The 8 Best True-Crime Documentaries of 2023

netflix's the hatchet wielding hitchhiker
The 8 Best True-Crime Documentaries of 2023Netflix

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It’s a new year, and the true crime train is not slowing down. 2022 was a huge year for the booming genre. Last year, We Need to Talk About Cosby unpacked decades of abuse inflicted by “America’s Dad,” featuring insights from his victims and close collaborators. The Tinder Swindler made everyone rethink their dating app strategy. Netflix’s Worst Roommate Ever had renters searching for one-bedrooms. Bad Vegan made dairy-free cuisine criminal. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey detailed the rise and fall of an abusive FLDS leader. The Most Hated Man on the Internet opened up a much-needed conversation about revenge porn and digital abuse. LuLaRich detailed a federal investigation into ugly leggings. And in addition to the documentaries, we binged dramatized true crime with The Staircase, Under the Banner of Heaven, The Watcher, The Girl From Plainville, and more. (Did we miss your favorite? We also streamed Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist, The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist, and Killer Sally.)

Seriously, 2022 was the year of true crime and enthusiasts, you’re in luck this year too! (Humanity, less so). These stories don’t even begin to scale the mountain of criminal cases, gruesome murders, and injustice that exists in the modern world. Whether its an unsolved case gone cold, a decades-long string of abuses, or institutional wrongs, injustice anywhere is a gift to documentarians everywhere. Read on for the best and most-anticipated true crime documentaries of 2023.

Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street

This Netflix crime doc details the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier behind one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history. The film comes from Joe Berlinger, the mind behind various true crime stories including Zac Efron’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer series.

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The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker

Viral internet culture meets cold blooded murder in this new Netflix documentary about Caleb “Kai” McGillvary, an internet-famous hitchhiker who would find himself convicted of first-degree murder.

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Death in the Dorms

Hulu’s six part docuseries follows the true stories of six murder cases that took place on a college campus. Each episode is named after one of the victims, students at various universities from UCLA to the University of Florida.

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Web of Death

If you’re on true crime-Tok, this documentary is for you. Web of Death follows “online bloodhounds” who use the power of the internet and social media to solve the unsolvable murders.

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Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence

This three-part series tells the story of the infamous Sarah Lawrence College sex cult, detailing psychological abuse by Larry Ray. The series features real audio and video recordings that string together Ray’s devastating 10-year reign.

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How I Caught My Killer

If the internet has convinced you to make an “in case I go missing” folder, give this docuseries a stream. How I Caught My Killer highlights real-life murder cases that were solved by the victim’s own actions.

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Tokyo Crime Squad: The Lucie Blackman Case

This Netflix doc follows the story of Lucie Blackman, a British woman who went missing in Tokyo in 2000, and whose story unraveled a predator’s long string of crimes.

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Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Coming February 22, Netflix’s newest true crime series unpacks the Murdaugh saga, a series of murders and corruption in small town South Carolina. Alex Murdaugh, who is currently on trial for murder, is a prominent lawyer-turned-accused killer.

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