For most people, Netflix is a place for relaxation, maybe watch something funny until you fall asleep. But for serious watchers, it’s much more than just that. The streaming service offers a wide array of TV shows ranging from comedies (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None), dramas (Orange is the New Black, 13 Reasons Why), and thrillers (Stranger Things) However one thing it’s underrated for are its original documentaries, specifically, crime documentaries. If you’re planning to get started or just genuinely interested in the genre, then keep reading. You might find a new favourite on this list! [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Making a Murderer
The series was filmed over the course of ten years into Steven Avery’s life. Steven Avery filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County, Wisconsin after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he was wrongfully convicted for. Two years later, Avery was re-arrested and charged for the murder of Teresa Halbach, a photographer who disappeared after she was known to photograph a vehicle at Avery’s salvage yard. The handling of the case was highly publicised and controversial for claims from Avery’s lawyers included officials tampering and planting evidence and conflict of interest.
In early Winter of 1969, 26-year-old Catholic nun Sister Cathy Cesnik vanished under immediate suspicious circumstances. After two months, her body was found at a remote garbage dump. However, the documentary doesn’t dabble much on who did the crime but why. The underbelly of the Catholic Church is well-documented, for example the film Spotlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016. In The Keepers, the “heroes” expose the reason Sister Cathy was murdered: for trying to expose a sexually abusive priest in the community. As the previews reveal “The story is a cover up of the nun’s story.”
There has been countless in-depth documentaries and publications about the unsolved murder of 6-year-old American beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey. Numerous online threads also discuss probable theories that her brother, Burke Ramsey who was 9 years old at that time, “accidentally” committed the crime or that her mom Patsy Ramsey physically abused the girl. The Sundance documentary revolves on the casting process of for a fictional film. Interviews from the actors include their own speculations and the impact the case left on the country.
The documentary surrounds on the infamous and titular Amanda Knox and her conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found dead on the floor of her bedroom on November 1, 2007. She was roommates with Knox and both girls were exchange students from the United States. Knox’s guilty verdict sparked International controversy as the Italian media conveyed her as a seductress, leading to further complaints that the prosecution was using character assassination tactics. The documentary shows clips from Knox’s childhood and how media sensationalism can completely derail justice.