrounding her disappearance, possible sightings of Madeleine, and gives a timeline of the whole story from when it happened, right through the investigation.
Cold Case Files
A cold case is a crime, or suspected crime, that has not yet been fully resolved and is not the subject of a recent criminal investigation. No resolution was found, so the case went “cold”. Netflix has an entire series dedicated to telling the story of these unresolved crimes. At the moment there is one season, with 10 episodes available.
The Confession Killer
The five-part documentary series, The Confession Killer, tells the story of Henry Lee Lucas. He was first put into prison for murdering his mother, and then for the murders of his girlfriend and landlord. However when he was in prison he started confessing to more and more killings. The number got up to 100, then 150, then 300 and it wasn’t long before Lucas said he was responsible for over 600 deaths all over America.
In the documentary, the local police force seem overjoyed – they’ve solved hundreds of cases they never thought they would. It must have been Henry Lee Lucas – he could take police to crime scenes, give details of evidence and in some cases even draw the victims.
But it wasn’t all it seemed. It soon unravelled that him being responsible for all these crimes just wasn’t possible. Aside from it being physically impossible for him to travel to all the different locations crimes took place in over the time they happened, evidence began to stack up that made his confessions clearly false.
Who Killed Little Gregory?
Who Killed Little Gregory has been described by viewers as “straight out of a horror movie”.
The five-part documentary series tells the real life story of a four-year-old boy who was found dead in a river in France. Grégory Villemin was found around 7km from his home in the Vologne River near Docelles. He died on October 16th 1984.
The Netflix synopsis for the show reads: “When their four-year-old son is murdered, a young couple fights a twisting and arduous battle trying to identify a frustratingly elusive killer.”
Shadow of Truth
Shadow of Truth is a four-part Netflix true crime series exploring the 2006 murder of a 13-year-old Israeli girl, and the conviction of a Ukrainian immigrant.
On December 6th, 2006, 13-year-old Tair Rada walked into her school’s bathroom where she was stabbed to death in one of the stalls. Public outrage put pressure on the police, who then focused their investigation around the immigrant.
Dirty John The Dirty Truth
Dirty John The Dirty Truth is the true crime version of the drama Dirty John, that was released on Netflix first. The Netflix series Dirty John was about the real life story of John Meehan and Debra Newell. Debra falls for the lies and manipulation of the serial con-man, John. She falls in love with the wealthy anaesthesiologist, before it becomes clear he might not be as wealthy or even as qualified as he first makes out. The relationship spirals, and Debra is soon pushing everyone away for John, and things get dangerous to say the least.
The true crime version of the show contains real interviews with the actual people from the case, sharing their experiences and brand new information. It’s a more in depth picture of what happened in real life, instead of the story being played out by characters.
This series is based on one of the most famous child-murder cases in the world. The 2017 doc is about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. Child beauty queen JonBenét died when she was six years old. She was found in the basement of her house by her father, the family had thought she was kidnapped from the house. She had died from both a blunt force trauma and strangulation.
There are so many theories surrounding this case, the most common one being that the Ramsey family themselves are to blame.
Wild Wild Country
Wild Wild Country is a six-part docuseries about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He bought a plot of land in the Oregon desert and attempted to build a utopian society in 1981. He had built brand new homes that could house over 7,000 residents and the plan was to develop a food supply, police and fire stations, restaurants and a small airport.
However, tension was created just a year into the build. According to Netflix: “This conflict would become one of the wildest episodes in American history and feature heated debates over land use, electoral mayhem, voter suppression, biological warfare, assassination attempts, deportations, drugs, sex and more.”
Captive for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story
Captive For 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story is a one-off true crime documentary which tells the story of 11-year-old school girl, Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was abducted by convicted sex offender.
Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer is one of the original Netflix true crime documentaries. The series is all about Steven Avery, who spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was then charged and convicted of another murder, which he says he also didn’t commit.
The Devil Next Door
Netflix’s The Devil Next Door is the true story of John Demjanjuk, a man accused of being a Nazi concentration camp officer who enabled the deaths of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.
John is a Ukrainian-American immigrant who lived in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and daughter. Then 11 survivors of the Holocaust believed he was living a double life, and was actually “Ivan the Terrible” – a notorious guard at a Nazi death camp.
The documentary contains interviews with John’s family members, prosecution and defence teams, as well as footage from his highly-publicised trial. The series has been called “haunting” and “the best true crime ever”.
The Staircase is a 13-episode, Netflix true crime docuseries about the 2001 death of novelist Michael Peterson’s wife, Kathleen Peterson. He claimed she died after falling down the stairs at their home, but a medical examiner determined she had been beaten with a weapon, which led to Peterson becoming a suspect in what would become a murder investigation.
Real Crime: Hannah’s Killer
Real Crime: Hannah’s Killer is a true crime documentary about Hannah Foster, a 17-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered after a night-out in Southampton in 2003.
After the murder, Hannah’s killer, Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, fled to India and avoided arrest for five years. The documentary tells the heart-breaking story of Hannah’s parent’s fight for justice, which included flying to India to appeal publicly around the country for help to find Kohli.
Like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook for the latest Netflix drops and memes.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• If you really are true crime obsessed you’ll get at least 10/13 in this quiz
• The 48 questions Kate McCann refused to answer about Maddie’s disappearance
• New horrifying Netflix series will visit some of America’s most haunted places
• These 19 Abducted in Plain Sight memes are just so sickeningly spot on