Film & Telly Lists

7 True Crime Documentary Recommendations from a True Crime Addict

Forget Making A Murderer and that odd show about cats (joking we loved it really!!!) This is a list of the 7 documentaries, stand alone or series that you need to add to your watch list. Curated by our very own Crime Queen, Yinka Bokinni!

See No Evil
If you are a little tired of the traditional true crime shows, this is a bit of you! See No Evil takes a different route to retelling true-crime stories (which is pretty tough to do in such a saturated market)
The concept is simple, this show focuses on crimes that have been solved using CCTV and retells the stories piece by piece using real video surveillance used in police investigations. The show documents the different strategies investigators use when dealing with CCTV evidence and also features the actual CCTV from real crimes that have been solved because of the video. Heartbreaking to watch the final moments of peoples lives knowing there is nothing you can do about, fascinating to know just how CRUCIAL video evidence is.


I Am A Killer
Not one you want to watch before bed, I Am A Killer allows prisoners on death row to tell their stories. With two full seasons ready to get stuck into, each episode focuses on an individual inmate who was sentenced to death and gives them a chance to tell their side of the story. Some are in complete denial, other hold their hands up and hold themselves accountable. Each and every one of them has been convicted.
The show also invites family and friends of the victims as well as police and prosecutors who tried the cases to hear and react to what the killers had to say. Which is a brilliant twist and goes a long way to stop the sensationalising of criminals. Warning, this show is a tough watch.

American Murder
A feature length film that details the most unthinkable of crimes. Chris Watts murdered his entire family, his wife and two daughters and then reported them missing.
From the outside, this family seemed to have it all. The fairytale meeting, beautiful wedding and home and cute videos that were shared very often on social media by Shanann Watts. But there was a dark truth that came to light when Shanann and her family are killed by the very man that swore to love, honour and protect them.
Whilst this show doesn’t give the full, true story (true crime podcasts have covered this case extensively) but it does a great job, using body cam, home surveillance and family Facebook footage to tell a tale as harrowing as it is unbelievable.


Long Shot
Did somebody say PERFECT title for a documentary? Long shot is an incredible story, a perfect example of truth being more unbelievable than fiction and wow what a story.
Juan Catalan is quite literally fighting for his life, as he is facing the death penalty for a crime he says he didn’t commit. His saving grace? A chance encounter with a huge US sitcom and a huge stroke of luck. 40 minutes may not be long enough for this show, I would invest HOURS in this story but a truly enthralling watch.


The Staircase
I am going to lead with a spoiler that isn’t really a spoiler: HE DID IT
Ok so, we don’t know that he did it. If we did, there wouldn’t be an entire 10 episode season on the case. But please watch this insane show about a writer who finds his wife dead at the bottom of the stairs and finds himself in the frame for her murder. Have a listen to his bizarre reactions and theory that an owl is in fact the killer. And then let me know what YOU think, because I think he did it.


The Confession Tapes
Coerced confessions are a hot topic amongst the true crime podcast circuit and this Netflix series covers the phenomenon extremely well.
The average person believes that they would never ever, ever, ever confess to a crime that they didn’t commit and most of us believe that the police are genuinely there to help and protect you, as someone who didn’t commit a crime. Well, watch this and then have another think.
There are many reasons police officers will coerce a confession out of someone, even if it means feeding them information or using intimidation. Sometimes the officers are more concerned with marking a case closed and other times, they truly believe they have the right suspect. Regardless, the show is a must watch.


First & Last
A bit of a lighter watch than some others on the list, First & Last documents the first moments of being booked into a county jail and inmates last hours before being released.
Perfect for the curious true crime addict who really wants a fly on the wall experience, this programme shows the technical bits and bobs of what happens when someone goes to jail whilst giving you the raw unadulterated emotion too.
And on the other side, it gives you a look at what people experience when they have served their sentences. Are their family members at the gates awaiting their loved ones return? Or do our former inmates walk out the doors to no one? Sometimes it gets a little emotional.


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