Let’s face it – those of us who binged on the incredible true crime documentary series that was Making A Murderer on Netflix have been looking for something similar to devour ever since, but in the hunt many of us have come up a little short. We know a second season of Making A Murderer is in the works, but without a premiere date, we need something else to bridge that gap and get our detective juices flowing. So, we’ve put together a list of five incredible true crime documentaries that all fans of Making A Murderer should love…
5. Beware the Slenderman (2016) – Available on iTunes
The Slenderman may be a completely fictional character, but that didn’t stop the attempted murder of a 12-year-old girl in America, who was stabbed multiple times by two other 12-year-olds who claimed‘the Slenderman’ had forced them to do it. Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, the film premiered in March 2016 at South by Southwest, before being picked up by HBO in the States. Earlier this year, the piece debuted both in the States and the UK on Sky Atlantic, showcasing the investigation and the 18 months that went into filming, including interviews with the families of the two suspects. It’s a riveting look into how an urban legend can work its way into impressionable minds and cause havoc; certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of the true crime genre.
4. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) – Available on iTunes
Robert Durst is a very intriguing individual. All of his life he’s had access to money, but not a lot of peace and relaxation. While one half of America thinks he’s a murderer, many others believe his innocence and so, in this incredible miniseries, he himself steps back into the spotlight to speak about the accusations, his past and the many different criminal cases he’s been a part of. Directed by Andrew Jarecki, the final episode of the series originally aired just one day after Robert Durst was arrested in New Orleans on a first degree murder warrant, in connection to the 2000 death of Susan Berman, thanks to new evidence that was presented in the miniseries. Watch this one and make your own mind up…
3. Amanda Knox (2016) – Available on Netflix
Another great new documentary that involves interviews with the subject in question is Netflix original, Amanda Knox. Having spent almost four years in an Italian prison following her conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox saw her sentence overturned in 2015 when she was acquitted by the Supreme Court of Cassation. Here, she steps forward once again to plead her innocence alongside various experts, those involved in the case and journalists who followed it intently. While they make their own decisions as to whether or not they believe Knox is innocent, the viewer is tasked with doing the same, despite the exoneration.
2. Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) – Available on Netflix
Aileen Wuornos was a very conflicted woman. Executed despite her being of unsound mind, this incredible feature-length documentary film focuses on an evidentiary hearing held in Florida back in 2001, which was the site of some of Wuornos’ murders. Wuornos’ own interviews are also included in the film, as well as footage of a prison spokesman who read her final statement. It said: “I’m sailing with the Rock, and I’ll be back. Like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mothership and all. I’ll be back.” A compelling watch, for sure.
1. Cropsey (2009) – Available on Amazon Prime Video
Cropsey is a great watch because it never borders on offensive and exploitative with the subject matter. Following a series of kidnappings, this tells the true story of a myth that becomes reality, as missing children and courtroom drama takes centre-stage. Andre Rand is the man convicted of the killings, who agreed to take part in the documentary before pulling out at the last minute. Fortunately, his time on the film isn’t something that was necessary to make it a success.