No matter how much the idea of death scares us, true crime documentaries also deeply captivate us. And the context in which death occurs is often even more intriguing. This makes us realize that man’s worse enemy is…man. Therefore, here’s a list of some of the most captivating and intriguing true crime documentaries. However, proceed respectfully, as these are real-life stories with real-life victims. Viewer discretion is advised. So can one of these true crime documentaries influence us?
The Staircase is one of the best true crime documentaries. Michael Peterson is a novelist. His wife dies in 2001 when she falls down the stairs. He claims it was an accident. But the jury doesn’t seem to believe him. Or any proof he presents.
The story unravels from 2004 until 2018, and it closely follows the characters involved in the story on their journey to prove Michael’s innocence. Or guilt.
One of those true crime documentaries that will leave you questioning…did HE do it?
Don’t F**k With Cats
When a video of someone abusing cats gets uploaded to the internet, the people start their own investigation. With little to no help from the police, they take matters into their own hands to find the offender.
However, what they find is much darker than they initially thought.
The Confession Tapes
The series is one of the true-crime documentaries that follows stories of people who have gotten wrongly accused of having committed murders they confessed to.
You may think you’re safe if you’re innocent, but the show demonstrates how easy it is for people, in certain contexts, to admit to something they haven’t actually done. Words get twisted, memories fade fast, and fatigue takes over. And the confession comes out.
The Devil Next Door
An older man from Cleveland gets brought to trial in Israel because people seem to think he is the notorious Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible.
An unbelievable premise, yet it starts to make sense as the series unfolds.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
This is another one of the best true crime documentaries. The justice system often overlooks child abuse cases. Or intervenes when it’s already too late. And this is what this heart-breaking series showcases as well.
Gabriel Fernandez is an 8-year-old boy from Palmdale. He lives with his mother, boyfriend, siblings and fears that he will not live to see another day.
As the show develops, he turns from a delighted and generous child to the victim of one of the cruelest abuse stories.
Mommy Dead and Dearest
Sometimes, children turn on their parents too.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard is the daughter of Dee Dee Blanchard. However, Gypsy is not like any other kid. She suffers from several medical conditions that affect her everyday life. But thankfully, she has her mother to help her. Or does her mother convince her she is ill?
This story has so many twists that it will leave you speechless.
Beware the Slenderman
In the age of social media, information spreads fast. And so do internet conspiracies and creepypastas.
Slenderman is an internet legend, a faceless, very tall bogeyman said to abduct children. However, children don’t always know the difference between myth and reality. Thus, two 12-year-old girls kill their best friend in an attempt to befriend Slenderman.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
28-year-old Dr. Andrew Bagby is found dead in a park in Pennsylvania after being shot and killed by his ex-girlfriend. Pregnant with his child, she runs away to Canada, where she can walk free on bail. His parents are enraged, and they try to gain custody of their grandson and have his killer convicted.
One of his best friends and filmmaker, Kurt Kuenne, tries to gain as much footage as possible of Andrew and the people who knew him. He strives to allow Andrew’s son to get to know his father.
A tragic story that manages to prove how deep death really hurts those close to us and how flawed the justice system really is. Do you think that one of the most popular true crime documentaries can influence us?
American Murder: The Family Next Door
In 2018, Chris Watts murdered his wife and two children. But in the age of digitalization, he can’t lie his way out of security camera evidence.
The documentary shows how the family goes from a loving environment to going through hardships and ultimately murder. What sets this documentary apart is the amount of footage caught when the police arrive to investigate his house, as well as text evidence about what really happened in their marriage.
Really makes you wonder who you can actually trust.
A bank robbery like no other. In 2003, a man entered a pizza shop wearing a collar on his neck. However, it’s not just any regular collar. It’s actually a bomb.
His death sparks many questions, like who was behind all this? Who would be capable of such a gruesome act? Well, her name is Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. And this was not her first rodeo.
I think most of us can agree that true crime documentaries affect us, which leaves us wanting to know more and more cases. Sometimes it’s to protect ourselves; sometimes, the stories are just so twisted, it’s hard to believe they’re actually real. But they are, unfortunately, genuine.