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5 True Crime Docuseries to Add to Your Watchlist

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

Nothing makes me happier than to write that summer break is right around the corner! And hopefully, you are just as happy to read that summer break is right around the corner. As someone who cannot wait to rush home as soon as I turn in my last final, I know I already have so many plans waiting for me this summer. I have been inserting family parties, coffee dates with hometown friends, flights, and work all into my calendar. However with that said, I also want (and desperately need) some time to myself. Some time to just sit around, eat whatever I want, kick my feet up, and enjoy a bingeworthy show. Knowing that I am not the only one, I figured I would share a few of the best true crime docuseries to put into your calendar this summer for those days that you want nothing more than to just stay home.

Before getting into my recommendations, I would first like to take a moment to acknowledge that true crime consumption is at an all-time high. If you choose to watch true crime, it is important to keep several things in mind. So, please read this article to educate yourself if you haven’t already.

1. Ken & Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes 

This is a four-episode docuseries about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, a Canadian couple. Due to this crime not being in America, the media coverage and knowledge of it was very little and I had no idea what I was getting into when I began watching. This series is far more complex than many others I have watched. Not only are the crimes horrific, but the twists, turns, and outcomes follow suit as being just as horrendous.

**Can be watched on Discovery Plus and Max**

2. American Nightmare 

This is a three-episode docuseries about what may seem like your average American couple. Although, all of that changes when the couple, Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins are attacked in their home in the middle of the night. Their experience is horrific and quite odd in the eyes of the police, who begin to question if it ever truly happened. This docuseries will have you intrigued, confused, stunned, and angry.  

**Can be watched on Netflix**

3. Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster 

This is another three-episode docuseries. Although, unlike most true crime dramas, the man this series is focused on was a household name for being a weight-loss sensation in America. This series will show Jared Fogel’s rise to fame and the despicable and heinous reasons behind his downfall. Watch as a woman puts her life on hold to take down a man who used to be an inspiration to people across the country.  

**Can be watched on Discovery Plus and Max**

4. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey 

While watching this four-episode docuseries, you will take a deep look at the truth of Warren Jeffs in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This series will delve into the polygamist lifestyle and culture within the FLDS. Former members and survivors share their stories and memories from inside the church and with Jeffs. I was left questioning, at what point does a religious group begin to turn into a cult? Seek the answer for yourself as you watch this docuseries. 

**Can be watched on Netflix**

5. The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks 

The story of Natalia Grace, a supposed 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan with a rare form of dwarfism, is one that is far too complex to cover in just a few episodes. This docuseries has two seasons, each one having six episodes. Michael and Kristine Barnett, the adoptive parents of Natalia Grace, claim that she is not a child, but instead an adult sociopath. This story falls under the category of the he-said-she-said. And despite the many complaints about how this series was filmed and produced, (some people calling it a “stretched-out tabloid”) I still found it to be a compelling watch.  

**Can be watched on Discovery Plus and Max**

Hopefully, by this point, you have your phone or calendar out and are clearing dates and times to spend watching one, if not a few, of these docuseries! And honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you feel the need to watch one of these even before summer break starts. Enjoy binge-watching!  

Samantha Garcia

Illinois State '25

Hi! My name is Samantha and I am currently a junior at Illinois State University majoring in English Education. I have always enjoyed English due to there never being just one "correct" answer. I love how what you takeaway from a reading or how you approach writing is unique to each individual. As I move forward towards becoming an English teacher, I continue to look for opportunities to build my own ELA skills, and writing for Her Campus is a fun and unique opportunity to do that!