Documentaries and series detailing murders, conspiracies and other forms of foul play can be riveting. There is satisfaction in seeing the mysteries solved and justice served. In an odd twist, watching true crime shows can even help you escape the worries of your own life for a while.
If you’re in need of a true crime binge, Netflix has got you covered. Check out some of the myriad programs based on real-life wrongdoings that you can stream right now.
‘Aileen: The Life And Death Of A Serial Killer’
Former prostitute Aileen Wuornos was convicted of murdering six men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. British documentary maker Nick Broomfield interviewed Wuornos many times over several years and captured the conversations on film. The result is an unsettling film depicting child abuse, prostitution and mental illness.
American student Amanda Knox was studying abroad in Italy when her roommate was found stabbed to death. Knox and her then-boyfriend were charged with Meredith Kercher’s murder. After spending four years in Italian prison, Knox was acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation and released. This documentary recounts the true story.
This series follows a team of veteran investigators and prosecutors. They travel the country to help local authorities crack unsolved murder cases. Each unscripted episode covers a single cold case from the beginning of the investigation to its current status.
On this true crime series, experts are interviewed regarding recent crimes. The program includes dramatic storytelling along with professional insights. Each episode covers a specific case.
‘Encounters With Evil’
This docuseries focuses on atrocious crimes committed in recent history. Each episode looks at a different type of killer, including kidnappers, psychopaths and flesh eaters. Ten episodes of this British true crime series are available on Netflix.
In 2003, an attempted robbery went horribly awry in Erie, Pennsylvania. After pizza delivery driver Brian Douglas Wells robbed a bank, police caught up with him. It was then that they discovered the collar bomb around his neck. This series investigates the strange and deadly crime.
Learn how forensic science is used to solve crimes in this American docuseries. Detectives and lab technicians work together using emergent technology to discover the truth. Along with forensics, this true crime series includes witness interviews and explanations from experts.
‘I Am A Killer’
Each episode of this series focuses on a murder convict on death row and offers insights into what drives a person to kill. The prisoners are interviewed, recounting their lives, the events leading up to the crimes for which they have been convicted and how the murders occurred.
‘I Am Innocent’
The thought of being accused and convicted for a crime you didn’t commit is horrifying. This series explores the stories of New Zealanders who lived this nightmare. Each episode features one case in which a person was wrongfully imprisoned.
‘Inside The Criminal Mind’
It’s only natural to wonder what makes someone commit horrible and cruel acts. This true crime series delves into the psychological issues of criminals. The series covers particularly heinous criminals, such as serial killers and death cult leaders.
‘Interview With A Serial Killer’
In 1972, Arthur Shawcross murdered two young children. This was the first known murder by a serial killer, who was soon dubbed the “Genesee River Killer.” This program shows a candid and shocking jailhouse interview with Shawcross.
‘Into The Abyss’
Subtitled “A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life,” this documentary covers several aspects of a triple murder in Texas. Filmmaker Werner Herzog includes interviews with the two convicted killers, relatives of the three victims and others while also turning his lens on the American prison system.
Children committing heinous crimes is a rare and chilling phenomenon. This documentary series seeks to discover what motivates kids to kill. The series profiles children who have been accused and convicted of murder.
What if horrifying urban legends were based on truth? This series investigates the origins of four well-known tales. The legends researched include the babysitter and the man upstairs, a killer clown and others.
‘Killer Women With Piers Morgan’
In this series, journalist Piers Morgan travels the United States to visit prisons. Morgan meets with women convicted of murder, along with friends and family members of the killers and their victims. His goal is to uncover the truth and determine whether justice has been served.
‘Making A Murderer’
Steven Avery was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985. After serving 18 years in prison, DNA proved him innocent and he was released. Two years later, he was charged with the murder of another woman. This series documents both cases.
From 1978 to 1995, a terrorist who became known as “The Unabomber” mailed or hand-delivered packages containing bombs. It took a massive, full-time task force years to uncover his identity. This fictionalized program recounts the true story of the FBI’s hunt for the deadliest bomber in history.
Based on the true crime book, “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit,” this show has its roots in reality. The drama series follows two FBI special agents from the Behavioral Science Unit. There is currently one season of the show with 10 episodes on Netflix.
This true crime series travels back in time to look at historical cases. Each episode deals with early forensics and shocking murders. Dramatic reenactments, archival sources and narration bring it all together.
While adultery might or might not be considered a crime, everything changes when it ends in murder. This series focuses on real-life affairs that resulted in crimes of passion. Dramatic re-enactments and interviews with people involved bring these stories to life.
‘Out Of Thin Air’
In 1974, two men disappeared in Iceland within a few months of one another. Although there were no bodies, witnesses or other evidence, six people were arrested and ultimately confessed to murder. However, the case was reopened after four decades with new evidence, which is where this documentary picks up.
‘Real Crime: Hannah’s Killer’
Seventeen-year-old British student Hannah Foster was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Weeks after a 14-year-old boy discovered her body, police issued a warrant for delivery driver Maninder Pal Singh Kohli. This documentary includes interviews with Kohli and others involved with the case, as well as narration.
‘Stalkers Who Kill’
Stalking can quickly escalate to violence. This series documents stalkers who eventually became murderers. Cases covered include victims killed by former lovers, co-workers and even their own family members.
Twelve-year-old Genesis Rincon and her sister were walking home in 2014 when she was hit and killed by a stray bullet from a gang shootout. This moving documentary depicts the family’s lives following the crime. It also shows how the families of the men accused of killing Genesis are affected.
‘The Confession Tapes’
When is a confession not an admission of guilt? Perhaps when it is coerced, unintentional or simply untrue. This series investigates real-life and possibly false confessions and the convictions that followed.
‘The Investigator: A British Crime Story’
This British true crime series is comprised of two seasons. Each season investigates a different, unsolved murder or unexplained disappearance. Along with interviews and narratives, the program includes dramatized portrayals of actual events.
In 1969, a nun named Cathy Cesnik was murdered. Decades later, a former student of Cesnik’s came forward with a harrowing tale. She said that the high school’s chaplain had sexually abused her and then taken her to see Cesnik’s body, threatening to do the same to her if she reported the abuse. This documentary series seeks to uncover the truth of this crime.
Author Michael Peterson’s wife died in 2001. According to the novelist, a fall down the stairs in their home caused her death. However, the medical examiner said she had been beaten to death. This Netflix series follows the investigation and murder trial that came after the examiner’s report.
‘The Thin Blue Line’
This documentary film from 1988 depicts the true story of Randall Dale Adams. In 1976, Adams was convicted of murder, spent 12 years in prison and came within 72 hours of execution before it was discovered that he had been wrongfully convicted. Adams was released in 1989.
‘Wild Wild Country’
This Netflix docuseries tells of a new age sex cult and its controversial guru. The group created a multi-million dollar “utopia” in rural Oregon in the 1980s, which led to violence and terror in the community. This series includes interviews and narratives of the events that occurred.