Have Some Time to Kill? These Are the 50 Best True Crime Documentaries

Whether you're into murders, scams or something in-between, there's a true crime documentary for you.

From scammers to the story of accused (and exonerated) murderess Amanda Knox, soul singer Sam Cooke’s mysterious death and Chris Watts' brutal slayings of his wife and daughters, there is a treasure trove of true crime offerings that will edify and enrapture you for hours on end. These are 50 of our favorite true crime documentaries available to stream right now.

Note: For this story, we only considered feature-length true crime documentaries (theatrical and TV releases), not docuseries.

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50 Best True Crime Documentaries

Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017)

Dee Dee Blanchard subjected her daughter, Gypsy Rose, to years of abuse through Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. So when Blanchard’s dead body was found, police immediately suspected her child of foul play. Learn about the syndrome and murder that plagued this mother-daughter-duo through interviews with friends, neighbors, experts and Gypsy Rose herself.

Stream it on HBO.

Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

Jan Broberg’s two separate abductions in the 1970s fill this riveting film with twists and head-scratchers. Get ready for one of the strangest stories ever.

Stream it on Netflix and Pluto TV.

My Daughter's Killer (2022)

A man fights for decades to bring his daughter's murderer to justice in France and Germany—and may have uncovered something even bigger than his own unimaginable loss.

Stream it on Netflix.

The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (2020)

A man hijacks a plane for cash, then parachutes off—and is never seen nor heard from again. Or was he? The Mystery of D.B. Cooper hasn't been solved to this day, but it's referenced often, most recently in Season 1 of the Disney+ series Loki.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Related: What Happened to Chris Watts' Girlfriend?

American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020)

What led Chris Watts to murder his wife and daughters? American Murder: The Family Next Door delves deeply into the slaying and its investigations to uncover what could motivate a man to do something so gruesome.

Steam it on Netflix.

Related: Chris Watts' Confession Letters Revealed

Finding Kendrick Johnson (2021)

Kendrick Johnson was murdered and found rolled up in a mat in his high school gymnasium. Finding Kendrick Johnson examines what led to Johnson's murder, as well as its aftermath—and its cover-up.

Stream it on Hulu.

Girl in the Picture (2022)

A young mother dies and her son is kidnapped—and for Girl In the Picture, all of thatis just the beginning of a harrowing tale of identity and loss for one Sharon Marshall.

Stream it on Netflix.

4 Little Girls (1997)

Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Denise McNair innocently attended Bible school in the fall of 1963 when racist domestic terrorists bombed their church and killed them. Arguably one of Spike Lee’s best films, this doc is a touching tearjerker.

Stream it on HBO Max.

The Tinder Swindler (2022)

The Tinder Swindler tells the story of Shimon Hayut, a.k.a. Simon Leviev, who conned and catfished several women out of millions of dollars while wooing the same women with a wealthy, jet-setting lifestyle.

Stream it on Netflix.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne started making a documentary to give to his murdered friend’s toddler son. But then the story and the film took a darker turn no one saw coming

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video, Pluto TV and Tubi.

Related: How to Watch The Secret of the Greco Family—and the Chilling True Story Behind It

The Lost Boys of Bucks County (2020)

When four young men go missing over the Fourth of July weekend in 2017, it shook their Pennsylvania county to its core—and the tragedy only grew more harrowing when they were found.

Stream it on Philo and fuboTV.

Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King (2022)

A young cryptocurrency founder dies in India—but the story is far richer than that. There's a $200 million scam, plus a lot of examination of Occam's razor versus conspiracy theories—and you don't need to know or understand anything about cryptocurrency to enjoy it.

Stream it on Netflix.

The Central Park Five (2012)

This Ken Burns film examines how five black and brown teenagers from Harlem were falsely accused and convicted of raping a white jogger. The story would later be explored and dramatized in When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s 2019 award-winning Netflix miniseries.

Stream it on PBS.

Sour Grapes (2016)

We'll drink to that: A young Burgundy connoisseur named Rudy Kurniawan tricks investors into buying $35 million worth of wine from him—after he emptied the bottles of the "good stuff" and refilled them all with cheaper vino.

Stream it on Pluto TV, Roku and Tubi.

Memories of a Murder: The Nilsen Tapes (2021)

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who murdered at least 12 boys and young men, delivers a chilling chronicle of his crimes via audio tapes from his jail cell.

Stream it on Netflix.

Related: Best HBO Documentaries

Beware the Slenderman (2016)

When Internet lore goes too far: Beware the Slenderman tells of the Slender Man stabbing, when two teenage girls tried to kill one of their peers based on a creepypasta myth.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Strong Island (2017)

This heartbreaking documentary follows the 1992 murder of William Ford Jr. and how his death and a lack of justice ripped apart his family.

Stream it on Netflix.

Related: What to Know About the Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

The Imposter (2012)

French conman Frédéric Bourdin tricked a Texas family into believing he was their long-lost relative abducted in the 1990s. The film unpacks Bourdin’s deception and the aftermath. You start out thinking, ‘who would fall for this?’ But as it continues, you realize just how much of a master of deception he is

 Stream it on Tubi, Peacock, Pluto TV or Amazon Prime Video.

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011)

Filmmaker Liz Garbus sheds light on a tragic 2009 traffic accident that killed driver Diane Schuler and seven passengers.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Amanda Knox (2016)

This eye-opening doc chronicles the murder trial, conviction and eventual acquittal of an attractive American woman in Italy.

Stream it on Netflix.

Related: Who Killed Crystal Theobald?

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

Thousands of festivalgoers learn the hard way that they have been tricked into paying for a luxe music festival that was never feasible.

Stream it on Netflix.

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets (2015)

Justice is sought after a white motorist in Florida kills a black teenager for playing loud rap music in 2012. But there is more to this case than race and the Stand Your Ground law.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki deconstructs a high-profile sexual abuse trial involving father and son defendants in the 1980s.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (2018)

When a Texas police officer pulled Sandra Bland over for a routine traffic violation, it should have never ended with her dying in police custody. Bland’s family and friends are still seeking information and justice.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Related: Was the Night Stalker Richard Ramirez Married?

Into the Abyss (2011)

Werner Herzog helms Into the Abyss, an examination of capital punishment, with a focus on a triple homicide in Conroe, Texas, that landed one suspect on death row.

Stream it on Pluto TV.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was the Grim Sleeper, a serial killer who left South Central Los Angeles in fear for a quarter-century, murdering at least 10 people. He took a 14-year break from his crimes between 1988 and 2002 before he began raping and slaying innocent people.

Stream it on Plex.

The Brandon Teena Story (1998)

The Brandon Teena Story is a heartbreaking chronicle of the life of a trans man Brandon Teena who lived in Nebraska. Teena was raped and murdered by two men after they found out he was assigned female at birth. The true story inspired the film Boys Don't Cry, with Hilary Swank winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Teena.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video or Tubi.

Related: Where Is Shannon Flynn From Murder Among the Mormons Now?

Fruitcake Fraud (2021)

How did the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, get swindled for $16 million over the course of eight years? There's a lot nutty about Fruitcake Fraud, and it's not just the red-tinned dessert we're talking about here.

Stream it on Discovery+.

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Related: The Best True Crime TV Shows on Streaming

Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (2016)

What drives a mega-rich software mogul to live in the jungle as a recluse? According to Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, it may or may not have something to do with drug trafficking and murder.

Stream it on Paramount+ or Showtime.

Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop (2015)

Gilberto Valle, an NYPD officer, was charged with conspiring to kidnap and eat women—but did he really ever plan on going through with his cannibal fantasies? Erin Lee Carr examines the case and the shocking verdict.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Valentine Road (2013)

Middle school student Larry King never thought his same-sex crush on a classmate would cost him his life. But it did, and King’s murder exposed how his school and the system failed him.

Stream it on Vudu, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In the House of God (2012)

Four deaf men, who were sexually abused by a Catholic priest, fight to get justice.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video or YouTube.

Remastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019)

Sam Cooke was more than a soul singer. He was also an activist. But did his interest in social justice cost him his life in the 1960s or was his shooting death a clear-cut case?

Stream it on Netflix.

Related: The Terrifying True Story Behind The Watcher

Crazy, Not Insane (2020)

Released in March 2020, Crazy, Not Insane focuses on the work of psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis—as well as her controversial views on mental health, serial killers and capital punishment. As an added bonus, Laura Dern serves as narrator.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Our Father (2022)

Our Father follows the story of Dr. Donald Cline, a physician who impregnated numerous patients at his fertility clinic with his own sperm without their knowledge, nor their consent.

Stream it on Netflix.

Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (2020)

If you ever thought the fine art world was a bunch of nonsense, boy, do we have a documentary for you! Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art chronicles the biggest art fraud in American history and will make you perfectly happy with your poster prints or Etsy buys.

Stream it on Netflix.

Related: Find Out What 'Bad Vegan' Sarma Melngailis Is Up to Now

The Witness (2015)

For years, people have pointed to Kitty Genovese’s 1964 murder as an example of New Yorkers’ apathy. But did 38 witnesses really stand by and let a woman die? Genovese’s brother searches for the truth.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Former Scientology congregants lodge allegations of abuse and exploitation against the church as the film examines the religion’s origins and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Related: The Truth About Jeffrey Dahmer's Brutal Murders and How He Got Away With Them

The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley (2019)

Elizabeth Holmes set out to revolutionize blood testing and became rich and successful as a result. But her house of cards came tumbling down when it was revealed that she and her company, Theranos, were frauds.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Related: The True Story Behind The Dropout

Little Hope Was Arson (2013)

Ten churches in East Texas were burned to the ground in 2010. But who set fire to these houses of worship and why?

Stream it on iTunes.

The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret (2018)

Watch the downfall of famous film producer Harvey Weinstein and the start of the #MeToo movement.

Stream it on Vudu.

Untouchable (2019)

Another look at the egregious acts of Harvey Weinstein, Untouchable examines how Hollywood looked the other way. Interviews include accusers Paz de la Huerta, Rosanna Arquette and Erika Rosenbaum, as well as Megan Twohey and Ronan Farrow, who broke the story worldwide—and the latter of whom whose story Weinstein and the media machine tried to kill.

Stream it on Hulu.

Killing For Love (2016)

This riveting documentary follows the aftermath of a double homicide trial, where a Virginia teen and her boyfriend (the son of a German diplomat) were accused of murdering her parents.

Stream it on YouTube.

Related: The Best True Crime Podcasts

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017)

Scotty Bowers didn’t move to Tinseltown to become a pimp and an escort. But the job gave him more power than he could have ever imagined when he started providing paid sexual partners for some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Bowers even inspired a fictional version of himself in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series Hollywood.

Stream it on Vudu, Pluto TV, Roku and PLEX.

West of Memphis (2012)

Produced by filmmaker Peter Jackson, this film picks up where the Paradise Lost trilogy left off and tells the tragic story of the Memphis Three -Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. All three men received suspended sentences and freedom after serving 18 years in prison when DNA evidence and the discovery of jury tampering turned their murder convictions upside down.

Stream it on Tubi.

Audrie & Daisy (2016)

This heart-wrenching film follows the fate of two teenage girls after they fall prey to sexual assault by some male classmates they thought they could trust. Both girls suffer online harassment after the fact and both attempt suicide—but only one survives.

Stream it on Netflix.

Out of Thin Air (2017)

This chilling film unpacks two murder cases in Iceland 40 years after the fact, proving that confessions do not guarantee open-and-shut cases.

Stream it on Netflix.

The Cheshire Murders (2013)

A suburban mother and her two young daughters are brutally murdered following a bloody and fiery home invasion in a small Connecticut hamlet. But the family patriarch escaped and survived.

Stream it on YouTube.

Related: Where Is Convicted Killer Scott Peterson Now?

Have You Seen Andy (2003)

Andy Puglisi, a 10-year-old Massachusetts boy, is abducted from his neighborhood pool in the summer of 1976 and never seen again. Still haunted by his disappearance, the filmmaker, Andy’s childhood friend, sets out to find answers.

Stream it on HBO Max.

Deep Web (2015)

The film covers the trial of Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested and charged with creating the Silk Road under the moniker the Dread Pirate Roberts. Silk Road was once the Internet’s most infamous black market for drugs and other illegal goods. But did authorities get the right guy?

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video or YouTube.

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