Making A Murderer is old news. We have all watched that now, and it kick-started a flurry of other ‘real life’ crime docs / pushed older ones into the limelight and I have been through A LOT over the last year or so. Real crime is my thing, it fascinates me, It terrifies me, it makes me think, it makes me cry. So if you are a bit of a documentary buff, in particular real crime kinda stuff, then here are some of my top recommendations to satisfy your needs.
** If you are like me, and don’t want to know outcomes/spoilers before you have watched, then don’t google any before you watch**
Making a Murderer
Where to Watch? Netflix
A nod to this in case you haven’t actually watched it yet and the catalyst to the flurry of interest in real crime documentaries. It follows the life, trials of Stephen Avery, who was initially wrongly locked up for 18 YEARS for a rape he did not commit. As he is suing the state for £35 million after his release he is then accused of first degree murder. This docu-series follows this trial touches on the initial wrongful conviction and then onto the current murder trial of Avery, and his cousin Brendan Dassey. It’s a very well-constructed documentary. It is heart-breaking, it will make you scream , it will make you angry and confused. PS I think Stephen Avery is guilty FYI, we can discuss below.
Time : The Kalief Browder Story
The most heart-breaking, far-reaching and poignant documentary I have ever seen. I hardly have the words that will do this justice, but this is the one that needs to go to the top of your list and EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH this to get educated on the corruption of the American justice system, the prisons, and the police force. They are all accountable in this horrendous tale of ultimate injustice. It follows Kalief Browder, a young 16 year old boy, accused of stealing a backpack. From here, he is put into one of America’s worst prisons as he awaits his trial and the story rolls from her. This touches on so many things : injustice, racism, corruption, gang violence & mental health. I was crying for the full last 2 episodes.
The Jinx : The Lifes and Deaths of Robert Durst
Where? Sky (free) Amazon (£12.99)
Ok, this one is an absolutely must-see. It’s not well-known enough and I have no idea why as it’s one of the the best I have seen. I watched it straight through. It follows a man called Robert Durst (a real estate heir of the infamous Durst family, worth approx $4.4 BILLION) and his absolutely bizarre life, his movements and how people close to him throughout his life mysteriously go missing and die in strange circumstances (like being chopped up and found in the damn sea). Does this show that an expensive legal team can get you off murder…..time and time again? It’s jaw-dropping and the last episode will literally HAVE YOU FUCKING SHOOKETH TO SHIT.
BBC iplayer : Storyville
An 8-parter that follows the conviction and case of famous author Michael Peterson after the death of his wife, who fell down the stairs at their home in questionable circumstances. It’s one where you will keep flipping from ‘he did it’ to ‘he’s innocent’ from episode to episode, and will leave you flabbergasted (as per) at the American justice system. Once you have finished this, there is 2 more episodes /updates that have been filmed since which you can find on Dailymotion. Once you have watched all of these, you will still want to Google for the latest outcome!
An utterly bizarre story that was more recently made into a film starring Channing Tatum & Steve Carrel, which I haven’t yet seen, BUT I fear it may have been dramatised up and glamourised, so stick with the original documentary to begin. The story revolves around multi millionaire John Du Pont and a wrestling academy that he funded. He is a strange character to say the least : paranoid, obsessed, detached and psychotic, and it plays out into murder.
Aileen : The Life & Death of a Serial Killer
I watched ‘Monster’ not knowing that this was based on real-life serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. Erm, wow to Charlize Theron in that movie btw. However, the slightly less glamourised documentary involves real life interviews with Aileen herself and a look into the 7 murders that she committed on men that she claimed to have attacked or raped her. Aileen is a highly unpredictable and often erratic character, hence why she has been played in many series and movies, and become one of the most notorious serial killers in America.
We all remember the trial of the murder of Meredith Kercher and the huge coverage it gained across the media ; possibly because the accused was a young, attractive woman. The images of Amanda Know laughing and cartwheeling during the trial, seemingly emotionally un-attached to what was going on around her are still etched in my mind…..it just all felt wrong. Years on and this documentary feature interviews with Amanda herself and giving you an insight to the real person, what happened and allows you maybe to make a *clearer* judgment on Amanda Knox.
The People VS OJ Simpson
Where? Netflix / Amazon
Ok not a real life documentary but an absolutely fantastic series about the high profile and highly controversial OJ Simpson trial in 1995. OJ was a famous American football player and a celebrity. He was also a horrendous woman-beater and physically abused his wife for many years running up to her brutal murder , alongside her friend Ron Goldman, outside her house in LA. A brilliant look into the absolutely INSANE case that leaves you wondering how …….the…….. fuck……. he……… got……….away………..with……….it, and also wants you to read up on how much is actually true in this series VS the real trial (I’ll save time for you : it’s remarkable accurate).