Truth is usually stranger than fiction, which explains why there are so many Netflix shows based on real crimes. The streaming giant has enough crime documentaries, movies, and in-depth television series based on actual crimes that you could watch for days and never see the same murder twice. These Netflix true crime shows and movies are utterly captivating—perfect for an afternoon binge-watch.
Mindhunter follows the fictitious FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they interview infamous serial killers and collaborate with Dr. Wendy Carr to usher in a new way of investigating crime.
Ford is based on John E. Douglas, an FBI agent and author that interviewed killers featured on the show, such as Richard Speck and Edmund Kemper. Tench is based on Robert K. Ressler, an FBI agent that reportedly coined the term "serial killer." Carr is based on Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess, who published a study of serial killers in 1988 with Ressler and Douglas.
#33 on The Best Shows About the FBI
On August 28, 2003, a pizza delivery man walked into a bank in Erie, PA, wearing a bomb collar and carrying a shotgun fashioned into a walking cane. He was captured and told police that he had very little time to follow clues to get the bomb collar off his neck before it exploded.
The four-part docuseries Evil Genius delves into unexpected people and places to determine the true mastermind of this infamous heist. It also asks the question: was the pizza delivery man a willing participant or a fall guy?
Sister Catherine Cesnik disappeared while out shopping in Baltimore, MD, on November 7, 1969. Her body was found on January 20, 1970. The Keepers investigates her death and explores several incidents that may be related. The search reveals a pattern of sexual abuse at the Catholic school where Cesnik taught that the sister might have threatened to expose. The series explores a confession from a gay neighbor that later committed suicide and gives details on the only living suspect. It also follows a group of women seeking justice for the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the people of faith who were supposed to be educating them.
Making a Murderer follows Steven Avery for more than a decade as the center of two controversial criminal trials. Avery was exonerated from a 1985 conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder and made it his life's mission to expose the corruption of the law enforcement agency that put him in prison. Then, in 2007, he was convicted for the 2005 murder of a Wisconsin photographer and sentenced to life in prison.
The series follows Avery's second trial and questions whether the prosecution was misleading in how they presented the evidence gathered against him and his nephew, Brendan Dassey.