The 7 best true crime documentaries available on Netflix right now.

With the rise of the true crime genre this past decade, documentaries on serial killers, abductions and murderers are never in short supply.

They are frightening, nightmare-inducing and often unbelievably dark. And for an entire demographic, that’s their favourite kind of media to consume.

So we’re here to help you find your next true crime obsession for the holiday season.

From the newly released to the cult-favourites, here are the seven best true crime documentaries available on Netflix right now.

The Confession Killer

who is Henry Lee Lucas
Image: Getty.

Netflix’s true crime documentary series, The Confession Killer, explores the story of Henry Lee Lucas, who was once thought to be America’s most prolific serial killer when he confessed to killing a total of 600 people.

However, he was lying about the overwhelming majority of them. In reality, Henry Lee Lucas was actually a ferocious fabulist.

The five-part series, made in part by Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham, will explore Lucas' confessions, and unpack and debunk the plethora of inconsistencies within his account.

Along the way, the documentary will also expose the issues within the U.S. justice system.

Don't F*ck with Cats

luka magnotta
Luka Magnotta's mugshot. Image: YouTube.

Don’t F*ck With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer is Netflix's new true crime documentary, released in December, which explores the story of Luka Magnotta.

On December 21, 2010, Luka Magnotta, a man from Canada, shared a video to YouTube titled: "1 Boy 2 Kittens". In it, Magnotta, who was hidden by the hoodie he was wearing, suffocated two small tabby kittens to death.

Quickly, an international online manhunt involving individuals from around the globe began as they searched for the Canadian man.

Then, less than two years later, Magnotta uploaded another video: "1 Lunatic 1 Icepick". This time, the killer had murdered a human and captured it on tape for the whole world to see.

Don't' F*ck With Cats explores the manhunt that followed for Magnotta and what his life looks like now.

Watch the trailer for the new true crime documentary, Don't F*ck With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer, below. Post continues after video.


The Staircase

best true crime documentaries 2019
The Staircase follows the compelling story of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen. Source: Netflix.

The Staircase, which is available on Australian Netflix, follows the compelling story of crime novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she was mysteriously found dead at the foot of a staircase in their home.

In December of 2001, Peterson, who had once worked for the Department of Defense, claimed he found his wife Kathleen laying on the floor in their home, dead in a pool of her own blood. As the documentary episodes unfold, we learn that there is evidence to suggest her death may not have been a tragic accident.

A 16-year judicial battle ensues, and the documentary follows the many twists and turns that take place.

Interestingly, the Netflix series is made up of 13 episodes, which were all filmed and released at different times. The first eight episodes of the series were released in 2004 and then another two entries debuted in 2013. Then three new instalments, shot in 2017, were added to the original series in 2018.

Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

ted bundy netflix. best true crime documentaries 2019.
Ted Bundy confessed to 30 homicides. Image: Getty.

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes was released by Netflix in January 2019.

The four-part docuseries brought viewers deep into the mind of Ted Bundy, one of America's most notorious serial killers. The series includes exclusive never-before-seen interviews from the man known as the “Jack the Ripper of the United States”.

Conversations with a Killer focuses on a man whose charisma and good looks defied the serial killer stereotype and ultimately allowed him to hide in plain sight as he committed the brutal sex-crime murders of more than 30 women before being caught in 1978.

While he was on trial, the serial killer received remarkable adoration from American women - a fact that made his gruesome crimes even more haunting, and his name even more infamous.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

disappearance of madeleine mccann. best true crime documentaries 2019
Maddie was three when she vanished in 2007. Image: Social.

It’s been 12 years since Madeleine McCann vanished while on a holiday in Portugal with her family.

In March this year, Netflix released an eight-part documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, reigniting discussion and theories about what exactly happened to the little girl on the evening of May 3, 2007.

From a sex-trafficking theory to conjecture that her parents know exactly what happened, the Netflix series looked at a plethora of possibilities as they detailed exactly what preceded the disappearance.

Abducted In Plain Sight

abducted-in-plain-sight. best true crime documentaries 2019.
Robert Berchtold and Jan Broberg. Image: Netflix.

Netflix documentary Abducted In Plain Sight chronicles the chilling story of how Robert Berchtold abducted his neighbour, 12-year-old Jan Broberg, right under her parents' eyes. Twice.

Berchtold was a father-of-five, a loving husband and a good, loyal friend to Jan’s parents. But it was this charismatic side of Robert that shielded Jan’s parents Bob and Mary-Ann Broberg from the brutal truth.


Berchtold's charm ultimately saw Jan’s parents allow a paedophile to have continued access to their innocent child.

Featuring interviews with Jan, her parents and her siblings, the documentary attempts to shed light on Jan's horrifying story and the trauma she kept hidden for years.

Making a Murderer

making a murderer season 2 recap
Image: Netflix.

One of the most-watched true crime documentaries of all time, Making A Murderer looks at the case of Steven Avery – a man who was wrongly convicted and exonerated for rape and then later convicted for the murder of 25-year-old photographer, Teresa Halbach, in 2005.

Avery’s teenage nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for his alleged role in the crime.

The documentary questions whether Avery and Dassey really are guilty of Halbach's murder or whether Avery was once again the victim of a wrongful conviction.

Since the release of the first season, a second one has been released - both of which are available on Netflix now.

Feature Image: Netflix.

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