Can’t get enough of thrilling, exhilarating stories? The internet today offers you a wealth of documentaries about strange cases, gruesome murders, heinous criminals, and much more
But with so many options, how do you know which true crime documentary is your next must-have?
We’ve sifted through everything to pick the 5 best true crime documentaries to watch during these holidays. In the mix are gritty accounts of serial killers, stimulating investigations into polarizing allegations, insightful explorations of victims’ lives, and even some surprisingly quirky true crime stories.
Each offers the opportunity to delve down a rabbit hole of armchair psychology, amateur embezzlement, and non-fiction nightmares. Just get a good internet connection, or opt for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that offers cable features. For example, a popular ISP in the market, Cox cable packages are not only pocket friendly but also flexible and easy to customize.
Whether you’re watching on cable or some other streaming service, you definitely do not want to miss out on the following documentaries.
1. Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop
This latest attempt by director Erin Lee Carr to explore the sensational case and explore every gory detail is both a thorough introduction to Valle’s ordeal and a suggestive (albeit less rigorous) reflection on the nature of privacy in today’s state of surveillance.
Gilberto’s wife at the time, horrified by what she discovered on his computer, was responsible for bringing her husband, then a powerful police officer, to the attention of the authorities.
Valle is known as a “cannibal cop” – he was indicted and arrested by the FBI in 2012 for allegedly plotting to kidnap, rape, massacre, and drug several women. If that sentence alone is enough to turn your stomach upside down, this show can be tricky.
Spectators can decide for as long as they want whether he belongs behind bars. But this is not the kind of film that seeks a verdict of guilt or innocence. The Valle story is used to represent the larger and more pressing issue of internet culture in general.
2. Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan
In 1977, a series of rapes terrorized the Ohio State University Columbus campus, and Milligan was arrested soon after.
The conclusion of his lawyers and doctors was that one or more of Milligan’s personalities had committed the crimes.
While his sister Kathy Preston and brother Jim Morrison are very sympathetic to the interviewees, their statements early in the series that Billy’s arrest for rape was a complete shock and surprise and something they could never have imagined quickly seem fiction.
Milligan’s story’s psychological origins and a criminal record would make him as likely a suspect as anyone else. But her memories of young Billy’s highly erratic behavior, including speaking in unfamiliar languages and being unable to speak and do what his siblings saw with their own eyes, confirmed doctors’ claims that Billy had multiple personalities.
3. Abducted in Plain Sight
The crime in Abducted in Plain Sight involves a pedophile. That in itself is clearly bad enough. Yet the story of the kidnapping and abuse of Jan Broberg by Robert Berchtold is so much crazier than one could imagine.
It includes a monster, a crook, a master manipulator, naive parents, and a little girl. If this were fiction I would have called it far-fetched, but it is all too real. It’s disturbing, shocking, maddening, and somehow oddly almost physically painful to watch. A well-made movie, the story moves fast, and there are no fillers.
The twisted, convoluted, improbable true story of the Broberg’s, a naive, church-going Idaho family who fall under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with a crush on their 12-year-old daughter.
4. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
This show is a satisfactorily comprehensive account of the investigation into the murders and assaults of Richard Ramirez.
Night Stalker, the serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles and the surrounding area was known, for randomly killing people in their homes overnight. There was no pattern in the age or sex of his victims; some he shot, others he stabbed. But they have one thing in common: he wanted to see the fear in someone’s eyes before he killed them. He also kidnapped children, sexually abused them, and let them go after hours.
The documentary is not about him. It’s about what he did and the people he did it to.
Survivors describe his mere presence in court as “evil” and the documentary emphatically calls the case a triumph for good. So deliberately following the timeline, Russell sets the tone for the perfect detective story.
Wrapping it up
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. That’s why many real crime viewers are so attracted to this genre: it helps us better understand the world around us, as well as those pieces that are concealed in our blind spots. While actual crime documentaries can give you goosebumps, they also expose unjust systems and shed light on the psychosomatic extremes that humans are capable of.