Here Are 7 Crime Documentaries To Watch After You've Finished Making A Murderer
The Debrief: Suffering from withdrawal? Here's a few docs to watch about real-life murder cases.
Finished Making A Murderer and in need of a new crime documentary to whet your investigative whistle? We hear you sister. Luckily, really good true crime docs are ten a penny and usually pretty easy to get hold of.
Here's a few to try.
1. Dear Zachary
FML. This documentary is THE ONE. Like, probably the best, most devastating documentary you're likely to see. Dear Zachary is meant to be an homage to the filmmaker's best friend (who was murdered) in order to show his unborn son (mothered and cared for by the woman who murdered him) what his father was really like. Things don't go to plan though. In fact, they go so far away from the plan, your jaw will be on the floor and your heart will be broken in two. Devastating stuff.
Handily, the whole thing's on YouTube.
2. The Thin Blue Line
Often heralded as the crime documentary that all others should aspire to, The Thin Blue Line is the stand-out piece of work from Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris. It follows an investigation into the case of Randall Dale Adams who was convicted of the murder of police officer Robert Wood and sentenced to death in Texas. No spoilers (don't Google this at all - the aftermath is one of the main reasons as to why the film is so famous) but Errol had a hunch that Randall didn't do it...
This one's also on YouTube
3. The Imposter
You probably remember the hype about this film when it came out back in 2012. In case you need a refresher; Frédéric Bourdin is the French guy who (complete with French accent) managed to convince a Texas family that he was their son Nicholas, who had been missing for 16 years. How? Grief and psychological mastery mainly. Either way, it makes for a fascinating watch.
You can download it here.
4. West Of Memphis
Last year there was a much-derided Reese Witherspoon film about this case called Devil's Knot. Mainly, critics were like, there's already a really good and recent documentary about this case - why the need to make a movie? The doc in question is called West of Memphis and follows the case of the West Memphis Three, a group of teenagers who were convicted of murdering three boys in 1993 as part of a Satanic ritual. The case became a cause de celebre in the rock music world.
You can get it on Netflix.
5. Gladiator Days: Anatomy Of A Prison Murder
Ignore the budget cover art for this film and get ready for an fascinating insight into Troy Kell, a man who murdered a fellow inmate whilst already serving time for another murder. The documentary has unprecedented access to Troy (now on death row) who speaks directly to the camera with a terrifying amount of charm and allure. Seeing the kind of hypnotic power Troy had over his accomplices makes you worry how easily you'd be coaxed into wrongdoing if the right (wrong) person got their claws into you.
This one's also on YouTube.
6. In The Land Of The Free
In 2010 when this Samuel L. Jackson narrated film came out, the so-called Angola Three had been held in solitary confinement for over a century between them. The three members of the Black Panthers were already serving time in Lousiana's notorious Angola prison and were campaigning to end segregation, rape and assault within the prison when they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard. From 1972, the three were held in solitary confinement despite there being no physical evidence that they even committed the murder.
You can buy the DVD (retro) here.
7. The Jinx
Riding high in the wake of Serial, The Jinx was the HBO documentary series (on Sky over here) about Robert Durst, the multi-millionaire whose wife Kathie's disappearance in 1982 had gone unsolved along with two other murders thus far. Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki's investigation is thorough and, again don't Google this if you've managed to escape what's happened since the documentary came out, changes things for Durst forever. There's also a not-quite-as-good fictional film about it starring Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling called All Good Things.
Download it here.
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