The Gripping Crime and Mystery Dramas We're Watching On Netflix Now
After binging the entire second series of Mindhunter in record time, I’m starting to wish I’d spaced it out better. Fortunately, Netflix has no shortage of crime thrillers to help scratch that insatiable (and let’s face it, kinda creepy) itch we all have for dark and sinister entertainment. Here’s a mix of fictional flicks and true crime docs that’ll make you want to keep the light on at night.
As teenager Luka Magnotta went on a spree of uploading videos of himself torturing and killing cats (!) the internet reacted by taking things into their own hands and going on a vigilante hunt to find him. Before he was found after fleeing from Canada to Berlin, things... escalate dramatically. You'll be gasping in disbelief throughout this shocking documentary.
Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley stars alongside Shay Mitchell and Elizabeth Lail in this modern cult hit that skyrocketed to popularity last year. Badgely, formerly Joe Goldberg, moves from New York to Los Angeles and gives himself a new name and identity to match his new city. Enter: his love interest, aptly named Love, and a series of fresh (and needless to say, wild) antics follow.
Shockingly, this gripping drama is based on true events that occurred between 2008-2011 in relation to serial rape cases in Washington and Colorado. The show's main character, Marie Adler is at first accused and subsequently charged for lying about her own rape. Without wanting to give anything else away, we'll just say prepare to devote a whole weekend to this one.
The name says it all, really. Starring Zac Efron as serial killer Ted Bundy, this biographical crime thriller is as unsettling as the title suggests. Based off Elizabeth Kendall's memoir (who was Bundy’s girlfriend during some of his murder spree), The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, the film does a pretty good job of showing how sociopaths are able to convince themselves and everyone around them that they are innocent. This film should come with a warning, though: suddenly I’m suspicious of everyone.
If true crime weighs too heavy on your psyche and you’d rather get your crime fix from a fictional source, American anthology crime drama, The Sinner, is a good place to start. The first series, titled Cora, stars Jessica Biel in her most captivating role, whilst the second instalment tells the story of Julian, world’s creepiest 11-year-old cult member.
Between 1978 and 1995, a domestic terrorist by the name of Theodore John Kaczynski mailed and delivered homemade bombs throughout the US. For 17-years, he instilled panic and fear among Americans, killing three and injuring 23 others. If you’re looking for a thrilling but fictionalised look into the case and subsequent search, this miniseries starring Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany is a binge waiting to happen.
If true crime and documentary is more your thing—why not start with the case that continues to captivate Australia. Everybody has a theory about what Northern Beaches water polo player Keli Lane did with her newborn baby Tegan. In 2011, she was sentenced to 18 years in prison for her murder, though she maintains her innocence. In this three-part documentary series (which originally aired on the ABC) journalists Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Elise Worthington search for answers. Once you’ve finished watching, please do yourself a favour and join the Exposed Facebook Group. Armchair detectives gone wild.
Speaking of online investigations, I’ll willingly confess that I spent at least five consecutive nights trawling the deep dark interweb searching for the identities mentioned in this documentary. This four-part docu-series follows the 2006 murder of Tair Rada, a 13-year-old Israeli girl who was murdered in her school bathroom. It’s a really chilling, goose bump inducing story that will leave you questioning everything—and scouring Reddit threads for days.
True crime series The Keepers had been floating around my suggested Netflix list for a while before I finally dived in, and hoo-boy was I ill-prepared for the ride. What starts as an investigation into the murder of Catholic high school teacher Sister Cathy Cesnik quickly turns into a sexual abuse high school cover up in the 1960s, lead by Brothers in the community.
Arguably the most famous missing child of all time, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has captivated the world for over 12 years. This eight-episode series explores literally every theory, suspicion and piece of evidence presented in this unsolved case, yet still leaves you reeling for answers.
Kalief Browder’s story is such a gross miscarriage of justice that it’s honestly hard to get through this documentary without succumbing to fits of rage. Falsely accused of stealing someone’s backpack when he was just 16-years-old, Browder was left in limbo for 800 days in solitary confinement at Riker’s Island—New York’s notoriously rough jail. Warning: You’re going to need the tissues for this one.
Lead image courtesy of Netflix.
Need more? Here are 9 mind-boggling facts you never knew about Mindhunter.