Revenge porn, online harassment, doping scandals, false convictions, murder mysteries —
Netflix's true crime documentary selection has got it all. And these 19 true crime documentaries on Netflix right now range from filmmakers retracing the steps of a horrendous murder to investigating the flaws in the American criminal justice system. Consider them your crash course in all things on the wrong side of the law. It's what makes true crime documentaries so fun to watch. They're educational, yes, but also thrilling and entertaining.
True crime documentaries have quickly become one of the most popular genres on Netflix. Not only has the site released a whole bunch of their own original
true crime documentaries and docuseries, they also have a huge library of select true crime docs available for your perusing. Whether you're into grizzly murders or historical injustices, there's a true crime doc for you. In fact, Netflix even recently released an entire docuseries parody, American Vandal . Among the 19 true crime docs available on Netflix listed below, there's something for everyone. Looking to dip your toe into the true crime pool? Try The Thin Blue Line to hook you in. Interested in some true crime and social commentary? Check out Audrie & Daisy. Social justice your thing? Look no further than 13th and Strong Island. Just don't watch them before bed. That can really mess with your head.
Online bullying is a modern form of evil. Don't believe me? Check out
Audrie & Daisy, Netflix's chilling documentary on how online bullies changed the lives of two teenage girls. Team Foxcatcher explores the true story of wrestler Dave Schultz, an Olympian who was killed by millionaire John du Pont after joining the private wrestling facility, Team Foxcatcher. The story was adapted into a major motion picture, Foxcatcher, in 2014.
Instead of focusing on the clinical aspects of the murder case,
Amanda Knox examines the international craze a highly publicized murder case can create. It's almost more of a take on the genre of true crime, and our sinister obsession with murder, than a "who done it."
Errol Morris' classic documentary
The Thin Blue Line is a classic for a reason. It has everything a true crime doc should have: dramatic recreations, ominous newspaper clippings, interviews, etc. The movie investigates a murder, specifically the convicted murderer who insists on his innocence, and features a twist ending that will knock your socks off.
True crime meets human experiment in
Icarus, a documentary inspired by filmmaker Bryan Fogel's curiosity about doping in sports and how athletes like Lance Armstrong successfully cheated drug tests for years.
'American Experience: The Blackout'
A heat wave and city-wide blackout made for absolute chaos in 1977 New York. PBS's
American Experience: Blackout chronicles the events of the blackout, including looting, police chaos, and even a serial killer.
'The Confessions Of Thomas Quick'
Thomas Quick was arrested and convicted of murder. But once behind bars, he began confessing to more and more crimes, including cannibalisation and rape.
The Confessions of Thomas Quick aims to chronicle the evolution of a criminal while also questioning the very truth of his crimes.
The twisted story of
A Murder in the Park will have you doubting everything. Did a group of college journalists save an innocent man from the death penalty? Or did they exonerate a killer and put an innocent man behind bars?
Filmmaker Yance Ford turns a true crime documentary into an intimate family portrait with
Strong Island. The film investigates the murder of her brother and the subsequent lack of justice. Tower uses witness testimony, interviews, and archival footage as a basis for animation to recreate the 1966 shooting at the University of Texas that left 16 dead. Casting JonBenet is another true crime documentary that plays with the true crime genre, infusing real interviews and testimony with recreations and theories. The film, from director Kitty Green, is as much a true crime doc as it is a critique of true crime obsession. Who Took Johnny examines the 1982 case of Johnny Gosch, a boy who went missing while delivering papers. Desperate to retrieve their son, Gosch's parents did all they could to raise public awareness, including making him the first missing child to appear on a milk carton.
'Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father'
Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne began working on
Dear Zachary after his friend was murdered. Over time, the film evolved from a true crime documentary about the murder into a love letter to a man and the son he would never meet.
Corrupt cops are not a new concept, but they tend not to be the subject of true crime documentaries.
The Seven Five changes all of that by focusing on Michael Dowd, a cop who, with his friends, dealt drugs in '80s Brooklyn. The Witness takes on the murder of Kitty Genovese, but instead of focusing on the killer, the film takes a look at the witnesses. Genovese's case became famous after it was reported that dozens of witnesses had seen or heard her murder, but none had called the police. But is that true, or just another urban legend?
As Betsy DeVos rolls back protections for campus victims of sexual assault under Title IX, it's a good time to watch
The Hunting Ground, a documentary that looks at how college campuses have historically failed to protect students from sexual assault. Ava DuVernay's striking documentary about the failings of the criminal justice system and mass incarceration doesn't delve into a specific crime, but rather the overall injustice of a prison system built specifically to persecute black men.
Arguably Netflix's biggest true crime hit,
had everyone talking about the supposed murderers Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. In fact, the docuseries was so widely seen that some aspects of the case, Making a Murderer most notably Dassey's confession, have been reexamined.
The unsolved murder of a beloved nun and teacher leads to the horrific stories of young students being abused by catholic priests in their own high school.
The Keepers is a thrilling docuseries that every true-crime lover should watch.
Just don't watch any of these 19 true crime docs streaming on Netflix if you're researching how to be a criminal yourself. Spoiler alert: based on these films, you'll probably get caught and could even find yourself the hated subject of a documentary that can be watched on the Internet forever.