13 True Crime Documentaries To Keep You Busy During Quarantine

must-watch true crime documentaries on netflix, amazon prime and hob

If you’ve followed for a while, you know that I’m not an entertainment blogger. One of the most contentious points in my relationship with Vagner, funnily enough, is my everlasting hatred of going to the movies. I have one exception, though: true crime documentaries. Since we’ve spent so much time at home lately, I’ve been watching and re-watching all of my favorites and discovering new docs. If you’re on the search for true crime docs to binge this weekend, I’ve got you covered. Check ’em out.

1. I Love You, Now Die (HBO)

If you convince someone to die by suicide, we can all agree that you’ve done something morally reprehensible, but does it make you a murderer? This two-part documentary series had me seriously conflicted about whether Michelle Carter, who made international headlines after urging her boyfriend to die by suicide over text message conversations, deserved to be sent to prison. I promise that you’ll be texting friends to get their opinions after you watch this one.

2. McMillions (HBO)

I love a good murder documentary as much as the next gal, but sometimes I don’t want to think about violent crime. McMillions is the perfect documentary series if you’re looking for something a little more lighthearted. It focuses on an unbelievably large-scale fraud that involves the McDonald’s Monopoly competition. I won’t give anything else away, though — you have to see it to believe it.

3. Mommy Dead And Dearest (HBO)

By now, you’ve probably heard of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard — I’m a total nerd and have always been fascinated by Munchausen syndrome, so I’ve followed this case for a while. Even if you’re familiar with the case, this documentary is seriously unbelievable and will have you conflicted about who to side with.

4. Beware The Slenderman (HBO)

As if having kids wasn’t terrifying enough, here’s a reminder that them having access to the Internet can be seriously dangerous. This documentary focuses on two preteen girls who tried to kill their best friend in hopes of pleasing mythical creepypasta hero Slenderman. The interviews with their families are enough to bring you to tears.

5. The Cheshire Murders (HBO)

This documentary isn’t as well-produced as the others I recommend from HBO, but I still enjoyed it a lot, mainly because this is one of the first true crime cases I remember seeing on the news as a teenager. Random violent crime is exceedingly rare, but it still happens. How do you survive when two career criminals decide to murder your entire family for no reason? It’s heartbreaking to think about, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the suspects’ families interviewed as well.

6. There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane (HBO)

Much like I Love You, Now Die, I found myself texting my friends to get their thoughts on what really happened in this tragic case. I don’t want to give away the plot, but I’d be curious to know what you think after watching it — I have my own theory that I’m happy to share.

7. Amanda Knox (Netflix)

I didn’t know much about Amanda Knox before watching this, but I assumed that she was guilty based on the little I’d read about the case. I left this documentary way less convinced of her guilt. If anything, it showed me how easy it is to become a suspect in a case if you just have a peculiar personality.

8. Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (Netflix)

This is one that requires you to go in with as little knowledge as possible. Get ready for your jaw to drop — and if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder how you didn’t hear about this case when it happened. I will say that if you have a low tolerance for animal abuse, this one can be a rough watch at times.

9. Making a Murderer (Netflix)

I have to be honest — I almost didn’t put this one on the list because of the (fair) criticism it’s received since its release. I recommend researching the case on your own before you come to any conclusions about Steven Avery’s guilt or innocence, but it’s still a really gripping watch.

10. Abducted In Plain Sight (Netflix)

Be prepared to scream at your television while watching this one. I found myself yelling, “WTF?!” at the parents in this case because it’s truly an unbelievable story. Still, listening to them recount how their daughter was taken by a family friend is super chilling.

11. The Imposter (Amazon Prime)

I’ve watched this documentary three times, and it baffles me more each time I see it. You’ll find yourself wondering whether an innocent family got duped by a fraudster or whether there’s something much more sinister going on beneath the surface. Bonus: this isn’t really scary or violent, so it’s perfect for a somewhat-lighthearted watch.

12. Tickled (Amazon Prime)

A documentary about competitive tickling sounds pretty silly, so I didn’t know what to expect when we started watching this one. Rest assured, it gets dark very quickly. (I also feel validated by my longstanding hatred of tickling.)

13. Dear Zachary (Amazon Prime)
This is the only documentary on the list that made me weep — like, I was almost hyperventilating at the end as I wondered how the world could be so profoundly unfair. Don’t Google it for spoilers beforehand — in order to get the full effect of this movie, it’s best to go in not knowing anything.

Did I miss any true crime documentaries that you love? Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Comment

6 Comments

  1. Liz wrote:

    Great list. I’ve seen most of these and agree with your picks. Dear Zachary, especially, has stuck with me. I think of it when I am having a hard time in life and it always puts things into perspective.

    Posted 6.6.20 Reply
  2. Oh my gosh Dear Zachary is heartbreaking!!!

    Posted 6.6.20 Reply
    • Ayana Lage wrote:

      Agreed with you! Thanks for reading, Julia.

      Posted 7.14.20 Reply
  3. Dionella Lora wrote:

    I’m still so intrigued about “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane”. What are your theories?

    Posted 6.12.20 Reply
    • Ayana Lage wrote:

      I tend to go with the simplest theory here — I think that she was dealing with substance abuse and her family didn’t know. Heartbreaking all around.

      Posted 7.14.20 Reply