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The 5 Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix to Cure Your Curiosity

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carthage chapter.

If you are anything like me, you are always ecstatic to learn more about crimes, the minds of criminals, prison life, and anything else crime related. I have compiled a list of five of my favorite crime documentaries in five different areas of crime.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

1. Serial killers

The first category is serial killers because you know they intrigue you. The documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003), directed by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill, is a film about Aileen Wuornos, who was convicted of killing six men in Florida (1989-1990). The directors interviewed Wuornos for the documentary and showcased the twisted mind of this American killer. The film also includes footage of Broomfield testifying at the Wuornos’ trial. This documentary will drag you into the chaotic mind of this serial killer.

2. Sexual assault on college campuses

This category is one that many students are afraid to research due to the too-close-to-home feeling it leaves. The Hunting Ground (2015), directed by Kirby Dick, is a documentary that researches the incredibly high numbers of sexual assaults on college campuses and some universities’ attempts to cover up the issues. This documentary will give you some major paranoia with victim testimonies and statistics.

3. Drugs

This category is a common discussion point as the rate of drug abuse rises, especially among young adults. Cartel Land (2015), directed by Matthew Heineman, is an intriguing documentary about two vigilante groups that are attempting to fight Mexican drug cartels. This documentary disturbingly brings to light the way the cartels have worked their way into the government of Mexico. If you like learning about drugs and/or cartels, you will be fascinated with this documentary.

4. Prisons

This is an interesting category for many people due to the lack of knowledge about what actually happens inside prisons. Lost for Life (2013), directed by Joshua Rofé, is a powerful documentary about prisoners who were sentenced to life without parole when they were teenagers. It focuses on what life is like for these juveniles as well as the life of the victims’ families. This is a great film that makes you think about whether or not teenage mistakes should be able to lock you up for the rest of your life. This documentary will allow you to hear these juveniles’ accounts of what it’s like serving life in prison without parole.

5. Kidnappings

This category is about the terrifying crime that is kidnapping. Who Took Johnny? (2014), directed by David Bielinson, Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, is a documentary about a twelve-year-old Iowa boy who was kidnapped while on his paper route. This is a 30-year-old cold case that has stumped many detectives since. This cold case documentary about the first ever missing child on a milk carton will make you want to hold every child much tighter.

These are my top five crime documentaries on Netflix, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did and that they can fulfill every dark curiosity of your mind.

Rep image courtesy of Pexels

Sierra Eno

Carthage '19

Sierra is a junior at Carthage College majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Political Science. She loves dogs, pizza, cookie dough, and crime shows.