Top 10 most captivating true crime documentaries on Netflix right now

Where Netflix sometimes lacks in the movie department, they certainly make up for it with binge-worthy true crime documentaries. It’s no secret that Netflix is pumping them out at the moment like there’s no tomorrow; and all we can do is thank them for providing the mini investigators of the world with the perfect lockdown entertainment.

1. The Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

night stalker

Richard Ramirez, known as the “Night Stalker” was an American serial killer. Ramirez spent over two years of his life raping and torturing over 25 victims and killing more than a dozen people.

Most of these crimes were committed in the victims California homes which, in turn, sparked a local force fuelled by anger who had their heart set on finding the man who took the lives of so many. This show tells the story of the hunt for one of California’s most deadly serial killer.

2. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

ted bundy

Ted Bundy, who was executed 30 years ago after confessing to the murders of 30 women, loved attention but didn’t want to be caught and punished for his crimes — a common conundrum among serial killers.

Bundy was one of the most prolific, and, if the new Netflix documentary series is to be believed, one of the slipperiest killers, hiding in plain sight as the bodies piled up. No one suspected a thing, would you have?

3. The Ripper

the yorkshire ripper

The Ripper is a four-episode docuseries about how a serial killer called The Yorkshire Ripper terrorized the County of York during the latter half of the 1970s.

Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Sutcliffe murdered 13 women in and around the city of Leeds, and assaulted scores of others. But it took the police in Yorkshire years to capture him due to a combination of his elusiveness, sexist assumptions about his victims by law enforcement, and a general feel that the entire department was disorganised.

4. Don’t F**k With Cats

dont f**ck with cats

A group of Facebook sleuths attempt to track down Luka Magnotta, the Montreal native arrested for the killing and dismembering of Jun Lin in 2012. 

This came after Magnotta anonymously recorded himself torturing and killing several cats. Just two weeks after debuting, the docuseries was listed as one of Netflix’s Top 5 most-watched documentaries of 2019. Just over a year later, the pulpy three-part series remains one of Netflix’s most gruesomely gripping stories.

5. Evil Genius: The Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

evil genius

Co-directors Trey Borzillieri and Barbara Schroeder attempt to determine who is responsible for the 2003 death of Brian Wells, who robbed a PNC Bank with a bomb collar strapped around his neck. He died a short time later, in front of police, when the explosive device detonated. But Wells didn’t act alone.

The series spends most of its time exploring exactly who participated in setting him up to enter that bank, including most notable, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, and what their motives were.

6. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

jeffrey epstein

Netflix’s true crime documentary, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, examines how a wealthy and well-connected financer got away with crimes of sexual abuse and sex trafficking for decades. But just as crucially, it provides a space for his survivors to share their own stories.

The four-part series, based on James Patterson’s 2016 book Filthy Rich, features several interviews with survivors and traces a web of powerful people accused of enabling Epstein’s illegal conduct.

7. I am a Killer

i am a killer

I am a Killer, is Netflix’s new show where the killer takes centre stage. Over ten episodes, each convicted prisoner recounts the events that led up to their crime and, shockingly, the event itself. We discover their motivations, their expectations and ultimately how they now view the crime, after time spent on death row.

Different viewpoints and the impact of decisions made in a split second that have changed the course of the killers’ lives, throw into question the viewer’s opinions towards the killers and allows us to make our own judgement of the law.

8. American Murder: The Family Next Door

american murder

American Murder: The Family Next Door focuses on the 2018 disappearance of Shanann Watts and her two young daughters.

Told via archival footage, the true-crime documentary unfurls through home videos, social media posts, police body-cam recordings, news reports, and private text messages. And because the horrifying events laid out over about 90 minutes, the film is more terrifying than any found-footage flick you’ve seen.

9. The Disappearance of Madeline McCann

madeline mccann

As its name suggests, this documentary centers around one of the biggest news stories of the past century: the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. In 2007, three-year-old ‘Maddie,’ as we have come to know her, went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, allegedly from the apartment where her family was on vacation.

Now, for the first time, you can hear the story yourself, and although unsolved, it definitely helps you to make your own mind up on what really happened in 2007.

10. Unsolved Mysteries

unsolved mysteries

Unsolved Mysteries is back with more compelling stories of the unexplained and unresolved true crime stories.

It’s been 10 years since the last season aired on television, and Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot is filled with strange disappearances, alleged supernatural encounters, and other cold cases waiting to be solved.

It’s worth mentioning that if you don’t mind being greatly dissatisfied after watching an hour of something with no real ending, this is a perfect watch.

Written by Olivia Clayton