There's just something about true crime series that sucks viewers right in. There's a fascination with crime and criminals within the public, and a longing to know how such criminals were caught and brought to justice.
Netflix knows this well and provides its viewers with plenty of true crime series to obsess over.
'Crime Scene' is their latest with the first installment of the show, 'The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel', dropping this week.
These are the Netflix true crime series that everyone should make it their business to watch.
Making a Murderer
Following the success of 'Making a Murderer' on Netflix, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey became household names, for all the wrong reasons. Its two seasons struck up a national debate in America and abroad over the judicial system we so heavily rely on. Primarily, it follows the story of Steven Avery, a man wrongly convicted and sent to jail for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. He got released thanks to DNA analysis, only to find himself up for a murder conviction two years later.
'The Innocence Files' follows various cases that were brought to The Innocence Project, the "court of last resort". This nonprofit organisation seeks to set free those who have been wrongfully convicted. Dismantling unreliable methods of conviction such as tire prints, hair matches and bite marks, is a key to their defensive work.
'How To Fix a Drug Scandal' follows two drug laboratories in Massachusetts, Boston. The liability of both came seriously into question when an employee in each lab - Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan - was found to be guilty of misconduct. Fara and Dookhan's actions had further reaching consequences than anyone could have imagined.
'The Confession Killer' chronicles the unbelievable true story of Henry Lee Lucas. In 1983, Lucas was convicted of murdering two women, one of whom was his girlfriend, the other an older woman he lived with. He'd previously been convicted of murdering his mother in 1960. He would go on to confess to committing what began as a hundred people, but eventually rose to six hundred. He was either the world's most horrific serial killer, or this was the greatest hoax of criminal history.
This would undoubtedly be one of the more renowned, and infamous, of our Netflix true crime series picks. In 1980, journalist Stephen Michaud conducted a series of interviews with Ted Bundy on death row. Through the tapes Michaud recorded and other interviews, the series delves into the mind of one of history's most notorious serial killers.
'The Keepers' follows the circumstances surrounding the death of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun who taught English and drama at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore. In 1969, at the age of 27, Sister Cathy was murdered, and the case remains unresolved. The documentary series taps into much deeper issues as it unravels a story of clerical abuse, collusion between authorities, and a story of the incredible strength shared by a group of resolute women.
Made by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, 'The Staircase' follows the story of novelist Michael Peterson, who is accused of the murder of his wife Kathleen, whose body was found at the bottom of a staircase in their home in 2003. The initial ten-episode series made in 2005 received generally positive reviews and even won a Peabody Award. Lestrade made a follow-up to the documentary in 2012 and again in 2015, the latter of which was picked up by Netflix.
Don’t F*** with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
This docuseries examines the greatest online manhunt in history - and the psychopath killer who broke the first rule of the internet: don't mess with cats.
Yup, it's the series everyone was talking about in 2020. 'Tiger King' follows the highly eccentric and sometimes downright bonkers big cat owners living and working in America. The stand-out among them all is Joe Exotic, the owner of 1200 lions, tigers and bears, among other animals, in a wildlife park in Oklahoma. Joe would eventually be imprisoned for murder for hire. At least two new series based on the events depicted by the show are in the works.
True crime series 'The Devil Next Door' relates the 1980s trial of an Ohio grandfather (originally from Ukraine) in Israel. John Demjanjuk was accused of being Ivan the Terrible, an infamous Nazi death camp guard who committed terrible atrocities.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal has always remained shrouded in mystery to the world. The three-year-old went missing on the evening of May 3rd, 2007 while she and her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were on holiday. Io this day, the whereabouts of Madeleine remain unknown.