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Film + TV

6 Best Netflix True Crime Shows Right Now

Words by Nathan Irvine

The spine-tingling documentaries that you can catch on Netflix today.

We’re not entirely sure how it happened, but you can’t move from true crime TV shows these days. Maybe it’s because misery sells, but one thing is for certain, the clamour for documentaries about heinous real life activities, is only growing.

With this in mind, we’ve had a poke around Netflix to pick out the gripping shows that you can catch right now.

Dirty John

Based on the excellent podcast of the same name, this Netflix Original follows the almost implausible story of Debra Newell.

The successful businesswoman is unlucky in love, but feels like she’s struck relationship gold when handsome anaesthetist John Meehan arrives in her life. But, as you might have guessed, all is not as it seems.

Dirty John is the only show on this list that’s dramatisation made with actors – Eric Bana plays the titular John here. But the true story, that took the podcast world by storm, is anything but fake.

Making a Murderer

The one that started it all. Without this, the crime genre probably wouldn’t have taken off like it did.

Making a Murderer is centered on the 2007 murder of Teresa Halbach in a small town in the US. Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison, but the convictions were based on circumstantial evidence.

Suddenly a million armchair detectives were born – poring over the footage and piecing together their own theories.

Making a Murderer has had a real life affect on the actual case, too. Brendan and Steven have both been granted appeals to their convictions.

Ted Bundy Tapes

Before Zac Efron hits the big screen as one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, Netflix hears from the man himself.

The whole show is built from the very real recordings that Bundy conducted with journalists in the 70s. As well as the audio, the show is interspersed with stock footage of Bundy, speaking candidly to news crews about how it couldn’t possibly be him.

What’s fascinating is the way the journalists manage to eek out his confessions. Bundy tends to think of himself as a clever guy, but ironically, it’s his egotism that ultimately tripped him up.

Abducted in Plain Sight

There’s a moment, around 20 minutes in, which will determine whether you continue with this gritty documentary or not. We won’t spoil the jaw-dropping bit, but, well, it’s quite something.

Its premise is on the 1970s kidnappings (yes, plural) of Jan Broberg in Idaho. Astonishingly, the young girl was taken from her family the same person – twice.

What ensues is a retelling of the whole scenario and how her parents were tricked into letting it happen. Trust us, you’ll be screaming at your television in frustration throughout.

Wild Wild Country

When the Rajneesh movement landed in the US during the 1980s, it caused a stir. On the one hand, the spiritual and social experiment was geared towards bringing like-minded people together in a commune. But on the other, those outside who feared change viewed it with hostility.

What we have here is an in-depth look at how both sides almost sparked a war. And specifically, a large scale bioterror attack.

Comparisons with the Waco Siege are felt throughout, especially as the relationship between leader, Osho and his followers unfold with similar echoes. It’s gripping viewing from start to finish.

The Keepers

The unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik is the subject here. Cathy was a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, US before she was brutally murdered in 1969. Nobody has ever been convicted of the crime, and that’s were the show aims to shed light on the situation.

See, with interviews from old students and others connected to the school, a pattern begins to form. Was Sister Cathy about to go to the authorities with evidence of systematic abuse in the all-girl school? And did those running it work together to cover up the deed?

The former cold case is now red hot, with more evidence coming to the fore thanks to the show.

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