Craving a good true crime documentary? "Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer" — which hits Netflix on Jan. 13, 2021 — tells the wild tale of the hunt for Richard Ramirez, aka the Night Stalker, a murderer who tormented Southern California in the '80s. Hear stories straight from the surviving victims and law enforcement officers who pursued Richard in this captivating docu-series, which is sure to have true crime junkies buzzing following its release. If you're in search of even more true crime content, keep reading to see Wonderwall.com's favorite shows and documentaries to stream…
The oldest true crime miniseries on our list is often considered one of the originals: 2004's "The Staircase." It details the bizarre death of Kathleen Peterson and chronicles how her husband, Michael, was convicted of murdering her despite his claims that she fell down the stairs. Perhaps one of the true hallmarks of a good true crime series is that by the end, you've learned so many ins and outs of the crime that you're still not sure of the truth. This one is available to watch on Netflix.
One of the most iconic Netflix true crime docu-series captivated viewers in 2015: "Making a Murderer." After spending two decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Steven Avery was accused of murder. The show follows the ins and outs of the crime and was so addictive, Netflix released a follow-up series in 2018, continuing to dive into who might have killed Teresa Halbach — including Steven's relative Brendan Dassey.
Miss riding roller coasters? Then start watching "Don't F*** With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer." We promise you won't ever be bored by this insane tale about Luka Magnotta, a serial killer who challenges ordinary citizens and law enforcement alike to play an international game of cat and mouse that all starts with a video of himself murdering cats. The haunting and unbelievable tale is currently streaming on Netflix.
HBO Max's "Murder on Middle Beach" gives a whodunnit murder doc a new twist: The documentarian is actually the son of the deceased. Follow Madison Hamburg as he attempts to unravel the mystery of his mother's death while on a path that leads him to accuse fellow family members ranging from his sister to his aunt to his own father.
Remember Fyre Fest? Netflix dived into the chaos with its documentary "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened." It takes a close look at the now-infamous 2017 music festival that wasn't and the disaster that unfolded at the hands of Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule.
We all remember the insane tale of American college student Amanda Knox, who was quickly accused of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, while she studied abroad in Italy back in 2007. With evidence supporting a theory that someone besides Amanda killed Meredith, Amanda herself gives her take on the ordeal in this 2018 documentary. It's available to stream on Netflix.
"Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults" is a must-watch for true crime devotees. It goes deep into the world of the Heaven's Gate religious group and founder Marshall Applewhite, investigating exactly what happened for 20 years that culminated in the largest mass suicide in American history in 1997. This one's available to watch on HBO Max.
One of the most difficult documentaries to watch that's on our list is "The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez." The case of a murdered child is examined as viewers see just how many things went wrong to lead to a boy's death — from social workers being charged with crimes to the horrific abuse Gabriel suffered at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. It's available to stream on Netflix.
"The Keepers" dived into the murder of a nun, Sister Catherine Cesnik, who was killed in 1969. The show details the effect on her students at Archbishop Keough High School and touches on an interesting theory — that she was killed to cover up sexual abuse being committed by a priest. Watch the thrilling tale on Netflix anytime.
In 2019, HBO debuted "Leaving Neverland," a documentary about two men who claim they were abused by music star Michael Jackson as kids. Wade Robson and James Safechuck tell disturbing stories about what happened when they spent time with Michael in their youth. It's tough to watch, but the Emmy-winning doc provides an alternative angle on the infamous abuse accusations the King of Pop faced before his death. It can be streamed on HBO Max.
One of the most infamous cults of late, NXIVM, made plenty of headlines thanks to its ties to notable figures like actress Allison Mack and Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman. The true nefarious nature of the organization, led by founder Keith Raniere, comes to light in the HBO documentary "The Vow." It follows former members of the self-improvement group as they explain how they fell for and subsequently left the organization. Ultimately, Keith was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering, among other crimes. The unbelievable tale even spawned a second docu-series, STARZ's "Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult." Watch the first series on HBO Max.
Real true crime junkies know everything about Ted Bundy — but have they heard it right from his very own mouth? "Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" lets viewers listen in on his thoughts as the four-episode docu-series features audio from interviews with Ted himself — giving a unique perspective on how he viewed his crimes back in 1980 when he sat on death row. Hear and see it all on Netflix.
Looking for some true crime fodder that's a little lighter? "McMillion$" is the wild tale of the McDonald's Monopoly game that turned into a lucrative scam for criminals and the mob — to the tune of $24 million! Documentarians talk to dozens of people involved, from family and friends to neighbors and some surprisingly entertaining law enforcement officials who handled the case, like F.B.I. agent Doug Matthews. The mastermind behind it all will probably surprise you! Catch this one on HBO Max.
Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" tells the tale of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a man who started a commune in the '80s that ultimately led to a criminal investigation. Discover the bizarre world of the Rajneeshpuram community with this docu-series that continually introduces more wild elements with every episode. Stream it on Netflix tonight.
2019 saw the premiere of "I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter." The documentary takes viewers through the disturbing story of teen Michelle Carter, who was accused of encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to kill himself back in 2014 — over text messages. Both teens were dealing with depression and their tragic romance plays out in this doc that shows how their relationship led to a suicide and ended with the justice system deciding Michelle's fate. Stream it on HBO Max.
"The Devil Next Door" zeroes in on Ohio man John Demjanjuk, who was accused of being Ivan the Terrible — one of the most horrific guards during the Holocaust. Though at first glance he seemed to just be an ordinary citizen, John was later extradited to Israel to stand trial. This documentary takes on both sides, showing the evidence that suggests John may have been an SS Guard, but not necessarily Ivan the Terrible. Watch it on Netflix.
Perhaps the most uniquely told true crime doc on the list is next: "American Murder: The Family Next Door." Told only through archival footage, social media posts, text messages, home videos and law enforcement recordings, the twisted and horrific murders of the Watts family unfold in this documentary. See Christopher Watts react when police arrive looking for his missing wife, and follow the story as he ends up confessing to police and shares the monstrous details of how he murdered his own wife and young daughters, whose bodies were dumped in oil tanks, so he could start a new life with his mistress. This one is available to watch on Netflix.
The fascinating story of Elizabeth Holmes unfolds in HBO's "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." It follows the young Stanford University dropout's rise to power as she ran Theranos, a health technology company that touted its ability to simplify blood tests. From hobnobbing with world leaders to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charging her and the organization with fraud, this doc tells the tale while using footage of Elizabeth and her COO Sunny Balwani as they praise the wonders of Theranos.
One of the strangest thefts in history is explored in "Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist." In 2003, Brian Wells attempted to rob a bank with a bomb tied around his neck — only to later be killed when the device went off. This documentary explores what happened — how his co-conspirator reportedly told him the bomb was fake — and attempts to make sense of one of the most bizarre true crime stories around. Watch it on Netflix.
Back in 2015, "The Jinx: The Life and Times of Robert Durst," debuted on HBO and became one of the most shocking true crime docu-series in history. Robert himself agreed to be interviewed and famously muttered an unbelievable phrase while still mic'd in a bathroom on the finale — which aired the day after he was arrested on first-degree murder charges (he's seen here at trial in March 2020). This one you have to see to believe. It's streaming on HBO Max.
In 2014, the podcast "Serial" riveted the nation as listeners tuned in to to hear the tale of Adnan Syed's arrest and prosecution. Whether or not Adnan actually killed his former high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, continues to be explored years later in "The Case Against Adnan Syed." "Serial" fans were delighted to see the story explained visually, as the docu-series reviewed the case in four parts. In it, it's revealed that Adnan turned down a plea bargain in 2018. Viewers also see his appeal process soldier on. This one can be streamed on HBO Max.
Many remember the 2007 kidnapping of Madeleine McCann from her British parents' vacation apartment in Portugal. An eight-part Netflix series dives deeper into this tragic event in "The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann." Unfortunately, despite exhaustively looking at the case from every angle, it seems this one might never be solved. But real true crime fans will still enjoy this investigation into the subpar police work and the quick accusation that Madeleine's parents were involved, which they've long denied. Stream it on Netflix.
"I'll Be Gone in the Dark" debuted in 2020. This HBO docu-series centers around Michelle McNamara's bestselling book of the same name in which she tries to discover the identity of the infamous "Golden State Killer." Michelle, a true crime junkie, battles her own mental health issues while attempting to solve these horrendous crimes. She passed away before her work helped resolve the four-decade-long mystery and bring Joseph D'Angelo to justice. Stream it on HBO Max.