The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer'

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Joe Ellison

We get it, you've just spent three days watching Netflix’s 10 part docu-series Making a Murderer and want to tell everybody what you think. Join the club.

Barely a fortnight has passed since the documentary series hit the streaming site and already over 170,000 people have signed petitions calling for the release of Steven Avery, the US man imprisoned for 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit, eventually freed on DNA evidence and soon arrested again for another murder. 

Misunderstood families, dubious evidence, conspiracy - it had it all. But while the jury may still be out on Avery’s case – at least on social media anyway – you don’t need to do much second guessing over what to watch next on Netflix. More crime documentaries obviously.

Prepare yourself for another binge. 

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer'

    Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded

    Two things we know about Miami: 1) Will Smith considers it his second home. 2) In the 1980s, thanks in large to the infiltration of the Medellin Cartel, its shores were awash with drugs and murder. Continuing where Cocaine Cowboys left off, this fleshed out documentary goes even deeper, showing just how tight the Colombian gang’s influence on the city really was. Mixing first-hand accounts with former cartel hitman Jorge Rivera, trafficker Jon Roberts and smuggler Mickey Munday, it lays bare some of the landmark moments of US criminal history.

    Watch it here

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 1

    Joseph Fritzl: Story of a Monster

    There are grim documentaries and then there are grim documentaries focusing on Joseph Fritzl, the Austrian man who came to worldwide infamy in 2008 when his daughter escaped from home and told police he’d kept her captive in a basement for 24 years, secretly fathering seven children with her. Just how does one man get away with keeping his daughter and a second family in a basement for almost a quarter of a century? Carrying out interviews with family members, doctors and victims, while tough to watch at times, this doc unravels the story of one of the most evil men in history. And yes, you’re probably going to require a few repeat viewings of Bake Off afterwards – easy viewing it is not.

    Watch it here

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 2

    Los Tiempes Pablo Escobar

    Should the gritty brilliance and historical accuracies of Netflix’s Narcos leave you yearning for another Pablo Escobar-shaped fix, this is for you. Leaving nothing to speculation, this account is told for the very first time in part by his son Sebastian, detailing the hairy times on the run and the sort of opulent lifestyle only a Medellin drug lord forced to bury millions of dollars can buy. Poignantly - and setting it apart from other documentaries which only stand to glorify Escobar and add to his near mythical status - Sebastian attempts to break the cycle of revenge by seeking reconciliation with the sons of his father’s victims.

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 3

    Deliver Us From Evil

    Do bears sh*t in the woods? Is the pope the head of an organisation long accused of allowing child molestation to flourish? After braving this documentary, which explores the dark life of Oliver O’Grady, a clergyman who admitted to sexually assaulting around 25 children in California between the 1970s and 1990s, you might be answering at least one of those questions with a ‘yes’. And if this makes you put your conspiracy hat on, Spotlight, an A-list drama following the Boston Globe’s news team’s controversial investigation into paedophile priests protected for years by the city’s Catholic Archdiocese, hits cinemas on 29 Jan. We can imagine the Vatican’s PR team has had better months.

    Watch it here

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 4

    The Central Park Five

    And you thought Steven Avery was unfortunate to spend over a decade behind bars for somebody else’s crime. After the violent assault and rape on a female jogger in Central Park in April 1989, FIVE juvenile males were tried for the incident and handed sentences ranging from five to 15 years each, only being exonerated in 2002 when DNA evidence fingered a man named Matias Reyes as the sole culprit. Charting the case, the backstory, and the group’s subsequent multi-million dollar legal action, which will you certainly remind you of Avery’s own legal campaign all right, this pulsating doc will make you furious and ecstatic at the same time.

    Watch it here

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 5

    Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth

    Louis Theroux might not go all Jesse Pinkman for this recent BBC documentary, but it doesn’t stop him from getting close to the people who do on a visit to Fresno, meth capital of the world. Employing his trademark charm to get to know the drug users of this industrial city, it’s not long before he’s witnessing first-hand just what damage America’s new crystallised enemy is having on the luckless individuals hooked on it. A damning indictment to the ease of access to narcotics in recession-hit areas, it’s an absorbing watch.

    Watch it here

  • The best Netflix crime documentaries to watch after 'Making a Murderer' 6

    Gangsters: faces of the underworld

    For a true-crime watch closer to home, this sobering series visits former gang members from major UK cities such as Glasgow, Manchester, London and Newcastle, who play up for cameras and muse about what drove them to villainy. Presented by a former member of The Essex Boys, it not only deals with the past but paints a nationwide picture of mob life right now.

    Watch it here


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Joe Ellison

Joe is a writer and editor. Specialising in film, food, sport, current affairs, travel writing and adept at pilfering David Brent quotes, Joe describes himself as ‘basically a chilled out entertainer’. Follow Joe on Twitter: @Chevychased 

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