The 7 most chilling crime shows to watch on Stan, and the true stories behind them.

Mark Twain once said, "truth is stranger than fiction."

And often it can be a lot more terrifying too.

It's for this very reason than many of the darkest, most bone-chilling true crime events have provided the perfect source material for scripted TV shows. For the insidious workings of haunting perpetrators, quite simply, could not be made up by putting pen to paper.

If you've ever watched a terrifying crime series and shuddered at the thought of how someone could concoct such a story — chances are they were taken straight from the pages of history books and the transcripts from legal cases.

Here are seven of the most chilling crime shows to watch on Stan, and the true stories behind them. Beware: you may fall into a deep rabbit hole searching for answers to these truly grim crimes.

The Long Shadow

The Long Shadow. Image: ITV.

It's 1970s in Leeds and a mother-of-four has just been found dead in her home. As viewers step into the world of The Long Shadow an ominous story begins to unfold that leads to grave consequences for a number of women in the community.

The details surrounding this investigation are unsettling and for good reason — these anecdotes have been lifted from the very real tragedy that gripped the moody Northern England county during a time when Peter Sutcliff became known as The Yorkshire Ripper.

IRL Sutcliff's attacks were brutal and gruesome, with testimonies detailing unthinkable styles of murder. However, in The Long Shadow, show creators have instead chosen to focus on the lives of his victims rather than making their deaths the salacious hero of the plot. A refreshing change when it comes to scripted true crime dramatisations.

Wolf Creek.

Wolf Creek. Image: Stan.

The story of Wolf Creek has no doubt been traumatising your dreams and putting a pin in any best-laid plans to ever travel to the Aussie outback since the feature film premiered back in 2005. Sorry to say folks, but more sleepless nights are ahead because Stan went ahead and brought back the perennially terrifying actor John Jarratt in a Wolf Creek TV series in 2016.

If your mind needs a little refresher, the Wolf Creek TV series has taken inspiration from a couple of chilling true crime tales that took place in the Australian outback across the 90s. Borrowing details from the heinous serial murders at the hands of Ivan Millat, the criminal took the lives of seven innocent backpackers in cold blood.

Watch this if you've got an iron stomach that can withstand watching a lot of gore.

Dr. Death.

Dr. Death. Image: Peacock.

It's hard to imagine watching Joshua Jackson on screen with anything other than love heart eyes but his starring role in Dr. Death certainly sets out to challenge our unbridled affection for the actor. This series tells the story of Christopher Duntsch, an American surgeon who slipped through the cracks and unleashed hell on his patients between 2011 and 2013.

Based on a true story, Duntsch was able to charm his way through protocol and processes to maim, disfigure and kill 40 patients during his reign of terror at the surgery table. Thankfully, he was locked up with a life in prison sentence for his crimes but the scars of what he did will remain forever.

Watch: Dr Death Official Trailer. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia.


Landscapers. Image: Sky.

Dealing with in-laws can be a real test of patience even for the saints among us. But in Landscapers, Susan and her husband Christopher reach their breaking point when they murder her parents and bury them in the backyard. A Sunday family lunch gone wrong indeed.

While it may seem like a stretch that this dowdy-looking couple (played brilliantly by Olivia Coleman and David Thewlis) could pull off such a gruesome heist, it might be even more unbelievable that this actually happened in the quiet 'burbs of middle UK. William and Patricia Wycherley committed the crimes in 1998 and chooffed off abroad to France to evade the law. But eventually, it caught up with them.

This series is a masterclass in not only acting but also in true crime scripted television.



Des. Image: ITV.

'The Kindly Killer' took the lives of 15 men between 1978 and 1983 by brutally strangling them. If his victims were still alive, he would then resort to drowning them before dissecting them and burning their remains. Stomach churning? It should be because this was one of the most horrifying serial killers the UK has ever seen.

Dennis Nilsen was from Scotland and actually served as a police officer before he began killing innocent young men. In the ITV series Des we learn more about what drove this man to commit these crimes and how he was eventually caught by police who found him stuffing human remains down his drain. 

Truly the stuff of nightmares.


Manhunt. Image: ITV.

The Brits sure do know how to make a cracking crime series and they've nailed it once again with Manhunt. In 2004 a young French woman named Amélie Delagrange was attacked in London's Twickenham Green and she later died from head injuries sustained.

In Manhunt we're introduced to Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton played by Martin Clunes (the only man for the job) who has been tasked with finding Delagrange's killer. The large-scale search for the perp became a nationwide operation with detectives finally piecing together the scarce clues which lead to the arrest of Levi Bellfield.


The Girl From Plainville.

The Girl From Plainville. Image: Hulu.

As far as modern crimes go, it's hard to think of one that gripped the online community quite like that of Michelle Carter's 'texting-suicide' case. The young girl from Plainville, Massachusets had engaged in a relationship with another teen named Conrad Roy. In 2014 Roy died by suicide from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carter's name and this case became widely reported as she was placed on trial for manslaughter after being accused of encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide via text message. 

In the series The Girl From Plainville actress Elle Fanning plays the role of Carter as the two-week trial for murder plays out. An intriguing and captivating look at a landmark court case.

Feature Image: Stan.