True crime shows, documentaries and movies have been the latest buzz on Netflix lately. Netflix has produced some of the most thought-provoking and emotionally frustrating true crime series these past few years. These shows have tackled different crimes from history, from the infamous Ted Bundy in Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes to the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik in The Keepers. There are hundreds of true crime shows and documentary series on Netflix, but here are a few that are definitely worth watching.
When They See Us – IMDb rating: 9/10
This four episode drama miniseries is based on the true story of the 1989 sexual assault of a female jogger in New York’s Central Park, in which five young black men were later charged with the crime. Subsequently labeled the Central Park Five, the five men maintained their innocence and fought to be exonerated between the years 1989 to 2014. When They See Us is written and directed by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay, and features several Emmy winning and nominated actors/actresses including Jharrel Jerome, Niecy Nash, John Leguizamo and Michael K. Williams. This series has received critical acclaim upon its release this past May.
The Keepers – IMDb rating: 8.1/10
This 2017 documentary series follows the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a Catholic high school teacher and nun in Baltimore, MD. Cesnik disappeared in November 1969, and nearly two months later her body was found. There were no suspects in the case. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the case opened back up when many women from the school Cesnik taught at came forward claiming to have been sexually abused by the chaplain and even accusing the chaplain of threatening to kill them. The story is pieced together through friends and relatives of Cesnik, government officials and the citizens of Baltimore seeking to uncover the truth of who killed Cathy and what happened at the Catholic high school.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes – IMDb rating: 7.8/10
In 1989, one of America’s most notorious serial killers Ted Bundy was executed at Florida State Prison. Bundy was convicted in the deaths of more than 30 women, from 1974 until he was caught in 1978. This docuseries, which was made thirty years after his execution, features archival footage and audio recordings of Bundy while he was on death row at Florida State Prison. Using over 100 hours worth of interviews, director Joe Berlinger helps brings viewers into the mind of Bundy, and allows us to hear the killer analyze his own life and crimes before his pending execution.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story – IMDb rating: 8.4/10
This is the second season of the FX true crime anthology American Crime Story that explores the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace. The series follows up Versace’s life prior to being assassinated by sociopathic spree killer Andrew Cunanan, played by Darren Criss from Fox’s hit show Glee. Besides following the life of Versace, we also witness Cunanan’s life before and after the murder, and how Versace’s siblings Donatella and Santo took over the Versace empire while coping with the death of their brother.
Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist – IMDb rating: 7.6/10
Evil Genius is a true crime documentary about the bizarre death of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man who became involved in a bank heist and scavenger hunt while having a homemade explosive collar around his neck. This four part series follows the 2003 “pizza bomber” incident and focuses on the heist, the victim, and the suspects and their confessions.
I Am a Killer – IMDb rating: 7.5/10
I Am a Killer is definitely one of Netflix’s most brutal and horrifying series to date. This true crime series features prisoners who have been convicted of capital murder and are on death row recounting the events that led them to commit their crimes. The killers themselves tell their stories, in which they reveal their motivations and how they feel about the crimes now while they’re on death row. The show not only touches on the death row inmate’s lives, but also gives insights to the death penalty and the justice system altogether.