5 Best True Crime Documentaries Streaming on Netflix Now

With the success of the podcast Serial and the HBO documentary The Jinx, several networks are getting into the true crime game. In addition to a couple of Netflix Originals, the popular streaming service offers several great true crime documentaries. Below are CrimeHQ's picks for the top 5 true crime documentaries streaming on Netflix now:

Dear Zachary

Picture of Andrew Bagby, murder victim and subject of DEAR ZACHARY.

After Andrew Bagby ended his tumultuous relationship with then-girlfriend Shirley Jane Turner, she decided to murder her former lover in cold blood. When close friend Kurt Kuenne discovered Turner was carrying Bagby’s unborn child, he decided to collect previous footage of Bagby’s life and interview friends and family to serve as a sort of cinematic scrapbook for the father a son would never know. What started as a memoriam turned into a sort of true crime documentary, as frustrating extradition laws and unspeakable tragedy strike this already sad story. 

Amanda Knox

Still of Amanda Knox from AMANDA KNOX.

Amanda Knox, an American woman living in Italy, spent four years in Italian prison after being convicted of murdering her friend and roommate Meredith Kercher. After a questionable police investigation, pre-trial publicity and character assassination, and shoddy forensic evidence, the conviction sparked international controversy. The documentary follows the media circus that surrounded the case and questions the responsibility of media in covering ongoing investigations. 

Read David Cranmer's review of Amanda Knox!

The Thin Blue Line

Still of Randall Adams from THE THIN BLUE LINE.

A 1988 documentary considered one of the greatest of all time, The Thin Blue Line is the predecessor to more recent true crime hits, such as Serial and Making a Murderer. The documentary depicts the story of Randall Dale Adams, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Robert Wood—a murder he did not commit. Presenting a series of interviews about the case with reenactments of the shooting, the documentary suggests that the evidence shows that Adams was not the killer. After the film’s release, the case was reviewed and Adams was exonerated a year later. 

Making a Murderer

Mugshot of Steven Avery from MAKING A MURDERER.

A ten-episode 1st season filmed over the course of ten years follows the story of Steven Avery, a man from Wisconsin who served 18 years in prison for a wrongful conviction only to be arrested again on suspicious murder charges just two years after he was released. Making a Murderer garnered wide-spread success and is currently working on a second season. 

The Fear of 13

Still of Nick Yarris from THE FEAR OF 13.

A 2015 British documentary, The Fear of 13 tells the story of Nick Yarris, who spent 21 years on Death Row in Pennsylvania before being released in 2004 on new DNA evidence. The documentary is filmed as a sort of one-man show, with Yarris telling his own story in a non-linear structure, covering his early life, arrest, and time on death row. 

Know of any other great true crime documentaries streaming on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

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