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Netflix Shows And Movies That Are Based On Real Crimes

List RulesVote up the Netflix shows that are most worth binging.

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. And if you like these programs, be sure to check out our list of the best crime movies on Netflix, the true story that inspired Netflix's Unbelievable, and the true-crime documentary The Seven Five.

  • 1
    626 VOTES

    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 who interviewed killers featured on the show, such as Richard Speck and Edmund Kemper. Tench is based on Robert K. Ressler, an FBI agent who 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. 

    If you like this series, check out these other serial killer TV shows.

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  • 2
    187 VOTES

    Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer

    In this series, reenactments of crimes are interspersed with real footage of serial killers and their crimes. The series focuses on the mind of a different killer every episode in an attempt to figure out why they committed their crimes. 

    Among the profiled criminals are Norway bomber Anders Breivik, the "Cleveland Strangler" Anthony Sowell, and "Slumdog Cannibal" Surinder Koli.

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    • 3
      183 VOTES

      Who Took Johnny?

      Photo: RumuR Inc

      Paperboy Johnny Gosch disappeared on September 5, 1982, from his neighborhood in West Des Moines, IA. Police believed Gosch had just run away even though several witnesses mentioned a strange car approaching the boy more than once. For more than 30 years after his disappearance, Gosch's mother Noreen refused to quit searching for the truth about what really happened to her son. 

      This documentary follows her struggle to deal with local police ignoring her and the possibility that her son was stolen by a sex trafficking ring. 

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      • Photo: The Confession Tapes

        This series looks at the weight of confessions in criminal cases and the near impossibility of recanting one once it is given. It is especially chilling to see how many of the people convicted based on their confessions are mentally challenged or have no knowledge of the realities of the justice system.

        One episode shows a mother convinced she burned her child alive in a house fire. Another focuses on a controversial technique law enforcement used to get confessions from two teens.

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