The 13 best true-crime documentaries on Netflix

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Netflix

  • The true crime genre has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to shows like Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”
  • Netflix has plenty of true crime documentaries available to stream. We picked 13 of the best ones for you.

The true crime genre was popular before Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” but the success of that show (and podcast Serial), has propelled the entire genre since it landed on Netflix in 2015.

Since then, Netflix has released several more original true crime documentaries, and there are a bevy of others to choose from on the service if you’re eager to dive into the world of real mysteries and cold cases.

From last year’s “The Keepers,” about a murdered nun in 1960s Baltimore; to this year’s hit “The Staircase,” about a novelist accused of murdering his wife, Netflix offers plenty of shows and movies about real-life crimes.

Below are 13 of the best true crime documentaries streaming on Netflix:


“The Staircase” (2018)

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Netflix

“The Staircase” follows the case of a novelist accused of murdering his wife in 2001, who he claims fell down a staircase and died from her wounds.


“Evil Genius” (2018)

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Netflix

“Evil Genius” is a four-part series that examines the 2003 murder of Brian Wells, which involves a bank robbery and a homemade explosive.


“Amanda Knox” (2016)

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Netflix

The Netflix original documentary follows the American foreign exchange student in Italy who was convicted and then released after an appeal years later. In this doc, those closest to her reflect on the harrowing ordeal.


“The Keepers” (2017)

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A photo of Sister Cathy from “The Keepers.”
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Netflix

“The Keepers” follows two former students of a nun as they search for answers to her murder in 1960s Baltimore.


“Audrie and Daisy” (2016)

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Netflix

A Netflix original documentary, “Audrie and Daisy” tells the story of two teenage girls from different parts of America who were both sexually assaulted by male friends, and the distress both faced in the aftermath.


“Cold Justice” (2013)

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TNT

A prosecutor and an investigator team up to solve cold cases across the US. 14 episodes are available on Netflix, as well as “Cold Justice: Sex Crimes,” which focuses on sexual assault cold cases.


“Making a Murderer” (2015)

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Netflix

Netflix’s first major jump into the true crime genre, “Making a Murderer” was a hit when it first launched, and the documentary series subjects are still making headlines.


“The Confession Tapes” (2017)

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Netflix

Those who claim that their confessions to crimes were forced out of them take center stage in this Netflix original documentary series. Seven episodes are available to stream.


“The Detectives” (2015)

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BBC

Detectives based in England investigate sexual offenses. There’s only three episodes available on Netflix, at an hour each, so it would take no time to binge.


“Into the Abyss” (2011)

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Creative Differences Productions

“Into the Abyss,” directed by Werner Herzog, begs the question of whether it is right to execute a killer. Those against and for the death penalty clash over that very question.


“The Investigator: A British Crime Story” (2016)

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Netflix

Four episodes are available of this Netflix original in which a man looks for answers to his mother’s disappearance.


“Murder Maps” (2015)

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Netflix

“Murder Maps” travels through time to get expert commentary on essential murders and crimes in history, including Jack the Ripper’s murder spree in 1880s London.


“The Witness” (2015)

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Five More Minutes Productions

A woman’s brother looks back into her 1964 murder in this documentary film, and questions whether dozens of alleged witnesses stayed silent for decades.