If You Like Making a Murderer, You'll LOVE These True Crime Shows
I’ve been obsessed with true crime since long before it was trending. (Not sure if that makes me sound ahead of the curve or just, you know, creepy.) My fiancé often comes home to me watching the CI channel and exclaims: “Again? Why can’t you just watch Say Yes to The Dress like other girls?” For me, the attraction boils down to my fascination with criminal psychology (Fun fact: I once spent a year doing psychology at uni) and my inner science nerd’s interest in the intricacies of forensic science.
I was an early adopter of Serial and the second I heard about Making a Murderer I cleared my schedule to rush home and binge watch the bulk of it in a single night. Like just about everyone else, I was immediately captivated. (I still am. I routinely click on anything and everything MaM-related in my Facebook feed.) Since finishing the series I’ve made a hobby of searching for any and all true crime content available to feed my addiction. If you too have a fascination for things dark and dangerous, allow me to intro you to the other crime documentaries I’ve enjoyed. Lock your doors and keep scrolling!
The film follows the rape of a jogger in Central Park in 1989 (a crime so huge it metaphorically rocked a nation) and the resulting arrest of five teenage boys who were subsequently wrongfully convicted. Watchers of MaM will be familiar with the aspects of trial by media addressed in this doco, but the look at the racial climate in the States in the ‘80s is what’s most interesting IMHO.
This doco starts out as a look into Staten Island’s urban legend of “Cropsey” (an “escaped mental patient” said to live beneath an abandoned mental hospital and snatch children off the streets), and morphs into an investigation into the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl in 1987. It also looks at four other missing children and the convicted kidnapper who could have been behind the crimes.
Proving that truth is stranger than fiction, the film centres on a young man found in Spain who claimed to be the missing 16-year-old son of a grieving Texan family for three months. Spoiler: He was an imposter. The doco explores the unravelling of what turns out to be a professional conman’s story through interviews and reconstructions of events. In a word: Fascinating.
This doco takes a deep dive into a notorious judicial scandal in which two former judges agreed to imprison roughly 3000 children (some of whom appeared in court without counsel) in exchange for, you guessed it, financial kickbacks. The sums are huge—$2.6 million—and the effects are devastating. The film follows a few personal stories of affected families which are heart-breaking.
Described as an examination into why people kill and whether capital punishment is ever warranted, the film focuses on death row inmate Michael Perry and the people affected by his crimes—a triple murder committed with a friend in order to steal a car. It’s a mashup of interviews and crime scene footage that ultimately leaves you wondering what function correctional facilities have post-verdict.