First we had Serial. Then we had Making a Murderer. Then we had approximately two weeks of terrifying downtime with nothing to do and nothing to live for. (We also had Serial Season 2, but I think we can all agree that’s better not discussed).
Let’s face it: True crime documentaries are the lifeblood of people with boring, not-involved-with-murder-y lives, and you should never be without one.
Luckily, we’ve got you sorted with a whole bunch of options to satisfy your thirst for injustice and cruelty (no judgment here), ranked on the things we love most about Making a Murderer: shocking twists, police corruption and, of course, general creepiness.
1. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
In 1982, Durst’s wife Kathie disappeared from their home in the Vermont countryside. 18 years later, Durst’s close friend Susan is found murdered in her home. Later the same year, Durst’s neighbour’s body is found dismembered, wrapped in garbage bags and floating in the bay. Durst is the only link between the crimes.
In The Jinx, the enigmatic, wealthy and almost unbearably creepy Durst agrees to an extended 6-part interview with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki to tell his side of the story.
Shocking twist: 10/10 (Hang in there ’til the last episode – you won’t be disappointed).
Police corruption: 0/10 (We all need a break sometimes).
General creepiness: 9.5/10 (Durst’s voice will haunt your nightmares).
Watch the trailer for The Jinx:
2. The Imposter
If you’re a true crime buff from way back and believe nothing will ever surprise you again, you need to watch The Imposter, which follows the story of missing Texas teenager Nicholas Barclay.
Barclay had blonde hair and blue eyes when he disappeared from a basketball court near his family home at age thirteen. So when serial French impostor Frédéric Bourdin, dark haired, dark eyed, 23 years old and with a French accent, chooses Barclay’s name from a database of missing persons three years later, his chances of successfully a successful impersonation seem minimal.
That’s why it’s so mind-boggling to watch the Barclay family fall for his ruse.
The story Bourdin creates is convoluted and unbelievable. It’s terrifying to see him at work – but it’s more terrifying to consider the desperation that would drive the family of a missing person to accept an impostor into their home in place of their missing son.
Shocking twist: 5/10
Police corruption: 3/10 (I’m sure they were just doing their jobs, but guys, come on. He’s French.)
General creepiness: 15/10 (He goes and LIVES IN THEIR HOUSE).
Watch the trailer for The Imposter:
An online romance between an 18-year old marine sniper and 18-year-old Jessica has all the makings of the perfect modern romance, until Jessica discovers that the man she’s been speaking to is actually married factory worker and father-of-two Thomas Montgomery. What follows is an elaborate plot for revenge, involving the seduction of Montgomery’s 22-year-old coworker, pitting the men against each other – until one of them is murdered.
Shocking twist: 9/10
Police corruption: 0/10
General creepiness: 8/10 (Jessica is a terrifying puppetmaster).
Watch the trailer for TalhotBlond:
4. The Staircase
When Michael Peterson’s wife Kathleen was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their family home, he quickly became the prime suspect for her murder. Similar in style to Making A Murderer, this documentary follows Peterson, his family and his lawyers into the courtroom as they face the same prejudices and struggles that faced Steven Avery: what constitutes “reasonable doubt” in a criminal trial, and is it acceptable to convict someone just because, well, you think they could have done it?
Shocking twist: 6/10
Police corruption: 7/10
General creepiness: 3/10 (But trust us – the thrill of real-life courtroom drama more than makes up for it).
Watch the trailer for The Staircase:
5. A Murder In The Park
Days before his planned execution, another man confessed to the crime for which Anthony Porter was on death row. Porter’s life was saved and he was released from jail on the basis of the confession and new evidence unearthed by a university journalism class. Then the State discovered that the confession was co-erced – and the man they’d let walk on the basis of wrongful conviction was the true culprit after all.
Shocking twist: 10/10
Police corruption: 8/10 (Terrifying and confusing all at once).
General creepiness: 7/10 (Watching the students get feverishly worked up on behalf of a guilty man is chilling).
Watch the trailer for A Murder In The Park: