17 True Crime Shows & Movies On Netflix That Are Total Hidden Gems
Ever since Netflix premiered the sensational Making a Murderer docu-series, the streaming site has been the number one stop for any and every true crime fan. Since then, Netflix has premiered multiple original true crime shows — The Keepers, The Confession Tapes — but even their most avid watchers might have missed these 17 true crime hidden gems on Netflix. It's easy to get caught up in the trending show of the week, but sometimes the best, most disturbing and fascinating stories out there aren't the ones you marathoned opening weekend.
There is way too much on Netflix to only get caught up in the current trending shows. From documentaries exploring brutal murders and the justice system to docu-series exploring serial killers around the world, Netflix has everything a true crime fan could ever want. So why spend your weekend re-watching Making a Murderer when you can be introduced to new crimes from other, less-talked about shows?
Not only does Netflix have a ton of true crime documentaries and docu-series, they also have a healthy amount of crime-themed fiction. Movies and television shows inspired by real crimes or criminology can be just as satisfying for true crime fans as the real thing. No matter what your inclination as a true crime fan — fiction, documentary, murder, social justice — these 17 hidden gems on Netflix for true crime fans should be enough to keep you hooked on the genre.
1. 'Belief: The Possession Of Janet Moses'
A mix of interviews and recreations tell the story of Janet Moses in Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses. Moses was 22-years old living in New Zealand when she was accidentally killed by family members during an attempted exorcism, which prompted nationwide discussion about Maori religion and consent.
2. 'I Am A Killer'
Each episode of Netflix's I Am A Killer docuseries tells the story of a death row inmate convicted of murder. Stories range from the infuriating to the heartbreaking. What makes this series stand out is that, unlike other true crime shows, I Am A Killer starts with the guilty party. There's not really a mystery to be solved, but a system to be examined. What led these men to kill? And what fueled their legal battles? Should there even be a death row at all?
3. 'The Seven Five'
The Seven Five documentary details how one New York City cop became the leader of a drug-dealing gang of police in 1980s Brooklyn. He was arrested in 1992 in what was then the biggest corruption case the NYPD had ever seen. It's a good true crime doc for anyone who might need a reminder that there's crime on both sides of the law.
4. 'Out Of Thin Air'
One of the most infamous murder cases in Iceland is re-visited in Out of Thin Air. The disappearance of two men in 1974 led to the vilification of a group of young people, two of whom had been involved in a previous embezzling scheme, per The Hollywood Reporter. They confessed and were sent to jail, only for those confessions to come under scrutiny years later.
Have you ever watched a true crime doc and thought, 'This would be way better with Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo'? If so, David Fincher's Zodiac, about the famous Zodiac killer who terrorized the Bay Area in '60s and '70s, is for you. (Unfortunately, the movie was made before Ted Cruz became pop culture's favorite Zodiac killer suspect.)
6. 'Shadow Of Truth'
Shadow of Truth takes viewers on a deep dive into the murder of Tair Rada, an Israeli teenager, and the questions surrounding the guilt of the man prosecuted for the crime. The four episode series takes viewers on a journey through the crime, a suspect, a trial, conspiracy theories, and, finally, a secret confession.
7. 'Murder Mountain'
You'd be forgiven if you thought Murder Mountain was a documentary about a literal mountain of murderers, but it's actually about the weed business. The marijuana business in Humbolt County, California, has been booming, but along with it has come a record number of missing people. The documentary focuses on Garret Rodriguez a 29-year-old who went to Humbolt to make money and never came back, and a local sheriff's office that doesn't seem all that motivated to solve the case.
8. 'Interview With A Serial Killer'
Convicted murderer Arthur Shawcross, also known as the "Genesee River Killer," opens up about his crimes in Interview with a Serial Killer, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. If you ever wanted to watch a cold blooded killer reflect on his crimes, now's your chance.
9. 'The Investigator: A British Crime Story'
The Investigator: A British Crime Story is a Making a Murderer-esque investigation into a 1985 missing persons-turned-murder case. If you love true crime stories that don't have a clear explanation or end, then The Investigator is what you want to watch.
10. 'American Crime'
ABC's anthology series, American Crime, tackled a different crime every season, taking a look at the victims, the perpetrators, the family members, and the justice system to provide a comprehensive look at the real, human cost of crime in America.
11. 'Natascha Kampusch: The Whole Story'
Natascha Kampusch was 10 years old when she was abducted by Wolfgang Priklopil, a 44-year-old man in 1998 Vienna. She was held prisoner for over eight years before she managed to escape, and now owns the house in which she was held captive, as reported by The Telegraph. Priklopil was found dead after Kampusch's escape, but many details of the case remain a mystery, with some believing his accomplice is still at large, according to UK's Independent.
12. 'Inside the Mind Of A Serial Killer'
Each episode of Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer focuses on a different killer, and all the subjects operated in different places and countries around the world. It's an interesting, global look at serial killers we don't normally see.
For a lot of people, it can be easy to ignore the fact that human sex trafficking is alive and well in throughout the United States. That is, until you watch Tricked, a 2013 documentary that dives deep into why clients (or "johns") visit sex workers, how or why women might become sex workers, and how traffickers manipulate women into the world in the first place.
14. 'Evil Genius'
In 2003, a man with a bomb strapped to his neck attempted to rob a bank and died. Known as the "pizza bomber heist," the story became a sensation. First believed to be the story of a pizza delivery man forced to commit a crime, the story changed into something else entirely once the investigation got going, leading to an alleged conspiracy and a so-called "evil genius" mastermind, Majorie Diehl-Armstrong. The 4-episode series is full of so many twists and turns, you'll think it was fiction.
Aquarius is another short-lived television show inspired by the true crime genre. The show followed LAPD detective Sam Hodiak as he started looking into Charles Manson and his cult. It's a fun look at the '60s, perfect for true crime fans just dipping their toes into the genre.
16. 'Long Shot'
Like Curb Your Enthusiasm, baseball, and true crime? Long Shot is for you. Netflix's documentary on the bizarre 2004 case in which Juan Catalan, a man accused of murder, was able to clear his name, partly thanks to footage captured by Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was filming the crowd of a Los Angeles Dodgers' game. The footage helped prove Catalan's alibi. Of course, there's more to the story, as detailed in the doc, but you'll have to watch it to find out.
17. 'Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much'
Perfect Bid isn't really true crime, but it's the closest you'll get without getting nightmares. The doc tells the story of Ted Slauson, a Price Is Right obsessed fan who, after years of watching the show religiously, helped another contestant get a perfect Showcase bid in 2008 by yelling out the answers from the crowd. It was a history making moment for the show, and inspired a lot of controversy. Slauson didn't commit a crime, but he did upset the rules of the game, making this a perfect true crime palette cleanser once you've watched all the shows about mysterious deaths and cult murders.
Say goodbye to your weekend plans, and hello to your newest true crime obsessions.
This post was originally published on Nov. 10, 2017. It was updated on June 6, 2019.