We all want a crime-free world but are still drawn to life’s dark side. Right? If not, then why do we watch true crime documentaries, T.V shows, and films? True crime stories evoke a different set of emotions in us. The suspenseful and insidious characters of crime documentaries intrigue us. We know that all of it is exactly what we don’t want to see in the real world, yet we wait for what’s going to happen next!
Being fascinated with the crime genre does not mean we all have an inkling to become criminals. Perhaps, it is the adrenalin rush that keeps us glued to this dark genre. What do you think? As you reflect upon this paradox, here is the list of top true crime documentaries ever made.
The Best True Crime Documentaries That You Must Watch
Abducted in plain sight covers the shocking abduction of Jan Broberg Felt, a 12-year-old girl from a simple family. The abductor was none other than the family’s neighbour, Robert Berchtold. This kidnapping was more hair-raising because Berchtold did it again, and Jan was the victim.
This one is a 2016 true-crime documentary that follows the life of Amanda Knox after the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. On returning from her studies abroad, Amanda found Meredith sexually assaulted and murdered. The catch is that Amanda got named as one of the primary suspects in her roommate’s killing.
The true story behind this documentary is a nightmare for every parent. In the 1980s, children randomly started disappearing in Atlanta. They were eventually discovered but were dead. 28 such random strangulations took place between 1979 and 1981. Who was the culprit?
4. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Ted Bundy is dead, but this documentary based on him can still make women dread the thought of helping a stranger. Why?
Ted Bundy hunted down innocent women on the pretext of getting help from them. Harmless and rather good-looking as he was, his victims usually agreed to help him. That was their biggest mistake. This documentary offers a series of the serial killer’s interview recordings before his execution.
5. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist
If the makers of Money Heist decide to make another series on an actual money heist, this one is the perfect story. Although the robber could not accomplish his goal, he left investigators in a bind. In 2003, a man attempted to rob PNC Bank, Pennsylvania, of $250,000. He had a bomb around his neck and threatened the officials with the same. The police could handcuff him successfully, but he had another plan. Just a few minutes before the bomb squad’s arrival, this man detonated the bomb. On his corpse, the police found nine handwritten pages of cryptic clues to a treasure hunt.
If you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast, listen to Exit Scam. It is based on the life of the founder of Quadriga, Gerald Cotten. Don’t mistake this podcast for an ordinary biographical narration. It reveals some jaw-dropping facts about the founder, one of which is that he was the only one with access to all of Quadriga’s clients’ passwords. After he died in 2018, those passwords went with him. Why not dig them up? Well, the laptop that had all the passwords saved was encrypted. But, wait a minute. Did Gerald even die?
Heaven’s Gate will remind you of The Burari Files on Netflix. 39 members of a cult called Heaven’s Gate killed themselves by consuming poison because they wanted to reach a superhuman level of existence. In light of this, Glynn Washington interviews family members, dear ones, and former members of the cult in his podcast.
This is a blood-curdling true crime documentary you will end up binge-watching. Offender Jeffery Epstein’s cold-bloodedness will leave you shocked and enraged at the same time. This documentary is an unfortunate confirmation of the fact that if a criminal is wealthy and powerful, his victims have to slog for justice.
True crime documentaries don’t just talk about crimes, but criminal justice systems too. ‘Making a Murderer’ does that. It covers the story of a falsely convicted criminal who spent two decades in prison, only to receive another criminal charge slapped on his face two years after his release.
This sounds like a children’s story instead of a true-crime documentary but is every bit appalling. A woman’s memoir of her survival of the Holocaust was a global sensation. But, the world had no idea about the author’s secrets and was shocked when her publisher debunked them.
11. The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes
Corruption is no less a crime. This documentary delivers a similar message. In 2019, some affluent parents in the U.S were accused of greasing the palms of college officials with heavy bribes for their children’s admissions. The documentary title is the name of the FBI investigations conducted into this corrupt conspiracy.
Strong Island uncovers the ugliness of racial discrimination in the most soul-pinching manner. In 1992, an all-white jury exonerated a white teenager for his killing of a black teacher. Following this verdict, director Yance Ford investigated the murder of his brother to find crucial insights into the history of racism.
What if a war criminal lived right next door to you? This documentary tries to bring out that feeling. It covers the story of a former Nazi, who had managed to escape the Nuremberg Trials, only to be exposed many years later.
Elizabeth Holmes was the world’s youngest billionaire at one point. Founder of Theranos, she promised to revolutionalize blood testing. Little did she imagine that a simple tip-off by a medical expert to the Wall Street Journal would change her life.
The most extreme example of catfishing on dating apps you’ll probably ever hear and a real cautionary tale. Shimon Hayut went by Simon Leviev on social media. Claiming he was the son of an Israeli-Russian diamond tycoon, Shimon allegedly scammed multiple women out of a total of $10 million.
11 members of the Chundawat family (known as the Bhatia family to neighbours) were found dead in their home in Burari, a neighbourhood in Delhi, India. The incident left the whole country shocked. This three-part series explores the theories, including the occult, surrounding this tragedy. Murder or mass suicide?
Go ahead and watch these true crime documentaries! We’re sure you’ll feel the chills!