20 Documentaries True Crime Lovers Will Want to Stream on Netflix

Bethany Quinn | Feb 12, 2019 Trending
20 Documentaries True Crime Lovers Will Want to Stream on Netflix
Image: Film 45

The Keepers
Film 45

True Crime is definitely having a moment. From books to podcasts to TV series and films, audiences have been obsessed with this scary genre for the last few years. We simply cannot get enough of the gruesome, horrific, and downright terrifying true life stories of crime, murder, wrongful incarceration, and life behind bars. Documentaries that explore the dark side of our world have become the topic of conversation almost anywhere we go. From our workplaces to schools, we are inundated with these stories that include unsolved mysteries, criminal confessions, and shocking turns of criminal events. Perhaps, what's most intriguing, is that they are all real stories.

But where to watch?

Well, Netflix has pretty much cornered the market when it comes to true crime documentaries and docu-series and has tons to choose from. There are stories of newer crimes that have shaken small towns, and older ones that've shocked the world -- and still plague us decades later. For those looking for their next true crime binge (or 20), we've got ya covered. These 20 shows can all be streamed on Netflix right now, and they will terrify and shock the socks off viewers.

Whether someone is a true-crime connoisseur or simply looking for a place to start indulging in documentaries, these Netflix offerings will not disappoint. Some are even Oscar nominated, critically acclaimed projects that will leave us thinking about the people in them long after they're over. It's easy to get wrapped up in the real-life events of these movies and series, so it's no wonder so many people are addicted to this genre.

Take a look at these 20 true crime documentaries to stream on Netflix right now.

  • 'The Innocent Man'


    Rated: TV-MA

    The murders of Debbie Carter and Denice Haraway in Ada, Oklahoma, in the 1980s rocked the small town. Police mishandled the case, and innocent people went to jail. Years later, the case was revisited. This series is based on John Grisham's book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.

  • 'The Staircase'


    Rated: TV-MA

    In 2001, novelist Michael Peterson claimed his wife's death was accidental. Years later, it was determined that Kathleen Peterson was beaten to death. This series is broken down into three parts and was filmed in 2005, 2017, and 2018, following Peterson until his eventual conviction.

  • 'Survivors Guide to Prison'


    Rated: TV-MA

    Susan Sarandon narrates this movie that acts as a guide to prison. It features interviews with prisoners and law enforcement officials as they talk about incarceration. It also tells the story of two wrongly convicted men, Reggie Cole and Bruce Lisker.

  • 'I Am a Killer'


    Rated: TV-MA

    Ten convicted killers behind bars tell their stories from their point of view in this bone-chilling series.

  • 'Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes'


    Rated: TV-MA

    This documentary has recently gone viral for some very disturbing reasons (Google it) -- so it's actually a great time to watch it as Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is the talk of every office and gathering.

  • 'The Keepers'


    Rated: TV-MA

    In 1969, Cathy Cesnik, a Catholic high school teacher and nun, disappeared. The case was closed but reopened in the '90s when one of Cesnik's former students came forward with new information about her murder.

  • 'First and Last'


    Rated: TV-MA

    This docu-series follows prisoners on their first and last day of prison. If anyone has been longing to get some insight into the criminal justice system, this is a great pick.

  • 'Out of Thin Air'


    Rated: TV-MA

    Guomundur Einarsson and Geirfinnur Einarsson disappeared in Iceland in 1974. Six people were convicted for their possible murders, but those native to Iceland believe all six were wrongfully charged.

  • 'Babies Behind Bars'


    This film follows pregnant inmates as they prepare for the arrival of a baby while incarcerated.

    Babies Behind Bars originally aired on TLC back in 2011.

  • 'Time: The Kalief Browder Story'


    This heartbreaking film follows 16-year-old Kalief Browder who spent three years -- with a good portion of his time in solitary confinement -- in Rikers Island prison for allegedly stealing a backpack. No charges were ever filed, and sadly, Browder died by suicide after his release.

  • 'Strong Island'


    Rated: MA

    In 1992, William Ford, Jr. was murdered in Long Island, New York. Over 25 years later, the victim's brother, Yance Ford, created this Oscar-nominated film to shed some light on his family's tragedy.

  • 'The Fear of 13'


    Nick Yarris narrates the film about his wrongful 21-year incarceration for murder. This gripping story follows Yarris and his eventual release after DNA proved his innocence.

  • 'Casting JonBenet'


    Rated: TV-14

    Over 20 years later, the world is still obsessed with the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. This film is set up like as a fictional casting for a JonBenet film. The actors auditioning for the part offer their thoughts on what actually happened in this tragic murder.

  • 'Evil Genius'


    Rated: TV-MA

    This four-part series aims to solve the mystery behind the famous "pizza bomber" crime. Brian Wells was forced to rob a bank with a bomb strapped to him. The twists and turns will leave viewers scratching their heads in amazement.

  • 'Murder Mountain'


    Sixty percent of the marijuana grown in the United States is produced in Humboldt County, California. It's become an extremely dangerous place, and many people have gone missing there.

    This six-part docu-series attempts to get to the bottom of that.

  • 'Making A Murderer'


    Rated: TV-14

    This two-season series was filmed over decade and follows Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were accused of a heinous crime.

  • 'I Called Him Morgan'


    In 1972, Helen Morgan was convicted for killing her common-law husband, jazz musician Lee Morgan. This documentary follows Helen as she looks back at her actions.

  • 'I Am Jane Doe'


    This film follows the take down of Backpage.com, a website used for trafficking underage girls. Jessica Chastain narrates, and the real-life legal drama will leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

  • 'Inside the Real Narcos'

    If people are fans of the Netflix show Narcos, they'll get a kick of the true story behind the billion-dollar cartels in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. 
  • 'Amanda Knox'


    Rated: TV-MA

    In 2007, American student Amanda Knox was arrested and convicted of killing her roommate in Italy. She was later acquitted, but this documentary sheds new light on the case and features interviews with Amanda herself.

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