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A Guide to the Best True Crime Documentaries on Netflix

If you are looking for a new binge-worthy series to start on Netflix, you’ve come to the right place! With the genre of true crime steadily increasing in popularity, Netflix has continuously released a plethora of crime shows, movies, and documentaries that are sure to captivate any audience. Whether you are new to true crime or a long time fan like myself, below I have listed a few of the most popular documentaries as well as my personal favorites that are sure to help you find your newest series!

American Murder – The Family Next Door

Since this documentary’s release at the end of September 2020, viewers have been hooked on the story and dug up even more facts about the case. The documentary is fairly short in comparison to others, being only an hour and 23 minutes long. It opens with stories about a seemingly normal family: a mom, dad, and their two little girls in their family home in Colorado. Posts from the mother’s social media pages are also aired, showing how the mother portrayed her family in a normal, happy light. Things take a turn, however, when the audience learns what truly went on behind the scenes. Although heartbreaking, this documentary is extremely interesting from the get-go and ultimately leads up to a climactic ending.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

This documentary series explores the life and mind of famous NFL player Aaron Hernandez. Following Hernandez’s arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd, his past behavior and actions are analyzed. The ultimate question that this series aims to answer is this: what made Aaron, a man who had it all, commit such a heinous crime on his own friend? The series consists of three episodes, each lasting 60-70 minutes. As someone who knew nothing about Hernandez or his convicted murder, this series was both highly interesting and informative as it aimed to decipher the events of Aaron’s seemingly violent past and formualte a reason as to why he decided to murder.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

The new Netflix documentary series “The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” follows the story of the disappearance of Elisa Lam, a guest at the Cecil when she mysteriously vanished. The Cecil Hotel has always been an unsafe or “sketchy” place. The hotel itself is located on Skid Row, the notorious 20 block area of drugs, prostitution, and homelessness in Los Angeles, California. Due to the history of the hotel, Elisa’s disappearance was nothing out of the ordinary, but when chilling security footage is released of her last seen moments, suspicions are raised. This four-episode series includes interviews from hotel staff and the detectives on the case as they try to uncover what truly happened to Elisa Lam.

Lily Grissom is a sophomore at NC State University majoring in Accounting with a concentration in Financial Analysis. Some of her favorite things are movies, music, and the environment!
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