Truth is stranger than fiction. Horror movies evoke fear, but true crime documentaries force us to face the sinister side of reality. In a way, thats even more frightening. Do we really know our next-door neighbours? How safe is it to walk alone at night on a quiet street? Are hot people capable of committing gruesome crimes?
While theres something bone-chilling about seeing these real-life cases unfold on screen, theres also a level of curiosity watching from the comfort of ones couch. We become a detective, a witness, a juror all while in our pyjamas, drinking boxed wine. As the genre grows, so does the selection of cases to choose from. Need a clue on where to start? Here are 6 true crime documentaries to stream for all fright levels but, first, you might want to check that your doors are locked.
1. Dont F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
The case: When Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook to rank college girls, he probably never intended for his social network site to help solve a murder. After a disturbing online video involving cats enrages viewers, Facebook sleuths try to track down the uploader. To their surprise, they discover that this person is not just an animal torturer but a sadistic killer.
2. American Murder: The Family Next Door
The case: Theres no such thing as a picture-perfect family. In 2018, Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife Shanann and their two daughters, Celeste and Bella. The heinous crime dominated headlines and tabloids, but this docu-series gives us a more personal look into the Watts family. American Murder strips away the suburban façade and retraces the victims final moments through home security footage and personal text messages.
3. Evil Genius: The True Story of Americas Most Diabolical Bank Heist
The case: A ticking time bomb is strapped around your neck and you must go on a scavenger hunt to save your life. What do you do? This sounds like a blockbuster, but it's far more disturbing than anything Hollywood can write. The series recounts the 2003 high-profile bank heist known as the Collar-bomb Case.
4. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
The case: In 2013, 21-year-old college student Elisa Lam vanished. The last footage of Lam shows her getting into the Cecil Hotel elevator and acting strangely. She was never seen alive again. Notorious for its history of mysterious deaths and suicides, the Cecil Hotel in downtown LA was a hotspot for killers and their innocent prey.
5. Amanda Knox
The case: You know her name, but do you know her story? While on a foreign exchange trip in Perugia, Italy, Amanda Knox, an American college student, was accused of brutally murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox became a media sensation and served almost four years in an Italian prison. This illuminating documentary finally gives Knox a chance to speak for herself.
6. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
The case: Ted Bundy walked so Joe Goldberg could stalk. Bundy is known for his devilishly good looks and was even portrayed by Zac Efron. Don't let his charm fool you, though. The documentary brings one of Americas most famous serial killers to light through archival footage and interviews with surviving victims, family, friends and law enforcement.