True crime docuseries on Netflix
The true-crime genre is chock full of exhilarating affairs, but none entertain fans more than those that come in the form of documentary series. While many places boast a plethora of enthralling endeavors in this field, it is hard to argue that Netflix isn’t one of the best the industry has to offer.
Netflix has no shortage of exemplary options within its extensive menu of choices, and any subscribe would be hard-pressed not to find something they will undoubtedly become engrossed by from start to finish. So many notable titles occupy their excellent library, but it’s their Netflix original programming that really stands out among the rest.
The streamer’s stellar docuseries category is a robustly stacked affair, to say the least, with so many gripping topics with the focus ranging all over the place from graphic design to sex education and everything one could imagine falling in between. But it is really the true-crime ordeals that get the audience excited, and more often than not, many of the documentary series installments that fall under the thought-provoking genre make their way to the top of the streaming service’s charts.
If anxious true crime fans are looking for a game-changing deep dive into some of the most darkest moments in the history of the world or incredibly extraordinary revelations about the many evils lurking in the shadows within today’s society, then look no further than the documentary series section on the popular streaming service. If you’re a ubscribers looking for some truly intently riveting iterations of true crime greatness then look no further than 29 best true crime docuseries on Netflix.
Let’s get the list started with Unsolved Mysteries!
For years, Unsolved Mysteries showcased all kinds of thought-provoking cases that had yet to be solved, which fans absolutely enjoyed week after week. Then after a long hiatus, Netflix rebooted the series with the original creators John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer and Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy.
This time around, the series would have no host because it’s almost impossible to recreate the presence of the infamous original host Robert Stack. However, the Netflix version of this series pays homage in a brilliantly appropriate manner for the show within the opening credits.
Like the original, the Netflix docuseries focuses on vivid, character-driven stories about unimaginable and unbelievable events shrouded in a captivating mystery. Reports of UFO abductions, extraordinary missing persons cases, murder scenes that defy logic, and shocking prison escapes are just some of the intriguing tales told in the new episodes of Unsolved Mysteries.
Netflix has two volumes of Unsolved Mysteries for fans to get swept up in over and over again. There are 12 entries in total, and subscribers should approach cautiously because it’s easy to get so caught up in the enigma of it all, they may find themselves caught in a binge session spanning the whole docuseries in one splendid sitting.
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Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist
Some crimes are definitely stranger than others, and then there are some that are just too crazy to believe. The Netflix documentary series executive produced by indie champions the Duplass brothers with the ever so intriguing title of Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist tells a wild story that has been described as a perfect binge by GQ’s Lincoln Michel.
On August 28, 2003, it seemed like a normal day until a man with a bomb locked around his neck enters a bank. The pizza bomber heist leads to an investigation, including a strange set of individuals suspected of being involved in this ordeal and more nefarious activities.
The show is four episodes long, with each installment coming in at somewhere between forty-five and fifty-three minutes. They showcase an enlightening investigation into the matter with interviews from people around the area where it happened and the mastermind known as Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong.
Netflix has a lot of incredibly entertaining docuseries, but not many achieve things like becoming Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist is a critically acclaimed endeavor that will not disappoint true crime fans looking for a unique story unlike anything else they have witnessed on the small screen before.
The Business of Drugs
Numerous illicit and incredibly addictive substances continue to wreak havoc on people’s lives and make those that distribute them very wealthy in the process. But in order to fully understand this complicated ordeal, one must look at The Business of Drugs, which is coincidentally the name of a Netflix documentary series that explains just that.
On July 14, 2020, the well-crafted docuseries arrived on the streaming service Netflix with six very interesting entries, each covering the true impact as well as the origins of the particular drug the entry is covering. These six narcotics include Meth, Synthetics, Opioids, Heroin, Cocaine, and Cannabis.
The business of Drugs is hosted by Amaryllis Hope Fox, a former CIA officer who authored the memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA. In the Netflix series, Fox analyzes and explains the complex economics behind each addictive substance as well as all the dirty details involved in making a significant profit off of something so dangerous.
The series has a decent score on Rotten Tomatoes and has received rave reviews from The Guardian and Decider.com. If anyone is interested in learning about The Business of Drugs, then they should look no further than the Netflix original series.
The Devil Next Door
Everyone suspects they know absolutely everything there is to know about their boring neighbors when in reality, some of them could very well be hiding a devastating secret. The Netflix miniseries The Devil Next Door takes a look at how one Cleveland grandfather was accused of being a Nazi war criminal.
John Demjanjuk was thought to be just another average retired autoworker living out the rest of his days in the fair city of Cleveland, Ohio. But it seems he bears a resemblance to one Ivan the Terrible, a prison guard at a Nazi concentration camp that was notoriously known for being extremely cruel to the prisoners of the horrible place.
Demjanjuk was accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the things he did during his time of employment as a guard during World War II. The extraordinary true story is depicted brilliantly in the five well-crafted entries, resulting in the Netflix series very deservedly obtaining impressive scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
As far as crime documentaries go, The Devil Next Door proves early on to be a worthwhile endeavor, and many subscribers interested in finding an enthralling docuseries on the streamer to enjoy should make it the subject of their next binge session.
The Innocent Man
John Grisham is a famous novelist known for writing amazing works of fiction such as The Client, The Runaway Jury, A Time to Kill, and The Pelican Brief. But his non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town is one the author claims no one would believe if he made it up.
The true-crime docuseries contains six enthralling entries chronicling two murder cases that took place between the years 1982 and 1984 in Ada, Oklahoma. Each of these riveting episodes is filled with intriguing interviews, revealing testimonials, archive footage, and investigation updates that all contain anywhere between forty-two and fifty-two-minute runtimes.
When people begin watching the show, they’ll notice that at first, the entire ordeal seems pretty open and shut given the evidence that was presented at the time of the arrests of Ron Williamson and Tommy Ward. But like the Grisham book, The Innocent Man does a magnificent job examining the potential false confessions and evidence not followed up on including other suspects that may have actually done the killings.
Grisham himself is there to guide viewers through this unbelievable true story that fans of the genre and those that enjoy the author’s work, both in print form and on-screen, should make a high priority when it comes to deciding what sits atop their docuseries watch list.
The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness
David Berkowitz, otherwise known as The Son of Sam, was convicted to a 300-year prison sentence for shooting 13 people and killing six in 1976 and 1977. But the docuseries The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness examines one journalist’s four-decade-long investigation that showcases significant information proving a theory that Berkowitz did not work alone when he engaged in his infamous spree of chaos and murder.
The Netflix documentary series revolves around Maury Terry’s lifelong obsession regarding The Son of Sam case’s ties to a Satanic Cult and even Charles Manson. An ample amount of evidence is put forth in an engaging manner indicating there could very well be a network of satanic cults and that multiple members of a group called The Children carried out the violence and mayhem that David Berkowitz went down for alone.
Berkowitz himself has claimed he didn’t do these things alone, and a lot of Maury’s suspicions were featured in his book The Ultimate Evil. Murder Mountain director Joshua Zeman helms The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness, and Paul Giamatti provides a voiceover-like narration acting as Maury Terry.
The four entries of the well-crafted Netflix docuseries have runtimes ranging between fifty-eight and sixty-two minutes in length. The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness is as chilling as it is captivating and will not disappoint true crime fans on the streaming service.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness
If subscribers were to be tasked with finding the wildest, wackiest, and most incredibly addictive story told within a docuseries, there is only one title at Netflix that almost certainly fits that unique description. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is an intriguing endeavor, to say the least, that became an extremely talked-about affair.
The interesting docuseries showcasing the entertaining and crazy story of the rivalries between the eccentric big cat enthusiasts, including the controversial animal park boss Joe Exotic who is currently serving prison time for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot. Carole Baskins, another big cat conservationist and contestant on Dancing with the Stars, is also featured who opposes Exotic’s methods.
The streaming service show garnered positive reviews from critics, and Nielsen ratings reported that 34.3 million people enjoyed the Netflix docuseries over the first ten days it was available to stream. In fact, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is ranked one of Netflix’s most successful releases to date.
The Netflix true-crime docuseries features seven episodes ranging from forty-one to forty-eight minutes long and one after-show special hosted by Joel McHale. As strange as it sounds, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness offers up a must-watch experience, mostly because, while there are many programs covering the subject, there is essentially nothing else like the original.
Every day big companies get away with all kinds of nefarious actions and practices, with some being much worse than others. No one ever thinks to pay any attention to these ordeals until they are at the center of it all, but for those that are interested in learning more about Capitalism gone crazy with evil, they should check out the well-received Netflix docuseries Dirty Money.
Academy award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney serves as Executive Producer and director of the first episode of Dirty Money. Each iteration exposes corruption, crime, and greed spread through the global economy, ripping off so many innocent families and ruining lives along the way while the people in charge line their pockets.
Some of these fascinating tales of nightmarish business tactics include exploration into things like the Payday loan industry, the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the practice of pharmaceutical price gouging, cartel banks, and Jared Kushner. From President Donald Trump all the way to the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, there is no shortage of jaw-dropping and anger-inducing moments from each of the 12 entries spanning over the two seasons that are available on the streaming service.
Dirty Money is without a doubt one of the best docuseries Netflix has to offer, and with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s hard to not place it on deck in the Netflix watch list.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Everyone certainly loves a mystery, especially one that goes viral and launches a slue of chaotic nonsense disguised as investigative journalism. The Netflix docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel provides subscribers with a well-crafted example of how a few people can take a tragic event and turn it into a conspiracy that borders on the supernatural.
The CCTV footage of Elisa Lam’s final moments taken on the elevator looks like something straight out of a horror movie which is probably why the entire affair gained an insane amount of attention. The poor woman ended up drowning in a water tank on the roof, and because of a variety of aggravating factors, people perceived this ordeal as being much more than just a tragic accident.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel looks at the situation as well the troubled history of the historic building where the event took place. The less than ideal past of the structure accompanied with many easily made comparisons to horror flicks like Dark Water sparked an army of so-called YouTube truthers to take this ordeal to a level it didn’t need to reach.
The documentary series showcases the nature of the incident, some of the less reliable people involved, and how easy it is to completely get carried away with imagination while searching for the truth.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
A lot of people have heard of Jeffrey Epstein and the horrible things he did before he killed himself in prison. But to truly understand the real kind of monster this man actually was, and the Netflix series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich allows subscribers to hear what went down from the survivors and people involved in the ordeal will do the trick.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is actually based on the popular book of the same name, written by renowned author James Patterson who lived near Epstein. Each of the four entries does a stellar job of bringing viewers everything they need to know about this awful individual and the people he kept company with, and it will hook subscribers quickly.
The entire affair is full of interviews with several of the woman that survived the abuse from Epstein, including Maria Farmer and Virginia Giuffre. Former staff members from his infamous island are also in the mix, with some having claimed to have seen high-ranking officials like Prince Andrew doing some naughty things.
There is no shortage of jaw-dropping, cringe-worthy moments throughout this superbly-crafted true-crime docuseries, and the fact that it is Certifed Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes should easily seal the deal on whether or not Netflix subscribers should check it out.
Trial by Media
There is no denying that the media can have an impact on a trial, and too many times in history has this been the case. Out of all the times the press have influenced such an event, Trial by Media on Netflix looks at some of the biggest examples of coverage getting out of hand and the consequences of having extensive media coverage on such a trying ordeal.
The striking true-crime documentary series, which is executive produced by two-time Academy Award winner George Clooney, contains six interesting entries jam-packed with archive footage and proficient interviews that cover some prime examples of famous court cases affected by the media’s attention. Some of these many endeavors covered in the well-crafted show include the case of Cheryl Araujo, the trial of Rod Blagojevich, the killing of an unarmed Amadou Diallo by means of 41 bullets courtesy of the NYPD, and more.
Each iteration of Trial By Media is a stimulating experience and offers up some engaging insight. The episodes contain runtimes between fifty-seven and one hundred and four minutes in length.
In addition, the Netflix series has exceptional scores on Rotten Tomatoes and will most assuredly keep viewers that appreciate true-crime documentary programs enthralled from start to finish.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Some of the nation’s most dangerous serial killers are worse than others, and while they are all bad people, some become so infamous, their existence becomes synonymous with evil itself. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer focuses on one of the most notorious sequence murderers in American history.
In the ’80s, an elusive rapist and killer was running around the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Fransisco Bay Area. No one was safe from this menace as he preyed upon children, the elderly, and everyone in between. His victims were all random, and it took several years to finally capture the evil individual responsible for the spree of heinous crimes.
Richard Ramirez, claiming to be motivated by the devil, was convicted and sentenced to death for so many horrible crimes. He ended up dying of natural causes before being executed.
The story of his killings, troubled past, the investigation that led to his capture, and the dramatic events leading to his arrest are all brilliantly showcased in the four entries making up Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Having earned decent scores on Rotten Tomatoes only add to the already many reasons to check oy the Netflix limited series.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal
A drug scandal is never a good thing, and the aftermath can be even more devastating. But the docuseries How to Fix a Drug Scandal on Netflix showcases what happened when the people in charge of providing drug convictions are the ones abusing and tampering with the evidence.
The four entries, all coming in at around forty-seven to fifty-nine minutes in length, showcase the arrests and court cases involving Sonja Farakl and Annie Dookhan, who individually were both accused and convicted of tampering with evidence. Farak was doing this to get high off the evidence, while Dookhan’s motivations were to reach desired results.
This led to tens of thousands of drug counts being dismissed, the most to ever occur at one in the history of the United States. Attorney general Martha Coakley, who is now a lobbyist for the vape company Juul accused of marketing tobacco products to children, is also featured in the docuseries for allegedly trying to cover up the entire affair for political reasons.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal is a well-crafted endeavor that will shock and surprise viewers from beginning to end. The eye-opening tale of justice gone horribly wrong is yet another example of how Netflix’s documentary game is way ahead of the competition.
Murder Among Mormons
There are so many docuseries on Netflix that tell all kinds of extraordinary true crime stories that subscribers can’t seem to get enough of every time they log in to the streamings service. But of all the exemplary options within the genre that Netflix has on tap, Murder Among Mormons is by far one of the most intriguing and shocking choices viewers can experience on the streamer.
Murder Among Mormons tells a shocking and explosive tale of murder, forgery, and fraud in three enthralling entries running from forty-five to fifty-eight minutes in length. The well-crafted documentary series is executive produced by renowned documentarian Joe Berlinger who directed Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and Confessions of a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
The Netflix series follows Mark Hoffman, a man considered to be one of the most notable forgers in history, and how he was convicted for creating forgeries related to the Latter-Day Saint movement. He also went to prison for creating explosive devices which killed two people.
The way this staggering story plays out is an intriguing affair from start to finish, and subscribers will not want to miss this interesting docuseries that can be completed in one sitting.
Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia
Movies and TV shows that are about the mafia have fascinated viewers for decades, but there is nothing quite like a real-life gangster story, especially one that tells the tale of how five families with complete control over New York were taken down by a group of brave federal agents. This game-changing story is told in three worthy entries, each running about forty-four to sixty-two minutes in length, of the Netflix docuseries Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia.
In the ’70s and ’80s, five organized crime families ran the city of New York. The Gambino, Bonanno, Genovese, Lucchese, and Colombo crime organizations were at the top of their game and were considered to be untouchable when it came to law enforcement.
But the FBI had other plans, and through a calculated strategy invoicing wiretaps, the feds were able to bring down the mafia in the Mafia Commission Trial. The time of mob rule over New York had ended, and the entire affair is told from the perspective of Law Enforcement in the Netflix docuseries.
Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia is an appealing true-crime documentary series that fans of the genre and titles like Goodfellas and The Sopranos will definitely find engaging and entertaining.
Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer is one of the biggest docuseries Netflix has ever put out and the stirring tale the program tells shook the nation. The series has been widely regarded as a must-watch affair and is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Steven Avery is the main focus of Making a Murderer. In the ‘80s, he was wrongfully accused and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. When Avery was finally released from prison in 2003, he had a million-dollar payday waiting for him if he was successful in his lawsuit against the community that put him away, which would have been devastating for Manitowoc county.
But then a woman is killed, and Avery is the last person who saw her alive. So the big question the captivating documentary series asks is, did he commit a horrible crime with his nephew or did the authorities set him up to avoid losing all that money and their pride to a man they looked down upon in disdain?
Making a Murderer presents some very compelling evidence that even the most doubtful naysayer cannot ignore, and the Netflix show is chock full of jaw-dropping revelations that will keep viewers hooked until the very end. The four-time Emmy winning docuseries has two seasons with ten episodes for each, all coming in at around forty-seven to seventy-seven minutes in length.
How to Become a Tyrant
When it comes down to it, everyone wants the same thing, absolute power, and according to Netflix’s true-crime docuseries How to Become a Tyrant, there is a playbook one can follow to achieve such an ambitious goal. Based on The Dictator’s Handbook, the show takes an intriguing look at the ups and downs of reshaping a civilization in one’s own image, as well as what happens when it all comes crumbling down.
One of the best parts about this intriguing endeavor is the narration which is done in a magnificent manner by the one and only Peter Dinklage. The Game of Thrones alumni and Destiny vocal performer adds significant value to the overall experience from How to Become a Tyrant, and while the show is only meant for entertainment purposes, it is hard to ignore a guy who has worked for so many tyrants on the small screen in the past.
Each entry of How to Become a Tyrant looks at some of the world’s most notorious dictators like Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, and Adolph Hitler, just to name a few. Several others are referenced in each episode, and the final one showcases the one tyrant that has managed to crack the code on how to stay in power forever.
This Top 10 caliber Netflix documentary series is informative, insightful, and above all else, entertaining. The true-crime piece on war criminal powerhouses is a visually pleasing mix of animation, archive footage, and interviews that make it a must-watch affair.
The Disappearance of Madeline McCann
The true-crime docuseries The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann chronicles the kidnapping of the three-year-old on vacation with her family in Portugal a mere 100 yards from where her parents were having dinner. The instantly engrossing affair has 10 enthralling entries, each running about forty-three to sixty-five minutes in length.
The series thoroughly examines the evidence surrounding the young girl’s abduction and provides several theories as to what could have possibly gone down on that terrible night. But, unfortunately, the aftermath of accusations and media coverage only resulted in misinformation and lawsuits while the child remained missing.
The McCann family is featured heavily throughout the series but only through archive footage as they did not participate in the Netflix show. However, interviews from people involved in the investigation and people with knowledge regarding the vile world of child trafficking are on hand. They offer vital insight into the matter, adding to the engaging experience.
The Disappearance of Madeline McCann is a shocking and eye-opening look at how horrendous losing a beloved child can be and brings to light the very real problem surrounding nefarious people and organizations that facilitate the kidnapping of young children all around the world. The Netflix true-crime docuseries is essential viewing that should not be slept on by subscribers.
This is a Robbery: The Worlds Greatest Art Heist
This is a Robbery: The World’s Greatest Art Heist absolutely lives up to its name and offers subscribers an in-depth look at a mind-boggling crime that has yet to be solved. When a person thinks of Boston, Massachusetts, many things come to mind, like the Red Sox, Fanueil Hall, and all the rich historic culture the capital city has within its borders. But not many would acquaint the fair metropolis with being the site of the greatest and most notorious art heist the world has ever seen.
The documentary series explores what went down in 1990 when two men dressed as police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Museum and stole several expensive pieces. The incredibly rare items taken include Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, A Lady and a Gentleman in Black, Vermeer’s The Concert, and several other valuable works of art.
The Netflix docuseries looks extensively into the unprofessional nature of the heist, the discrepancies regarding when things were taken, numerous sightings of the stolen items afterward, and the possible connections to organized crime. It even unveils that stolen artwork can be used to bargain one’s way out of jail, which could have been the motive behind the shocking ordeal.
The well-crafted and engaging Netflix original consists of four outstanding episodes, each very enthralling and coming in at around fifty to fifty-seven minutes in length. Armed with an enticing premise and solid scores on Rotten Tomatoes, This is a Robbery: The World’s Greatest Art Heist will not disappoint fans of captivating true-crime docuseries.