Both viewers and the media have been gripped by the true-crime documentary series Making a Murderer. The story revolves around Milwaukee man Steven Avery who was convicted of rape in 1985 and released 18 years later after being proven innocent with advancements in DNA testing. The series follows his release and what came afterward: he was again convicted, this time for murder.
The 10-part series is currently streaming on Netflix, but the story isn’t over. If you’re still mulling over the unanswered questions and need a distraction, here are 10 other docu-series to look into:
1. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Robert Durst, the son of a real estate mogul and heir to great wealth, was accused of three murders but never convicted. Years following the alleged murders, Durst agreed to let filmmakers follow and interview him, which turned into the six-part HBO series The Jinx. The filmmakers believed Durst missed the limelight, as said in the series, hence his agreeing to talk to them. This may have been a grave decision, risking his freedom.
2. Deep Webb
Deep Webb follows the trial of accused drug trafficker Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht was believed to be behind setting up an online black market, using online tools like Tor for anonymous communication and the digital payment system Bitcoin to go under the radar of the law. His friends and family couldn’t believe the Ross they knew could be the mastermind behind an illegal business pulling in millions of dollars from drug sales. Investigators believed differently.
3. Women on Death Row
Each episode of Women on Death focuses on one inmate, the crime or crimes she committed and the time spent behind bars in the prisoner’s words. The first episode details the life of Deirdre Hunt, who was convicted of murder and sent to prison for life at the age of 21. We meet her at 37. The documentary series also incorporates interviews with people involved at the time, including family, friends and law enforcement.
4. Inside the American Mob
This National Geographic six-part series covers three decades of organized crime, from the 1960s through the 1990s. The series follows the five main families in control: the Gambinos, Luccheses, Genoveses, Bonannos, and Colombos. The documentary includes first person accounts, including a sit-down with reformed mobster Michael “Yuppie Don” Franzese, who was attached to the Colombos.
5. Nightmare Next Door
Nightmare Next Door looks into mysterious murders that were committed in tight-knit communities. Each hour-long episode investigates a murder, walking the viewer through the case with forensic experiments. The alarming series includes episodes like “Into the Woods,” “Hair of the Dog,” and “Hilltop Horror.”
6. Behind Mansion Walls
Money might bring a life of decadence, but it also may also elicit jealousy and want. Journalist Christopher Mason details historical and modern-day stories of the wealthy turning on each other, revolving around stories ending in bloodshed, with episode titles like, “The Enemy Within,” “Fatal Dynasty,” “Above the Law,” and “Rich Kids.”
7. Homicide Hunter
If you’re starting to get nervous, double checking the locks, let’s switch gears and look at the other side of the law. Homicide Hunter revolves around retired police detective Joe Kenda, who refers to himsef as the “Angel of Death.” He only says that because in some instances he’s the one to knock on the door in the middle of the night to deliver bad news. Kenda recounts his 19 years as a homicide investigator. He has a 92 percent success record, which he remorsefully admits means 8 percent of his cases went unsolved.
8. The FBI Files
It’s good to know the Homicide Hunter is on deck, but with him retired, we can turn to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to keep tabs on the baddies. The FBI Files walks us through major crime cases like murders, kidnappings, and robberies. Through reenactments we’re taken to the crime scene and witness the analysis, watch over agents’ shoulders as they sort through evidence, step into the laboratory, and ultimately, if all goes well, observe as they detain the culprit.
9. The New Detectives
The New Detectives shows us how it really happens. Sure, we’d like to believe everything we see in dramatized crime solver shows, like when a closed-circuit screen shot is blown up to reveal something super tiny and the resolution is totally clear, but we know better. Real-life forensic scientists break down what can be learned, and what’s out of reach, using a wide range of tools and techniques to investigate clues.
10. Behind Bars: Rookie Year
Inmates aren’t the only people in prison. While correctional officers don’t live behind bars, they do need to learn what life is like and how to work and adapt to the surroundings. Behind Bars: Rookie Year follows a group of new recruits at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. According to the A&E website, nearly half of new recruits drop out before a year’s end. It’s not too hard to believe considering the long hours and rough conditions.
Do these series have you scared straight just yet?Read More