If there's one genre keeping documentary filmmakers in business, it's true crime. The segment has exploded in recent years, with TV series like Making a Murderer, podcasts like Serial, and anything having to do with O.J. Simpson dominating the pop culture landscape. And while practically everyone has heard of The Jinx and Mommy Dead and Dearest, there are plenty of other horrifying true crime documentaries you don't know about. That's due in part to the fact that, despite their recent popularity, true crime documentaries are by no means a new invention. They've been around for a long time, and as such, there is a ton of content out there if you know where to look.
In compiling this list, I tried to avoid documentaries whose subjects are especially well-known. Therefore, you're not going to see anything here about Amanda Knox or JonBenét Ramsey. I also wanted to avoid documentaries that are well known among true crime documentary fans. Largely thanks to Netflix, movies like Cropsey, Dear Zachary, and The Imposter have amassed their own sizable fanbases, and I figure if you're reading this article, then you've probably seen those films already. Still, many of the films on this list are also readily available on various streaming sites, and they're all disturbing, so watch at your own risk.
1'There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane'
What caused a mother to drive into traffic, killing herself and her children?
2'Capturing The Friedmans'
What started as a documentary about children's birthday party clowns ended up uncovering a disturbing story of sexual abuse.
3'Deliver Us From Evil'
A priest routinely sexually abused children, and everyone knew he was doing it.
4'The Iceman Tapes: Conversations With A Killer'
A notorious mob hitman coolly describes his many hits.
5'Child Of Rage: A Story Of Abuse'
A young girl's sexual abuse has profound effects on her behavior.
6'Just, Melvin: Just Evil'
Yet another chilling tale of sexual abuse and its disastrous effects on a family.
7'One Minute To Nine'
A woman kills her husband, but only after years of suffering from his abuse.
8'The Cheshire Murders'
A truly haunting and gruesome random act of extreme violence.
9'Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer'
A profile of a rare female serial killer, upon whom the film Monster was based.
A group of illiterate farmer brothers live together in a dilapidated shack in a rural community, and when one of them turns up dead it ignites a media firestorm.
11'Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation'
Albert Fish was a child molester, serial killer, and cannibal who lived nearly 100 years ago, but the time gap doesn't make his crimes any less chilling.
12'The House Of Suh'
The Suhs seemed like the perfect family, but there was a darkness underneath the facade.
13'Love & Terror On The Howling Plains Of Nowhere'
A horrific crime committed in an isolated community. Is it me or do the small towns of America's Heartland seem terrifying?
These docs will leave you awake at night, but they might be worth the watch.