The Best True Crime Shows to Binge-Watch This Fall

This Spring, the true story of Joe Exotic and his menagerie has taken the world by storm. The Netflix true-crime documentary “Tiger King” was seen by more than 34 million people within ten days of its release, becoming one of the most successful releases in its genre. The case of the Tiger King is still ongoing, even if Joe Exotic is currently behind bars and Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin getting his private zoo. Also, Joe Exotic’s on-screen career may go on: there are rumours speaking of a potential second season as well as a scripted series based on his antics where Nicolas Cage will reportedly play his role.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

True-crime documentaries and docu-dramas have become pretty popular lately – this means that there are many great shows to choose from. Until the Tiger King’s story returns to the screens, here are some that are worth binge-watching this fall.

When They See Us (2019, Netflix)

“When They See Us” is a four-part miniseries released last spring by Netflix about the Central Park Five, a group of young men of colour who were convicted over the aggravated assault and rape of a white female jogger. But the convictions were later found to be false after another inmate confessed to the crime. 

The five juveniles were convicted by juries over charges related to the assault – they all served out their sentences before their innocence was proven. They filed a suit against the city of New York in 2003 for wrongful conviction, and they won – they were awarded a settlement in 2014.

Upon its release, the series received rave reviews by critics and viewers alike, and the series was nominated for 11 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (2019, Netflix)

Released last December, “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer” tells the story of an internet manhunt. After stumbling upon a video of a man suffocating two kittens (that went viral in 2010), Las Vegas data analyst Deanna Thompson, along with John Green from Los Angeles started a Facebook group to track down the perpetrator. The members of the group analyzed every bit of information to be found in the video and managed to identify Luka Magnotta. 

Subsequently, animal rights activists offered $5,000 as a reward for bringing him to justice. 

Ultimately, Magnotta was tried for an even more horrifying act: the killing and dismemberment of a Chinese international student in 2012. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2020, HBO)

Joseph James DeAngelo was a police officer. He was also a burglar, a serial rapist, and a serial killer who committed 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California between 1973 and 1986. Over the years, he was called several nicknames by the media – he got his last one in 2018: the Golden State Killer.

The series is based upon the book “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer” by journalist Michelle McNamara. The series features interviews with investigators, survivors, and family members, and passages from McNamara’s book narrated by Amy Ryan. It’s as much about the horrors committed by the Golden State Killer as it is about the passion and effort of McNamara to untangle his story. 

The miniseries was released to rave reviews in June.

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