Emmy-award winning, powerhouse shows and limited series such as . with Crown And Queen’s GambitNetflix has mastered the art of streaming, giving the word “binge” a whole new meaning. But a large part of those accolades are thanks to an unbroken run of excellent true crime documentaries for the past 6 years. Some of these documents dominated pop culture upon their release, while others opened eyes to some of the most powerful and dangerous people in society. Taking a look at some of the company’s best documentary films and short series, we’re ranking Netflix’s top 10 true crime documentaries.
10Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
The disappearance of Alyssa Lamm at the Cecil Hotel (nicknamed “Hotel Death”) is one of the more mysterious and disturbing stories on Netflix‘s list. The four-episode documentary chronicles America’s deadliest hotels, the commuting and viral disappearances that made it a national sensation. With unexplained security footage and the rest of America joining the investigation via social media, Lam’s disappearance and eventual search told a spine-tingling non-fiction story. The series includes interviews with the main drivers of the case, such as law enforcement, and the hotel’s main subjects, such as Amy Price, a former Cecil hotel manager. Looking back at Lam’s life before emigrating to Los Angeles, it gives a step-by-step look at what she might have gone through during her short time in the States—until her true location is finally revealed.
9Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
Not only is this a three-episode saga of one of the NFL’s most proficient tight ends, but it’s a story that America was on the edge of its seats waiting to get the full scoop. Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez Breaks down the story of former Super Bowl champion, Aaron Hernandez, and the many murders he was involved in. The series delves into the depths of Hernandez’s story before his captivity and death. Journalists sit down with some of the people who were closest to Hernandez over the years, specifically his former high school, college and professional football teammates. It is a multi-layered story that covers both the facts and speculation behind the allegations of Hernandez’s murder, as well as the struggles that Hernandez has had with him throughout his life and football career. It was a much needed story and journalist Kevin Armstrong executed it brilliantly.
8American Murder: The Family Next Door
A true family tragedy that the world saw and, thanks to social media, filmmaker Jenny Poppwell reopened the case in 2020 American Murder: The Family Next Door. The film investigates the murders of Shannon Watts, who was pregnant at the time of her death, and her two children, Bella and Celeste. Examining archival footage from Shannon’s Facebook and interviews with those who knew the family most, the film takes us through the disappearances of three victims. Filled with footage from the interrogation of Chris, the husband of the prime suspect in the murder, Shannon, the film is a rollercoaster ride of the most shocking revelations in the case. The alleged killer is analyzed before us, the audience is yet to interrogate the culprit till the final scenes of the film. This tragic story and subject matter is Netflix’s bread and butter when it comes to true crime, and Poppwell offers a enticing—though not so easily digestible at times—film that fits the genre perfectly. .
The crimes in the next documentary on our list—though it falls into the true crime genre—are not as gruesome as the ones we’ve mentioned so far. But the story of the failed 2017 “Fair Festival” is about the greed, deceit and jaw-dropping moments that ruled the internet upon its release. Along with real stories from people who attended the failed festivities thanks to creator Andy King’s meme-worthy testimonial, round It is a once in a lifetime story that has attracted millions of people. The Fyre Festival was coordinated by its founder Billy McFarland and a whole crew of professionals who never really saw Billy’s plans through. Promoting the festival with the help of some of social media’s biggest influencers (ie Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid), it was a genuine idea that erupted at its coordinators and attendees alike. Watch filmmaker Chris Smith’s documentary round And watch in real time how Billy McFarland worked his way into notoriety.
One of the most provocative documentaries on this list, keepers Sister is the story of Katherine Cesnick, a nun who was murdered 50 years ago. Like some of the brave journalists and filmmakers who have faced the Catholic Church in the past, this seven-episode documentary looks at the pastors and women who struggled to keep this story under wraps for so long. It puts major institutions like the church in the hot seat, calling for some accountability for those in power. With all the questions raised by the documentary, it’s a fascinating and shocking story that makes this list—because of the horrors of a crime that’s more than 50 years in the making.
5Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
If we’re talking about pop culture phenomena, tiger king, the story of Joe Exotic is also a seven-part series that made national headlines during its release amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the world is shuffled in its hands with more time than ever before, tiger king Streaming platforms are dominated by social media as well. The story follows the alien and his eclectic crew in Greater Wynwood Exotic Animal Park, Oklahoma. With a front row seat of the zoo’s daily operations, we are taken to a multi-zoo drama between some of America’s most famous exotic ranchers. Joe Exotic faces many issues on a daily basis inside and outside his zoo and this documentary captures every second of it. From murder conspiracies to headlines it glosses over the mistreatment of exotic animals in America, this Emmy-nominated documentary takes a unique look at the world of exotic zoos and the never-before-seen world of drama associated with it.
4Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Like Aaron Hernandez, ted bundy tapes There is a documentary America has been waiting for; The country’s most infamous serial killer. telling the story of the person who helped coin the term serial killer, this documentary explores the mind of Ted Bundy, who was behind more than 20 murders in the 1970s, and is captured in audio and video recordings prior to Bundy’s execution in 1989. Here we see Bundy through his words as transparently as possible, while law enforcement and mental health professionals break down the footage. paving the way for future documentaries like disappearing at the cecil hotel, ted bundy tapes Undoubtedly one of the best real-life tests of a serial killer. It puts you in the same room as Ted Bundy; Something that’s hard to pass up as a curious audience member.
3Room 2806: Charges
room 2806 Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French politician and former director of the International Monetary Fund, and the sexual assault allegation that forced him to resign. At one point in his career, one of the top 25 most powerful people in the world, the Strauss-Kahn scandal was broken by those who were directly involved. Filmmaker Jalil Lespert sits down with the hotel housekeeper who was attacked by Strauss-Kahn, Nafisato Diallo, as she gives a harrowing account of the traumatic event. Dating back to 2011, the series’ four episodes trace every twist and turn during the Strauss-Kahn scandal, a story that had major ramifications and spawned harmful government conspiracies. Discussing both corruption and sexual harassment awareness within politics, this series packs a punch with its story. It takes some of society’s most taboo topics like sexual harassment, politics and corruption and mixes them together in a fast paced, bilingual documentary.
2make a killer
The murder plot that very well paved the way for what we know today as the true crime documentary, make a killer Another pop culture sensation was on its 2015 Netflix release. One of the few documentaries to receive the rights to a second season, it follows the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery and his alleged framing in not one, but two murders. The film covers the full story—which is still unfolding—including everything from Avery’s childhood to his release from prison after 18 years on a “wrong” sentence. The documentary is a true rollercoaster ride that predates much of Netflix’s award-winning true crime filmography. It’s the documentary that gave audiences an itch for true crime and made Netflix documentaries a staple of this new era of streaming.
1Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Robbery
while the docs prefer make a killer paved the way for those who are flourishing today like tiger king, this is a 2018 Netflix documentary evil Genius This is the pinnacle of its true crime genre. Breaking the story into four episodes, evil genius} follows Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and her involvement in a deadly bank robbery in Erie, Pennsylvania, known as the “Pizza Bomber” case. Filmmaker Trey Borzillieri covers every aspect of this story and is carefully divided into four episodes, exploring each major incident in the full depth of the case. Along with being one of the best told stories of any Netflix documentary, it’s definitely a gripping subject matter, evil Genius Had his work cut out for himself. The doctor shows how citizens of a small Pennsylvania town make headlines. It’s an honest look into the lives of ordinary people on the surface and the demons inside.