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The 17 best shows to watch on Netflix if you are obsessed with true crime

As a self-proclaimed true crime series connoisseur, I have watched every true crime series there is to be watched in the genre and later went on to research the heck out the stories. It started off by watching poorly written and directed police investigation shows, the only appeal being that some of them are inspired by true events. The casual viewing experience soon turned into an obsession! 

The curiosity and thrill that comes with watching true crime are indescribable. The trill being understanding the psyche of serial killers, uncovering a crime with the law enforcement officials or awaiting the final verdict.

The reason for the obsession that pulls us into a rabbit hole of murder, destruction, mystery and justice is answered by Psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll. While speaking to The Telegraph, Dr. Meg said, “True crime stories allows us to explore the darker side of nature in a safe way.” 

[Image description: A woman smiling while clasping her hands under the caption "me when there's a new documentary about a serial killer on Netflix] via Filmdaily
[Image description: A woman smiling while clasping her hands under the caption “me when there’s a new documentary about a serial killer on Netflix] via Filmdaily
“If we can understand the motivation and the backstory, then we do feel that we have more control over our lives and the world in general,” she added.

This list brings you the best of rest from the world of true crime and investigative thrillers. If you are someone already obsessed like me and want a re-watch list or if you want to step into the world of this nitty-gritty genre read along!

1. American Murder: The Family Next Door 

[Image description: A family of four, a man, a woman and two daughters sitting in a field and smiling at the camera] via American Murder: The Family Next Door
[Image description: A family of four, a man, a woman and two daughters sitting in a field and smiling at the camera] via Knickerbockerglory.
This true crime documentary follows the events that lead up to the 2018 Watts family murders. It uses social media posts, police bodycam footage, text messages, archival and home video footage to depict the events that led to the crime. 

It is a bone-chilling documentary about family, greed, betrayal and loss of innocent lives. It is also Netflix’s most watched documentary feature being viewed in almost 56 million households. 

Length: 1 hr 23 mins

Watch the trailer here

2. Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

[Image description: A picture of a cat made with a collage of different pictures] via Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
[Image description: A picture of a cat made with a collage of different pictures] via Netflix
Released in 2019, this docu-series made me question my social media presence in the most uncomfortable, fearful way. 

The series narrates events following a crowdfunded online manhunt into a series of animal cruelty acts committed by Canadian Pornographic actor Luka Magnotta, which leads to the eventual killing of a Chinese international student. The docuseries also highlights the obsession of online amateur investigators to solve mysteries and how that obsession leads to them assisting the law enforcement officers in catching the criminal. 

Length: 3 episodes (55 mins – 65 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

3. The Serpent

[Image description: A man and a woman staring at the camera with a car in front of them] via The Serpent
[Image description: A man and a woman staring at the camera with a car in front of them] via Netflix
The series is set in the mid-1970s, based on the life of the infamous ‘Bikini Killer’ aka Charles Sobhraj, a French serial killer of Vietnamese and Indian descent. 

It follows Charles over the years 1975-2000 as he murders and preys on young travellers exploring the ‘hippie trail’ of South Asia. This true crime series shows dramatized events of the actual crimes. This series also subtly highlights racism towards the Asian community in 1970s France.  

Apart from the gruesome murders and the cat-and-mouse chase between the killer and law enforcement officials, you can view it for the beautiful costume design and cinematography. 

Length: 8 episodes (58 mins – 59 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

4. Mindhunter 

[Image description: An inkblot that merges into the faces of 3 people] via Mindhunter
[Image description: An inkblot that merges into the faces of 3 people] via Netflix
Mindhunter is an American psychological crime thriller series based on the 1995 true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. It follows 2 FBI agents and a psychologist as they interview imprisoned serial killers to try to understand their psyche and solve current crimes. 

The series features notable serial killers like the Co-Ed Killer, Monte, Son of Sam and Charles Manson among others. This series is the perfect blend of true crime, psychological and investigative thriller. Warning! Some of the episodes might leave you feeling sick to your stomach. 

Length: 2 Seasons (10 episodes each)

Watch the trailer here

5. Fear City: New York vs The Mafia

[Image description: a photo of a street in New York] via Fear City: New York vs The Mafia
[Image description: a photo of a street in New York] via Netflix
As the name suggests, this series is about New York City’s Five Families: Gambino, Colombo, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Genovese. These families were part of the most feared crime organization (American Italian Mafia) of New York. These crime families have historically operated throughout the New York metropolitan area, but mainly in the New York City. They have been involved in a number of illegal activities like, murder, extortion, corruption of public officials, gambling, infiltration of legitimate businesses, labor racketeering, loan sharking among others.

The series is shot from the point of view of the FBI and how wiretap technology helped them in dismantling the most powerful Mafia families of New York. 

If you are a fan of The Godfather, The Irish Man or any Martin Scorsese movie, this one is definitely worth watching!

Length: 3 Episodes (42 mins – 58 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

6. Amanda Knox

[Image description: A close up of a woman's face looking scared with reviews from publication on the right] via Amanda Knox
[Image description: A close up of a woman’s face looking scared with reviews from publication on the right] via Netflix.
This Emmy nominated documentary is about Amanda Knox, a woman twice convicted and later acquitted of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. The documentary chronicles the murder of Knox’s roommate Meredith  and the investigation, trials and appeals that followed after. 

This court trial went on to become one of the most controversial trials in the world with two of the most influential countries (USA and Italy) getting involved. The documentary is very immersive and pulls you right in. Once you start, you will be hooked. 

Length: 1 hr 23 mins

Watch the trailer here

7. Manhunt: Unabomber

[Image description: Two men sit facing each other. One of them is wearing a prison suit] via Discovery Communications, Trigger Street Productions and Lionsgate Television
[Image description: Two men sit facing each other. One of them is wearing a prison suit] via Discovery Communications, Trigger Street Productions and Lionsgate Television
This Netflix series is centered around hunting down and catching the domestic terrorist, Ted Kaczynski aka the Unabomber. The series features Sam Worthington (FBI Agent Jim Fitzgerald) and Paul Bettany (Ted Kaczynski) in lead roles.

The motive of the killer is what sets this series apart from the rest on the list. It showcases the themes of loneliness and depression and its effects on one’s motives and morals. A must watch if you wish to view something a little subdued in violence but intense in drama. 

Length: 8 Episodes (43 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

8. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

[Image description: a collage of the pictures of Jeffrey Epstein's victims which form his face] via Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
[Image description: a collage of the pictures of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims which form his face] via Netflix
This four-part docu-series features interviews with several survivors including Virginia Giuffre and Maria Farmer, along with former staff members and former police chief Michael Reiter against convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

The series starts from the first criminal case filed against Jefferey Epstein by the stepmother of a 14-year old survivor who had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl. She was paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein. This case led to a cascading effect of other survivors coming out and speaking against Jeffrey Epstein and his associates. The docu-series exposes the filthy rich world of Jeffrey Epstein and shows how he used his wealth and power to commit these crimes.

Length: 4 Episodes (56 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

9. Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.

[Image description: A black and white picture of Tupac and Biggie standing in front of a car] via Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.
[Image description: A black and white picture of Tupac and Biggie standing in front of a car] via Universal Cable Productions
The series chronicles the murders of pop culture’s most notorious influences, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. It follows two investigators as they try to get to the bottom of the murder mystery. 

It shows the life of Tupac and Biggie in a very earnest and honorable way-just two young men from humble backgrounds trying to make it big in Hollywood. The show also does a great job at highlighting themes of racism, fame, friendship and greed. 

Length: 10 Episodes (46 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

10. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

[Image description: a Collage of two close up pictures of Ted Bundy] via Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
[Image description: a Collage of two close up pictures of Ted Bundy] via Netflix
The four 60-minutes episodes of the series were made from 100 hours of unheard interviews and archival footage of serial killer Ted Bundy, as well as interviews with his family, friends, surviving victims, and the law enforcement members who worked on his case. 

The series traces the life of Ted Bundy in the light of his crimes, arrests and escapes. It’s eerie and creepy so much so that Netflix issued a warning to not watch it alone!

Length: 4 Episodes (51 mins – 74 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

11. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

[Image description: A poster of the night crawler standing in the dark with a red light focusing on his eye] via Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
[Image description: A poster of the night crawler standing in the dark with a red light focusing on his eye] via Netflix
This 2021 true crime docuseries is about the serial killer Richard Ramirez who left the residents of Greater Los Angeles and later San Francisco Bay Area terrorized from June 1984 until August 1985. The series is narrated by two detectives, Gill Carillo and Frank Salerno who played an instrumental role in catching the killer. 

The series is graphic and shows the murders without any filter. It also hints at Hybristophilia (sexual interest in and attraction to those who commit crimes) and how it plays a role in painting an evil man as a hero. 

Length: 4 Episodes (46 mins – 48 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

12. Wild Wild Country

[Image description: A congregation of the followers of Osho standing in a valley with an eye above them] via Wild wild country
[Image description: A congregation of the followers of Osho standing in a valley with an eye above them] via Netflix
The docu-series is about the famous Indian spiritual guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon. 

It shows the reality of this cult-like organization and the extent to which the followers of a cult go to please their leader, which eventually leads to attempting a bioterror attack. The series leaves you in a conflict of good vs evil and makes you question the common sense of the population of Rajneeshpuram.

Length: 6 Episodes (64 mins – 71 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

13. The people v OJ Simpson : American Crime Story

[Image description: A picture of O.J. Simpson covering his face with his hands. One hand has a glove on it] via The people v OJ Simpson : American Crime Story
[Image description: A picture of O.J. Simpson covering his face with his hands. One hand has a glove on it] via FXP
This series received 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, in 13 categories, winning nine, including Outstanding Limited Series. If this doesn’t sell the series, I don’t know what will. This crime drama series chronicles the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson ex-wife of the star NFL player, O. J. Simpson, for which he stood on trial. 

The series is an intense courtroom drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the last episode. 

Length: 10 Episodes (41 mins – 66 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

14. Carmel: Who killed Maria Marta?

[Image description: A collage of images with a young Maria Marta in the center] via Carmel: Who killed Maria Marta?
[Image description: A collage of images with a young Maria Marta in the center] via Netflix
The miniseries tells the tale of the murder of Maria Marta, upper-class Argentine sociologist. The murder which seems like an accident turns into a series of accusations and pointing fingers as soon as the autopsy report arrives. 

The four-part series explores different investigative angles and suspects in each episode making it interesting till the very end. The series reveals family secrets, betrayal and envy. 

Length: 4 Episodes (55 mins – 60 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

15. Evil Genius

[Image description: a collage of images of a mugshot, handcuffs and a man wearing a white t-shirt] via Evil Genius
[Image description: a collage of images of a mugshot, handcuffs and a man wearing a white t-shirt] via Netflix
This bizarre high-profile crime focuses on the death of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man who was forced to rob a bank. The robbery soon turns into a complex plot involving a scavenger hunt and homemade explosives. The storyline takes a new turn at every corner and will leave you on a roller coaster of plot twists. It also explores the themes of mental and personality disorders.

Length: 4 Episodes (45 mins – 48 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

16. Unsolved mysteries Volumes 1+2

[Image description: A storm approaching a house in the middle of the fields] via Unsolved mysteries Volumes 1+2
[Image description: A storm approaching a house in the middle of the fields] via Netflix
This 2-volume series is a must-watch for any true crime lover. Each episode explores a new mystery by the end of which, you will end up joining every conspiracy theory subreddit page there is. Some episodes stand out such as, ‘Death in Oslo’ an episode in which the investigation revolves around an unidentified woman who dies in a hotel in Oslo under mysterious circumstances. 

It is perfect for casual viewing, for when you don’t want to binge-watch the whole series in one single sitting.

Length: 2 Seasons (6 episodes each)

Watch the trailer here

17. Room 2806: The Accusation

[Image description: Dominique Strauss-Kahn standing in front of the French flag] via Room 2806: The Accusation
[Image description: Dominique Strauss-Kahn standing in front of the French flag] via Netflix
This docuseries follows the 2011 sexual assault case involving French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the height of his career. One sexual assault case opens the graveyard of deeply buried and hidden away crimes. Unlike Jeffrey Epstein, Strauss-Kahn was a respected politician and economist who served as the president of the IMF. It exposes the dirty world of politics and power and tells the tale from the survivors point of view. 

Length: 4 Episodes (43 mins – 63 mins each)

Watch the trailer here

From courtroom dramas to classic cat and mouse chases, this list has it all! These shows will keep you on the edge of your seats and make you watch your back the next time you walk down the streets. So hop on to the train of murders and mystery where each turn will leave you in state of jittery and let us know which one is your favorite!

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Editor's Picks World News Coronavirus Action Guide South Asia The World

India is gasping for breath as the second Covid-19 wave hits the country

On the eve of 14th April 2021, in a small town in India, a very close family member of mine tested positive for COVID-19. The events that followed left a devastating scar on our family. Aged 67, my mom’s aunt kept fighting for her life till her last breath. As soon as she was tested positive, she needed to be admitted into the hospital, but there were no beds available across the city. It took one whole day to find a hospital bed in a government hospital. It took another day to find a bed with ventilator support.

On the morning of 18th April 2021, she passed away. Her daughter, also tested positive, was admitted in a private hospital on the opposite side of the city, completely unaware of her mother’s death. In between, her distressed husband was desperately trying to procure a dose of Remdesivir injection while tending to the needs of his family who were fighting for their life.

This is the story of countless Indians who are experiencing the devastating second wave of COVID-19. As of 28th April 2021, India is recording the highest number (379,308) of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases and the highest number (3645) of daily new confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There is a major shortage of oxygen supply and hospital beds. The healthcare system is coming to a collapse and the medical staff is being pushed to their limits. There is a sense of panic and extreme grief across India.

[Image description: Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. ] via REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
[Image description: Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. ] via REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
“I work in a private medical college and a 500 bed hospital. During the first wave, the hospital had allocated 250 beds (5 wards) to the COVID-19 patients. Now, the second wave has seen an influx of 300+ patients everyday. From 250 beds, our hospital has now dedicated all of the wards including 5 ICUs towards fighting COVID.” said Dr. Avijit Misra, a medical intern at Bharati Hospital and Medical College Pune when I spoke to him. “Government hospitals are also full. There is an increase in makeshift hospitals by the government which has helped a lot, but it is still not enough”, he added.

How did it become so bad?

The government of India had one year to prepare for a catastrophe like this. Ever since the start of the pandemic, the government was supposed to set up 150 oxygen plants but only started bidding for it after 8 months of delay. As of April, only 33 out of the 162 government-sanctioned oxygen plants are functioning.

Along with the shortage of oxygen supply, the transportation of the oxygen from the factories to the patients is a big hurdle that is contributing towards the crisis. India cannot ensure 24/7 road supply of oxygen due to the shortage of cryogenic oxygen tankers. The travel time for the transportation of the oxygen from the factories to the patients has increased from 3-5 business days to 6-8 business days, and the duration is much longer for the remote and rural parts of India.

This comes after a claim made by the National Executive of BJP (the ruling party) in February that the battle against Covid-19 has been triumphantly won. While praising the leadership, the party declared “with pride” that India has “not only defeated Covid-19 under the able, sensitive, committed and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, but also infused in all its citizens the confidence to build an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat ‘(Self -reliant India)’.”

After the declaration, mass gatherings and crowd events became a normalcy. Events such as election rallies and religious events were sanctioned by the government. The rallies and the religious events were seen as an attempt by the ruling party to please and secure its vote bank, as their policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. The government led by PM Narendra Modi, has also been constantly downplaying the extent of the crisis and shutting down voices which have been instrumental in raising awareness and providing help to those affected.

[Image description: Amit Shah at an election rally] via Arun Sankar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
[Image description: Amit Shah at an election rally] via via Arun Sankar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The price is being paid by the common man

While patients are affected on one side, helpless relatives running around in search of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and medications are also being forced to put themselves at risk. Families are being admitted to the hospital together but not all of them are going back home healthy and recovered.

The medical costs are only increasing. A middle-class person cannot afford a bed in a private hospital. Those who can, are being charged Rs. 15 thousand – Rs. 20 thousand ($2011 – $2682) just for the bed. The injections, oxygen cylinders and medication prescribed by the doctors are also in short supply and are being sold at 10 times the price in black markets.

[Image description: Table showing the comparison of prices of COVID-19 medications and oxygen cylinders in India] via BBC
[Image description: Table showing the comparison of prices of COVID-19 medications and oxygen cylinders in India] via BBC
People coming from rural parts of India to bigger cities to get help are being turned back. Families are fighting in the hospitals for bed space. “Phrases such as ‘my patient is younger than yours. At least, give them a chance to live’ can be heard across India,” said Dr. Misra.

In the midst of this tragedy, it is easy to feel helpless right now, but there are ways in which we can help:

1. Amplify

The best thing you can do right now is to use your influence to amplify and share the SOS alerts from those in need on your socials. One share can help save a life.

Instagram accounts to follow that are spreading awareness and amplifying SOS alerts:

Twitter:

Websites & Google Docs:

2. Donate

There are a number of organizations that have come forward and directly purchased resources for the front-line workers, donated supplies, or helped amplify the needs of vulnerable patients. Here are a few:

Local Agencies:

  • Ketto (Mission Oxygen- Helping Hospitals Save Lives) – You can donate to their efforts directly on their website
  • Hemkunt Foundation – Oxygen Suppliers. Donate here 
  • Khalsa Aid – Donate here
  • Milaap – Individual crowdfunding website. Donate here
  • Youth Feed India x Helping Hands Charitable Trust – Food Packages. Donate here
  • Care India – PPE Kits. Donate here

International Agencies:

  • United Nations agencies (UNICEF and WHO). Donate here
  • American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – Oxygen Machines. Donate here
  • Care India – PPE Kits. Donate here
  • The Association for India’s Development – Protective equipment and food packages. Donate here

As I look back, I think that my family members were among the luckier ones to have at least gotten a hospital bed and oxygen support. We don’t know when this calamity will end. The road to the finish line looks too far ahead. The battle against COVID-19 continues with our healthcare workers on the front line. We cannot be spectators anymore. We need to step in and help those in need. 

In retrospect, the second wave of COVID-19 did push India to become Atma Nirbhar