5 Gripping Crime Shows About Missing Persons That'll Leave Your Head Swirling

'Who Took Johnny' / Netflix

There's been an influx of TV shows about missing persons as of late, with series such as The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann gaining huge media attention and hundreds of thousands of viewers within a matter of weeks. TV creators have been digging up old cases that were never solved, attempting to uncover new evidence that may lead to answers. If, like me, the missing persons genre fascinates you, but you feel you've watched everything that's out there, here are the best TV shows about missing persons that may have slipped under your radar. These can be watched, re-watched, and watched again.

You've got a range of shows to pick from in this list — from the very real and creepy cases to the straight-up fictional (but still intensely creepy) stories. If you're still thinking about what happened to Johnny Gosch, Netflix has got you covered, or if you want to watch big-name actors such as James Nesbitt and Elisabeth Moss take on some horrifying, close-to-the-bone storylines, there are outlets for that too.

Whichever show you chose from this selection, it's guaranteed you'll be thinking about it long after the episodes have ended, and you'll be yammering on about them to your friends for months to come.


'Top Of The Lake'


Two words: Elisabeth Moss. This New Zealand-based show features the very talented Handmaid's Tale star, which is your first sign that you absolutely cannot go wrong with Top Of The Lake, a fictional missing persons TV show that first aired on the BBC in 2017. Set in a spooky mountain town, this miniseries focuses on the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl, who, when last seen, was five months pregnant. Moss, who plays lead detective Robin Griffin, is truly magnificent, as her attempt to find this little girl brings her into contact with parts of herself she'd rather were left unsurfaced. And if all that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, Top Of The Lake also features Gwendoline Christie, AKA Game Of Thrones' Brienne of Tarth. So you better get to watching.

Available on Amazon


'Reported Missing'


Offering a real-life, gritty approach to the missing persons genre, BBC1's Reported Missing takes a detailed look into how the UK's police investigate missing persons cases. It's a tough watch, especially when you see each family's despair as they're left in limbo. However, it's important to take a look at the realities — both from the families' and the police's perspectives.

Available on BBC iPlayer


'Last Seen Alive'

Discovery Channel

Last Seen Alive is a very real and haunting document following missing persons cases in the U.S. Made by the good people at the Discovery Channel, this show documents the heartbreaking plight of families and friends who are left to search for their loved ones, as they take the investigation into their own hands.

Available on Amazon


'The Missing'


You know what, I really don't think you can go wrong when James Nesbitt is heading up a show. The Missing, which sees Nesbitt playing the crestfallen father at the heart of this fictional tale desperately searching for his missing son, premiered on BBC1 in 2014, and what gives this show its edge is that the story is told across multiple timelines. It's a slightly different approach to the missing persons genre, as the mystery is steadily revealed through some ingenious storytelling techniques.

Available on BBC iPlayer


'Who Took Johnny?'


Who Took Johnny provides much-needed insight into the disappearance of Johnny Gosch in 1992. Focussing on Gosch's mother, this documentary reveals newfound evidence and theories which'll leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping — particularly for his mother's sake — that there's still a chance that Gosch may come home.

Available on Netflix