Best true crime documentaries: Intriguing mysteries to binge on this summer

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The pandemic has been a part of our lives for such a long time that by now, your list of prospective shows to binge watch must be dwindling.

To save you from the dreaded fate of unbearable boredom and satiate your inner couch potato, here is a list of the best true crime documentaries from a variety of streaming platforms to binge on over the summer.

1. Mommy Dead and Dearest

Mommy Dead and Dearest covers the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard at the hands of her daughter Gypsy Blanchard and Gypsy’s boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn. The motives of this infamous matricide are thoroughly and categorically examined in the documentary.

Mommy Dead and Dearest is one of the most well-executed true crime documentaries ever made, humanising those involved without detracting from the heinous nature of the crime.

Catch Mommy Dead and Dearest on HBO.

2. H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer

For those interested in history’s most notorious criminals, H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer is the perfect true-crime flick. This documentary follows the gruesome exploits of one of America’s first serial killers.

In a time of primitive criminal investigation procedures, H.H. Holmes was able to enact his sick fantasies, building himself a castle of horrors to trap and torture his unsuspecting victims. H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer is an endlessly fascinating look into what it is like to be a criminal in the 1900s.

Catch H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer on Amazon.

3. Beware the Slenderman

HBO’s Beware the Slenderman is a disturbing documentary that examines the dangers of internet folklore and how fiction can inspire reality, especially in those too young to understand the differences between the two.

It discusses the chilling case of two young girls and their misguided attempts to appease Slenderman , a fictional horror character, by luring away and murdering their friend.

Whilst it occasionally loses itself in the details, Beware the Slenderman successfully conveys the terrifying power the internet has over the youth.

Catch Beware the Slenderman on HBO.

4. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

If homicide cases aren’t your thing, Evil Genius examines the most confounding bank heist in American history. What appears to be a standard, run-of-the-mill bank robbery when a pizza-man walked into a bank demanding money quickly devolved into madness.

The robber reveals a collar bomb around his neck and confusing instructions from his mysterious captors. Minutes later, the bomb went off, killing him and leaving behind a slew of unanswered questions. An incredible and intriguing documentary that will leave you scratching your head.

Catch Evil Genius on Netflix.

5. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v Michelle Carter

A two-part documentary that covers the trial of Michelle Carter, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v Michelle Carter unravels the twisted relationship she had with her late boyfriend, Conrad Roy.

What initially appeared to be a tragic suicide quickly turned sinister when the police checked Conrad’s phone records. Interspersed amongst ‘I love you’ and ‘how’s your day?’ was evidence that Michelle was not only aware of her boyfriend’s suicidal tendencies – she encouraged it.

An intriguing documentary that will make your head spin as through it all, you wonder: was it murder or suicide?

Catch I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v Michelle Carter on Amazon.

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6. Catching Milat

For those interested in cases closer to home, Catching Milat is an amazing alternative. In the span of two episodes, Catching Milat covers the case of one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers, Ivan Milat, whose crimes inspired the movie, Wolf Creek.

The fates of his backpacking victims were left undiscovered for a long time as he committed his murders in the remote Belanglo State forest. Catching Milat tells the compelling story of how the police task force hunted Milat down and brought him to justice.

Catch Catching Milat on Amazon.

7. Making a Murderer

A timeless classic, Making a Murderer is a must-see for those interested in true crime. It tells the story of Steven Avery, who was wrongly convicted of attempted murder and served 18 years in prison as a result. He was exonerated in 2013.

However, within two years, he was once again arrested and charged with murder. Making a Murderer is an intensely provocative series that explores the nature of the American legal system and forces audiences to wonder if it is truly possible to be wrongfully accused twice.

Catch Making a Murderer on Netflix.

8. Buzzfeed Unsolved: The Creepy Murder in Room 1046

If you are a fan of unsolved mysteries, then Buzzfeed Unsolved has a plethora of well-produced and rigorously researched content. Amongst the episodes, The Creepy Murder in Room 1046 is one of their best.

The episode covers the mysterious murder in Room 1046 of Hotel President in Kansas City, and the suspicious things that occur before and after the death.

If the 20-minute episode leaves you wanting more, some other videos to check out are The Strange Killing of Ken Rex McElroy and The Eerie Case of the Watcher .

Catch Buzzfeed Unsolved on Youtube .

9. Crime Watch Daily: Minnesota’s Amy Allwine case

Another true-crime gem is Crime Watch Daily . One of the most horrendous cases they have covered is Minnesota’s Amy Allwine case, where Allwine’s husband, a preacher, stages her murder after failing to hire a hitman on the dark web.

Crime Watch Daily unveils a complete picture of this twisted tale through interviews with the victim’s and the murder’s families. Like Buzzfeed Unsolved, Crime Watch daily has innumerable episodes to satiate your thirst for true-crime content.

Other interesting episodes include the Melissa Norby case and Michigan woman’s ‘last note’ raises suspicions .

Catch Crime Watch Daily on Youtube .

10. I am a Killer

Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of murderers? Well, if you have, then I am a Killer is the perfect true crime documentary series for you.

Not for the faint of heart, I am a Killer delves deep into the minds of convicted killers, allowing them to give first-hand accounts of their crimes and their thoughts on it. It is disturbing, dark, and very likely the closest you will ever get to being on death row.

Catch I am a Killer on Netflix .

This article was first published in City Nomads.