True Crime is a nonfiction genre that examines an actual crime and details the actions of real people. It can be depicted in various types of media formats, such as literature, film, television, miniseries, and podcast, to name a few.
True Crime programs have seen a huge increase in popularity over the last couple of years and they have huge effects on viewers’ brains. Christie Tcharkhoutian, a Trauma therapist, stated in an interview with Elite Daily that, “The psychological reason [why people] are attracted to watching true crime shows is for the purpose of re-experiencing traumatic situations in safe environments.”
Please note that all of the True Crime Programs featured in the article are a mix of TV Shows and Miniseries. All featured programs are available to watch on either cable television or on streaming service platforms like Hulu and/or Netflix.
Now, with all of that information being said, let’s take a look down below and check out the following 10 True Crime TV Shows That You Need To Binge Watch ASAP:
1. Forensic Files:
I could not do an article about the best True Crime Shows to watch without including Forensic Files! This docuseries reveals how forensic science is used to solve violent crimes, mysterious accidents, and outbreaks of illness. The original series ran for 14 seasons April 23, 1996 – June 17, 2011, with a total of 406 episodes aired.
Forensic Files is credited for pioneering documentary-style crime-science shows. The cases and people involved are real. Scientists and forensic experts in many fields are also interviewed.
For those of you who want to watch Forensic Files, the TV Show is available to watch on the HLN Channel. There are also nine collections worth of episodes of the original Forensic Files series available for Netflix Subscribers to watch on the streaming platform service.
2. Forensic Files II:
Forensic Files II is the revival continuation (please note that it is not a new season of the original series) of the renown True Crime Television Program, Forensic Files. The revival continuation only premiered this past February. Season 2 is scheduled to air sometime in 2021. Just like its predecessor, Forensic Files II also airs on the HLN Channel.
The main aspect that differentiates Forensic Files II from the original series, according to Executive Producer Nancy Duffy, is that actors were not hired to participate in reenactments of the real-life cases dramatized in the new series. Instead, various CNN and HLN employees were used to portray victims, suspects, and other individuals for the dramatic recreations of each episode of the new series.
3. Trial by Media:
Each episode of Trial by Media covers a famous case and breaks down how the significant media coverage played a role in the outcomes in each individual case. This true crime series is available to watch on Netflix.
4. When They See Us:
The critically acclaimed Netflix True Crime series examines the infamous Central Park rape case that led to the wrongful convictions of five African American teenage boys. When They See Us also highlights how the convictions affected the boys and how the criminal justice system failed them.
This true crime series depicts high-profile or bizarre cases of women accused of murder. Snapped currently airs on Oxygen and is the network’s longest-running original series, airing 28 seasons and 500 episodes since August 6th, 2004, the date that the show aired its first-ever episode.
6. The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story:
In regard to the most thrilling True Crime TV Shows to watch, another series that I had to include is the anthology series, American Crime Story. For those of you who don’t know, an anthology series presents a different story and different characters each season (in the case of a TV Series). Each story presented is unrelated to the previous one.
Season 1 of American Crime Story was subtitled The People v. O. J. Simpson and followed all of the events surrounding the infamous O. J. Simpson murder case. It consisted of ten episodes and ran from February 2 to April 5, 2016. Oscar-Winning Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. portrayed O. J. Simpson. The People v. O. J. Simpson received critical acclaim and won nine Primetime Emmys at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, including “Outstanding Limited Series”. It is currently available on Netflix for viewers to watch.
7. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story:
The second season of American Crime Story was subtitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace and explored the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. The nine-episode long season aired from January 17 to March 21, 2018. Viewers can binge-watch this true crime series on Netflix.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace also received positive reviews from critics. At the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Assassination of Gianni Versace won three of the nine Primetime Emmy Awards it was up for: “Outstanding Limited Series”, “Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special”, and “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” for Darren Criss.
The HBO Series exposes the 11-year-old scheme to cheat McDonald’s long-running Monopoly game. McMillions is perfect for those who want to watch a true crime series that doesn’t involve any dead bodies.
This true crime series consists of eight episodes (45 minutes long each) and was released by Netflix on September 13th, 2019. It has received nothing but positive reviews and earned a spot on former US President Barack Obama’s list of Favorite TV Shows and Movies (which he does annually) of 2019.
Based on the 2015 News Article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”, Unbelievable is about Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), a teenage girl who reports that she was raped, recants her report, and is then accused of lying about it. The miniseries also follow two detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) who follow and investigate the twisting path to arrive at the truth.
10. The Vow:
Out of all the True Crime TV Shows featured in this article, The Vow is the most recent one to have premiered. The True Crime documentary series, which premiered on HBO this past August, revolves around the sex cult NXIVM and its notorious leader Keith Raniere. The series was recently renewed for a second season.