If you like sinister storylines and compelling characters, then the true crime genre is one for you. Informative and intriguing, these programs keep you on your toes.
We’ve compiled a list of true crime’s best binge watch shows on Netflix.
Losing an arm from a tiger attack, accidental suicide and murder-for-hire – this show has it all. This documentary follows Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, infamously known as Tiger King or Joe Exotic, on his business as a big cat breeder. The show dives into all aspects of his personal and professional life, showing the very real details of the troubles he encounters, which ultimately lead to his imprisonment.
While Tiger King’s primary star is Joe, there are other eccentric people we meet along the way. Carole Baskin, Joe’s nemesis and chief executive officer of Big Cat Rescue, is an essential character to the storyline known as Joe Exotic’s life. Other rivals get their fair share of screen time, including Jeff Lowe, who plays a huge part in Exotic’s downfall. The show has an expansive fan base – viewers side with different characters and even come up with conspiracy theories that sound more like a movie plot.
Tiger King is a riveting watch with wild footage you won’t be able to stop gawking at.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Season one of this Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning true crime anthology dives into the story of former football star O.J. Simpson’s trial for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. October 3, 1995 was a monumental moment as 150 million viewers, which comprised 57% of the United States at the time, tuned in to watch O.J.’s verdict after 10 long months of the trial.
Based in the mid-1990s, The People v. O.J. is a carbon-copy of memorable events throughout the trial – moments like Marcia Clark’s gossip-inducing haircut and the infamous trying-on of the glove, which ultimately produced Cochran’s famous mantra, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” The all-star cast features Cuba Gooding Jr., David Schwimmer, Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Nathan Lane, John Travolta and other well-known players.
While a lot of compelling evidence was found to incriminate Simpson, his “dream team” of lawyers claimed that Simpson was being framed by racist police officers. Their defense ultimately prevailed and O.J. was found innocent by the jury.
Have a watch of this gripping series and riddle yourself this: did O.J. do it?
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The second season of American Crime Story explores the murder of prominent Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. While the details of Versace’s murder on the steps of his Miami mansion and the events that follow are depicted throughout the show, the main focal point is Andrew Cunanan, his killer.
The show won three times at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Darren Criss, who plays serial killer Andrew Cunanan.
Cunanan murdered five people in a three-month period before ultimately turning the gun on himself. In addition to Versace, Cunanan’s victims include Lee Miglin, real estate developer tycoon in Chicago, as well as a former naval officer, an architect and a cemetery caretaker. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were aware of Cunanan and his crimes, but could not track him down. Versace was his final victim, after which Cunanan was trapped in Miami beach with checkpoints everywhere and posters of his face all over the city. Apart from his crimes, the series explores Cunanan’s family and childhood as well as the trauma and abuse he experienced growing up that led to his deteriorating mental health.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Filthy Rich reveals the deep and dark truths of Jeffrey Epstein, convicted sex offender and alleged sex trafficker. The show interviews numerous girls who say they have been sexually assaulted and victimized by Epstein and other people in his inner circle, specifically Ghislaine Maxwell, his long time girlfriend.
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell on August 10, 2019 and his death was ruled a suicide, although much speculation still surrounds the circumstances of his demise. His death has been the focus of conspiracy theories that suggest a ring of powerful pedophiles may have intervened in an effort to suppress information that could expose more of Epstein’s criminal network.
Since the release of Filthy Rich, Ghislaine Maxwell was recently arrested for her involvement in aiding and partaking in Epstein’s sexual assaults. It has also sparked controversy for many powerful figures, like Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, who have ties to Epstein.
Although this documentary may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its intensity and distressing details, seeing the survivors gather the courage to bravely tell their stories is something worth watching.
Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist
This four-part series is a bit of a hidden gem on Netflix. Evil Genius is a roller coaster of a documentary that covers the murder of Brian Wells, also known as “pizza bomber,” who took part in a bank robbery planned by mastermind Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. The docuseries uncovers details of the bank robbery that resulted in Brian Well’s death as well as the murder of James Roden, Diehl-Armstrong’s former boyfriend.
Shadowy figure Bill Rothstein helped Diehl-Armstrong in the aftermath of Roden’s murder by storing Roden’s body in his deep freezer, but eventually turned police informant and gave police an account of Diehl-Armstrong’s involvement as well as staging a suicide attempt that police find less than credible.
Narrator Trey Borzillieri spent years investigating the case and interacting with Diehl-Armstrong while she was incarcerated. This docuseries may be the last firsthand insight we receive about the crimes, as both Diehl-Armstrong and Rothstein have since died.
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