Lifestyle

Five of the most jaw dropping true-crime documentaries

I’m Hannah and I’m a true crime documentary addict. In fact anything true crime. Give me true crime books, podcasts, films. I cannot get enough. The best true crime documentaries are those with the jaw dropping moments for either good or bad reasons (usually bad). But they open our eyes and educate us and tell the stories of those whose stories need telling.

The best true crime documentaries

1. Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult

Late last year I went through my cult fascination phase of the pandemic. Which started with watching The Vow, a HBO documentary following the experiences of individuals deeply involved in the ‘self improvement’ group NVIXM (pronounced nex-ee-em). NXIVM is currently facing serious charges of sex trafficking, and racketering brought against it’s highest members and founder Keith Raniere.

Seduced picks up where The Vow leftoff andI would honestly recommend watching both but Seduced delves deeper into the story of former cult member India Oxenberg, daughter of Catherine Oxenberg, an American actor best known for her role in Dynasty. What makes Seduced jaw dropping is it displays just how scary and easy it is for cults to manipulate vulnerable people.

You can find all four episodes on Starz Play.

2. The Jinx

The Jinx delves into the strange story of real estate heir Robert Durst, who is long suspected of a series of murders including the 1982 disappearance of his wife and murder of a family friend. The Jinx, directed by Andrew Jarecki is a result of 10 years of research by filmmakers and exposes never before seen footage. What makes The Jinx jaw dropping is Robert Durst actually agrees to take part in the documentary and the outcome, you just have to witness for yourself. Trust me.

All six episodes are available on Sky/Now

3. Don’t f with Cats

A true-crime docuseries highlighting the importance of web sleuths and arm chair detectives. The series chronicles the amateur investigation of an online group’s search for the culprit of a series of animal cruelty videos being posted online. Leading to a manhunt for a killer.

What makes it jaw dropping is the seriously disturbing videos (this documentary is not for the faint hearted) but also the skill and determination of online sleuths dedication to solve crimes.

The three part series is available on Netflix

4. I love you, Now die: The commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

You may have heard of the groundbreaking case of the girl who was charged of involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself, via text. Such a bizarre case and so much more to it than was in the headlines. A really interesting documentary.

Available on Sky Crime

5. American Murder: The Family Next Door

I had heard of this case, as an avid true crime fan. What was so shocking about this documentary was how much footage they had of everything that transpired. Hearing or reading about it is one thing but watching it unfold before your very eyes is unbelievable. Without giving too much away, American Murder: The family next door unpacks when Shannan Watts and her two young daughters Bella and Celeste go missing in 2018. The documentary uses bodycam footage, texts and social media to tell this tragic true crime case.

Available on Netflix

What are the best true crime documentaries you have seen?

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