I’m a sucker for a good true crime show. I love documentaries even more, because they’re like watching the news but way more interesting and with way more detail. Murder mysteries have always been one of my favorite book & show genres, which is kinda weird but if you think about the psychology behind it it makes sense that people are so fascinated with them (and that I’m not crazy!)
People are genuinely curious about death & according to a criminologist, serial killers are like a train wreck or spectacle in which you kind of can’t stand to watch but at the same time you can’t look away. He explains that we also receive a rush of adrenaline for watching something bad, which is a similar feeling to riding a roller coaster. Due to the emotions it causes (especially fear), humans are drawn to true crime. Read the full article by Scott Bon here. With so many shows coming out around it, it’s obviously a common craze.
So, Joe and I have been binge watching crazy crime shows for the past ~3 years and are hooked. Our favorite shows are always one of our favorite topics over dinner with friends. I get so into trying to solve them and form my opinion of evidence and court procedures that I feel like I missed my calling to be a detective. How interesting that these shows could help put more people on the front lines if others (who haven’t yet started their career or are actively looking for a change) also think about it that way! I’m definitely not making any moves on that, so don’t worry Mom... but it’s definitely very fascinating to me and I always want to know all the details when I meet detectives in real life.
Ok, so I’m the spirit non-crazy crime watchers, here is my roundup of the all time best crime shows (in my humble wanna-be-detective opinion):
1. THE JINX
All. Time. Best. Literally a legendary show. You can find it on HBO Go and it consists of 6, one hour episodes.
I’ve watched nearly all the OJ shows available including People vs PJ Simpson, but this 30 for 30 series is by far the best. It consists of 5 series... aka you can easily binge it all on a Sunday night. ;)
This show really gets you scared that you can always promise you won't commit a crime, but that doesn't mean you won't get charged for a crime in the USA. This show is, in my opinion, what got the true crime docuseries really popular. This is a mistrial documentary on Netflix that you won't want to miss. The dialogue in this show is pretty funny too, since it's based in a little middle of nowhere country town.
You’ll walk away with a weak opinion of whether you think he’s guilty or not. I have mine but I’m not entirely Detective Megan confident. Among my friends the opinion is split, and I am eager for more and more on this case continue to be released. This just arrived on Netflix & consists of 13 episodes, with 3 NEW episodes with new updates about the case.
5. SERIAL PODCAST (SEASON 1)
This is a podcast vs. a show, but 100% amazing content and worth a listen. This podcast is the reason Adnan Syed got a retrial. You’ll get HOOKED! I’d recommend listening on a roadtrip because you won’t want to put it down and that hour commute won’t be enough to binge!! This podcast is 12 episodes about ~1 hour each.
6. AMANDA KNOX
This documentary is available on Netflix, about a girl who was studying abroad in Italy and was charged for her Italian roommate's murder alongside her Italian boyfriend. I studied abroad in Barcelona (PS: read my Barca travel guide!) right around the same time this was getting coverage so I remember being like "woah!" I ended up reading her book & following the story, so this was particularly interesting to me. I'd definitely recommend it, along with her memoir, "Waiting to be Heard."
7. EVIL GENIUS
Also known as the "pizza bomber" case, this Netflix docuseries is about a bank robbery that turned into a public murder of a pizza delivery driver who had a bomb locked around his neck. At times hard to watch, this mystery had a ton of turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.
8. THE KEEPERS
This Netflix docuseries is about crimes by priests within the Catholic Church, particularly the crime around the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a beloved nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore. It uncovers a lot of information through various people coming forward from crimes over the years. Definitely an interesting watch.
Let me know what your favorites are in the comments section below! I always need a new show! If you watch any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts too!