After Making A Murderer became a hit on Netflix over the holiday season, lots of true crime junkies started looking into other films similar to it just for a binge fix. Here are a bunch more series, feature films, documentaries and online podcasts which should ease the Making A Murderer withdrawal a little less painless to take…
Dear Zachary is a 2008 documentary made by Kurt Kuenne about his best friend Andrew Bagby. It started out as a private film for Bagby’s son Zachary, who was the pawn in a divorce case and child support legal proceeding. Along the way, it became a chilling murder mystery with an absolutely unforgettable (and infuriating) twist ending. Look for no spoilers here, though…
Serial is a PBS podcast series examining murder mysteries at length. The first story focuses on Adnan Syed, who was accused of killing Hae Min Lee, his ex-girlfriend, and a senior at Baltimore’s Woodlawn High School, in 1999. The long documentary. so far only available online, delves deep into the story and raises many questions about convicting a murderer without ever finding a body. It’s gone on to season two, with another season debuting in March.
In December, 2001, novelist Michael Peterson called police to report that his wife Kathleen had fallen down a staircase while drunk and died from massive head trauma. Police and prosecutors disbelieved his story from the beginning, especially after they found out it wasn’t the first time someone close to Peterson died in a fall. Still, the evidence was murky enough to set Peterson free in 2011, while he awaits retrial on his original conviction.
A Murder in The Park
In 1999, four Northwestern University investigative journalism students, and their professor, helped free Anthony Porter from Chicago’s death row. He had been convicted of murder, but another man confessed to the crime. After it was proved that confession was false, the question remains: Is Anthony Porter the real killer after all?
The Central Park Five
This Ken Burns documentary follows the story of 5 teens from New York City who were charged with attacking the anonymous Central Park Jogger in 1989. 4 of the boys were convicted, but it was later proven their confessions were illegally obtained by overzealous detectives anxious to close the case.
Zodiac is a 2007 feature film dramatizing the mysterious Zodiac murders, committed in the Bay Area in the 1960s and 70s, but never solved. The film makes the case for a particular suspect, but, to this day, the murders have yet to be pinned on any one individual.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, is a bone-chilling HBO documentary which followed the doings of Robert Durst, a multi-millionaire who kept eluding charges of several horrific murders and remained free while his lawyers piled on the billable hours. Until he seemed to confess right on camera! He was arrested the day before the series finale aired and awaits trial.
Death by Fire
A PBS Frontline documentary which aired in 2010, the show focuses on whether Texan Cameron Todd Willingham was wrongly convicted of the murder of his three daughters in a 1991 Christmas tree firefire. The kicker? Willingham was executed before evidence came to light that he may have actually been innocent. Yikes!
The Thin Blue Line
The one that started it all, The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 documentary film recounting the story of Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a murder he could not have committed. After the movie aired, the questionable practices of the police investigating the case came under scrutiny and Adams was freed from prison approximately a year after the film’s release.