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.
Who Took Johnny?
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.
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.
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?