Nothing is more engaging than true crime documentaries. The fact that these documentaries are based on real events is what really lures us in. We're shocked by the idea that these actually occurred. There are tons of crime documentaries and we can honestly learn a lot from them through studying the culprits to understand how the investigators tied everything together. They really get you sitting at the edge of your seat and keep you up during the nights reminiscing on every documentary you've watched.
If you're like me, who's literally addicted to watching any true crime footage, then you'll want to go down this list of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix. While watching any of these documentaries, it feels as though you're the investigator attempting to solve the puzzle. Be part of the greatest real-life investigations by watching any of these captivating and chilling true crime documentaries.
Based on one of the biggest unsolved murders in American history, the case of JonBenet Ramsey became a popular true crime documentary, Casting JonBenet. The mysterious death of the six-year-old pageant queen occurred in Boulder, Colorado in 1996. About two decades later, director Kitty Green decided to audition actors to play the roles of those involved in the case.
The documentary shows in between the lines of the case, unraveling theories, acting out what exactly happened in the Ramsey home, and deep details acknowledging every Ramsey family member. For those who can’t get enough of the JonBenet Ramsey case, this is a perfect watch to learn more about the mysterious death of the beautiful six year old.
Convicted for brutally murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox became one of the biggest faces for murder in the world. With non-stop media attention from the public’s fascination, the world is divided whether Knox is guilty or innocent through the legal findings.
Through never-before-seen archival material and unprecedented access to those involved, the Amanda Knox documentary shows both the past and the present. It shows the case inside out and through exclusive interviews with Knox herself, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, her former co-defendant, and others. Understand whether or not Knox is guilty for her crime or is innocent through one of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix.
Ever heard of the murder of Sister Cathy? Known to be among the best true crime documentaries on Netflix, The Keepers is an amazing documentary that focuses on the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik. She was a loving nun who was a Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore who disappeared on November 7, 1969. Her body was discovered about two months later and to this day the killer is unknown.
However, sometime in the 90s, the case resurrected when one of Cesnik’s former students accused the high school’s chaplain for sexual abuse; also mentioning that she was taken to Cesnik’s then undiscovered body and was threatened. With the help from journalists, relatives, government officials, and Baltimore citizens, director Ryan White put the documentary together in hopes to discover the truth of who really killed Sister Cathy.
The title, 13TH, refers back to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution stating: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, expect as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” That second qualifying clause, the horrific mass criminalization, and the sprawling American prison industry have all come together thanks to DuVernay.
From the archival footage and testimony, to the array of politicians, activists, historians, and even formerly incarcerated men and women, DuVernay made a historical combination of it all.
The Imposter is known to be one of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix to watch now. In 1994, 16-year-old Nicholas Barclay disappeared from San Antonio, Texas, and was discovered three years later in Spain. When he was discovered, he was found scared without any form of identity.
Once the parents of Nicholas approached the mysterious man, they mention how much their son has changed... yet, they aren't convinced that the man is their missing son. So, who really is the man and do they ever find their missing 16-year-old son? Watch one of the scariest true crime documentaries on Netflix now.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Aileen Wuornos is known to be the world's first female serial killer. She was a hitch-hiking prostitute who began her murdering spree in 1989 and murdered seven men in the woods of Florida. This extraordinary and spine-tingling documentary gets viewers into a closer look of the notorious Wuornos.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is based on the serial killer herself and her life in prison. It also shows the stories behind each case and her thoughts about them. If you're interested in serial killer movies and documentaries, you have to watch this one, or else you'll be missing out on an amazing documentary about the world's first female serial killer.
The Seven Five
Police officer Michael Dowd was assigned to the 75th Precinct in crime-ridden Easy New York. He stole the money from drug dealers and eventually called up his partner Kenny Eurell into an expanding criminal ring of dirty cops active in 1986 through 1992.
From the transgression, then-Mayor Dinkins arranged Mollen Commission to investigate a horrifying history that’s been ignored by Internal Affairs. Authorities gave a hand in unraveling the investigation that led to a headline-grabbing 1992 arrest that was shown through a multi-level drug operation including the NYPD, Columbian suppliers, and drug dealers. Through Dowd’s testimony from the investigators, dramatic surveillance footage, and the interviewers, The Seven Five documentary is a major hit on Netflix.
A Murder in the Park
Among the best true crime documentaries on Netflix, A Murder in the Park is about a convicted murderer who was set free after another man was blamed for the crime. The real question that’s bouncing around the documentary: Was the real killer set free? In 1983, Anthony Porter was sentenced to death for murdering two teenagers in a park in Chicago.
After 16 years and only two days before his scheduled death, Porter was marked innocent from the work of a group of journalism students in Northwestern University and their professor. However, this documentary argues that an innocent man is blamed for a crime he hasn’t done and a murderer being let go from death row.
A documentary as upsetting and heartfelt as The Witness makes it one of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix to ever watch. It revolves around the murder of Kitty Genovese on March 13, 1964. She was attacked a street in Kew Gardens, Queens, and was murdered. Soon after the terrible incident, The New York Times published the report and mentioned that 38 eyewitnesses saw the attack and didn’t do anything about it, but fled to their apartments; labeling this as a symbol of urban apathy.
Kitty’s younger brother Bill was 16 years old when his sister was murdered. But now, he's on the hunt to unravel the truth of his sister’s murder and discover the crime that completely changed his life as well as acknowledging the era. He's also attempting to find the 38 people and understand why they didn't helped his sister while she was being attacked.
The Confessions of Thomas Quick
Lastly, and easily among the best true crime documentaries on Netflix is The Confessions of Thomas Quick. Director Brian Hill created a documentary that's based on Sweden's most notorious serial killer Thomas Quick. It talks about how one loner spoke up about his unspeakable crimes that includes rape, murder, and even cannibalism.
Quick's confession shocked the citizens of Sweden for 20 years. The documentary exposes his dark tales of lies and murders, examining each case and what's caused him to become a twisted serial killer. Get into the mind of Thomas Quick and view the darker side of his life with one of the best serial killer documentaries to watch right now.