Calling all Murderinos! It’s no secret that many of us are obsessed with true crime. There are dozens, even hundreds of crime podcasts dedicated to discussing the sordid details of some of the creepiest crimes ever documented. One podcast with some of the most dedicated fans out there is ‘My Favorite Murder‘ hosted by the hilarious Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. Fans of the podcast call themselves “Murderinos” and they collectively discuss and even try to crowdsource clues to both solved and unsolved crimes.
The podcast is so effective because talking about serial killers and murdered is inherently terrifying. The hosts end up feeling so uncomfortable about the subject matter that they have to crack jokes to relieve the tension. The result is equal parts scary and hilarious. If you’re a fan of the podcast or just a fan of the true crime genre in general, here are some streaming documentaries we think you’ll love. We focus on docuseries because we all love and need a binge right now!
10. The Keepers – Netflix
The Netflix original docuseries, The Keepers is a seven-part look into corruption and conspiracy that goes much deeper than you’d expect. The series begins by investigating the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School.
Decades after the grisly crime, some of her students are still working the case and have explosive evidence that helps paint a damning picture of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, local politicians, and many more. The series doesn’t follow a linear chronology, instead, it hops between decades to uncover truths you will need to see to believe. It’s fantastic.
9. Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez – Netflix
Another Netflix original docuseries, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez is an easily digestible three-parter about the convicted killer and professional football player Aaron Hernandez. The murder case made Hernandez one of the most infamous athletes involved in a murder trial since OJ Simpson.
This steadily paced docuseries looks at all of the factors that contributed to the trial and eventual death of a star athlete who was convicted of killing of Odin Lloyd. This documentary, more than others, begs viewers to question preconceived notions about those who seemingly “have it all.” There’s always much more beneath the surface. This series is fresh! It premiered in January.
8. Wild Wild Country – Netflix
This Netflix documentary series about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon is absolutely mind-blowing.
Residents of Rajneeshpuram, a ‘utopian city’ eventually are involved in the first bioterror attack in the United States. This often forgotten piece of American history from the 1980s definitely deserves reexamining and this docuseries does so beautifully. The series asks you to complicate your understanding of “good and evil” and lean into the grey.
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7. Abducted in Plain Sight – Netflix
This documentary film is a modest hour and a half long and if you don’t want to commit many hours to a true crime series, give this arresting documentary a try. It’s available on Netflix. The documentary examines the Brobergs, a church-going family that becomes involved with a neighbor who casts a spell on all of them.
When the Brobergs’ 12-year-old daughter, Jan Broberg goes missing for a month, suspicions become heightened but no one seems to be very alarmed! Jan returns five weeks later and is coerced into convincing her parents and the authorities that “nothing happened.” There is no justice. This terrifying documentary is unlike anything you’ve seen. It proves fact is stranger than fiction.
6. Strong Island – Netflix
Another documentary film available on Netflix, Strong Island intimately tells the story of 24-year-old William Ford Jr. and his murder. What makes this documentary so special is that it is directed by the victim’s brother, Yance Ford.
At times this film is heartbreaking but the sadness of its story mutates to rage as the documentary examines the circumstances of Ford’s death and the miscarriage of justice that let his alleged killer walk free. It’s a must-see doc! In 2017, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
5. Lorena – Amazon Prime
Available on Amazon Prime, Lorena is four-part docuseries that re-investigates the events leading up to the 1993 case of Lorena Bobbit who infamously cut off her husband’s penis. At the time, the 24-hour news cycle was obsessed with the sensationalism of the story instead of what had motivated Bobbit to do what she did.
The docuseries looks at things from Bobbit’s perspective and lays out a pattern of domestic abuse and sexual assault. In the #MeToo era, this documentary tells an important story about how women are mediated and how the criminal justice system often fails them when they are preyed upon by abusers.
4. Evil Genius – Netflix
Yet another Netflix docuseries, Evil Genius tells the story of the “pizza bomber” case which involved the murder of Brian Wells a pizza delivery driver. It is one of the most bizarre crimes ever! The bomb was actually part of a bank heist plot. The clues are laid out like a treasure map for viewers to try and follow.
If you liked the whacky cast of characters featured in Tiger King, this series was the precursor. While this is not the most stylish or well-told documentaries on the list, it is one that will stick with you.
3. Capturing the Friedmans – HBO
If you watch one thing on this list, watch Capturing the Friedmans. Available on HBO, this documentary film examines the Friedmans, a middle-class family who the entire community thinks are completely normal. The Friedman family, however, harbor some dark secrets which eventually came to light in the 1980s.
The film explores the crimes of two of the members of the family and how an entire Long Island community missed their widespread abuse of the most vulnerable for years. This is truly a rock-solid documentary. It came out in 2003, and it still haunts us.
2. Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer – Netflix
The fresh docuseries from Netflix, again, follows another insane set of crimes. However, the investigation is powered, primarily, by online justice seekers. After a video goes viral of a man killing kittens, people become upset, naturally. The group uses all the tools of the internet to try and track down the kitten killer, but what they uncover is much bigger than what they’d anticipated.
At times, this very good docuseries is darkly hilarious. Many of the online sleuths from the community are interviewed for the documentary so you get to put a face and voice to the people who would go on to bring down a murderer. It’s wild!
1. Ted Bundy: Falling for a Serial Killer – Amazon Prime
On Amazon Prime, Ted Bundy: Falling for a Serial Killer is honestly, one of the most amazing docuseries about serial killers that has ever been made. We all know the story of Ted Bundy, but have you ever heard it told directly from the mouths of his long-time girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall and her daughter, Molly Kendall? How about his victims that survived? For the victims that didn’t survive, how much have you heard from their families? This series gives voice to them all.
So many documentaries about serial killers miss a crucial point about serial killers: the victims are almost always women. This documentary series ties the rise of Bundy’s criminality to the rise of the women’s liberation movement and the move of women from purely domestic entities to having careers and aspirations outside of the home. Simply, it brilliantly captures a time in American society that could breed a man like Ted Bundy and his heinous crimes.
There are so many great true crime documentaries available to stream online! Here are some honorable mentions: We’re currently obsessed with Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children which is still airing on HBO. We’re waiting to see how it wraps up before recommending it, but so far it’s been incredible.
If you’ve never seen Errol Morris’s The Thin Blue Line, it’s a classic and available to rent from your favorite on-demand service.
If you’re really ambitious and have never taken the time to watch Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills all three films in the trilogy are available to watch on HBO.
There you have it! Stay safe and don’t get murdered!
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