The True Crime Documentaries You Have to See to Believe

The True Crime Documentaries You Have to See to Believe

  • The most shocking stories that may have somehow slipped under your radar and not recommended to the faint of hearted.

Are you a true crime fanatic like myself? I’m always searching for the most shocking stories that have somehow slipped under my radar. Well, I’m here to pass on a few of my favorite true crime stories on to you. The following stories are those of scandal, malice, heartbreak, and even fantasy. These stories are shocking and are not recommended to the faint of heart. Without further ado, in no particular rating or order, here are 5 absolutely outstanding [true crime documentaries[0] that you’ll have to see to believe.

Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Amanda Knox, 2016

Amanda Knox, 2016

This documentary tells the tale of a beautiful, rebellious young woman who traveled from America to Italy in pursuit of furthering her linguistics studies at the University of Washington. She stayed in a home with three women, one of which was also a student. About 6 weeks later, Amanda Knox would make several calls to friends, family, and her new Italian boyfriend, reporting that she feared her fellow student roommate, Meredith Kercher, was in trouble. She found blood spots in the bathroom, Meredith’s door was locked, and she wasn’t answering anyone’s phone calls.

Amanda insisted that her boyfriend call the police for her, so he did. Once police arrived they refused to break down Meredith’s door. Instead, a friend of Meredith’s came in and broke it down to reveal Meredith’s body lying dead on the floor. After the discovery of the body, investigators began to suspect foul play between Meredith, Amanda, and Amanda’s new boyfriend. The circumstances around the discovery of the body and Amanda’s bizarre behavior towards police led them to believe she could be a possible suspect.

Due to her unapologetic public affection with her boyfriend and secrets leaked from her private diary, the media began painting Amanda as “Foxy Knoxy”, the sexy American killer. She was shown as a sex obsessed, maniac that killed her roommate due to an alleged love triangle between Amanda, her boyfriend, and Meredith.

Almost nothing makes sense with this story. So many theories and unbacked allegations have been thrown at Amanda. The audience so gets swept up in the heat and emotion of this high profile case that it’s hard to remember what is simply “drama” and what is fact. Have fun trying to piece this one together.

Check It Out on Netflix

Aileen Wuornos: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, 2003

Aileen Wuornos: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, 2003

In 1993, Aileen Wuornos was convicted of 6 murders that took place from November of 1989 through November of 1990 — almost exactly one year. Aileen admitted to killing seven men in total. However, one man’s body, Peter Siems, was never found and the court wasn’t able to find sufficient evidence to convict Aileen of the crime.

Aileen pled to the court throughout most of her two year trial that these murders were committed in self defense. During the time of the murders, Aileen worked as a prostitute in order to pay her bills. She fell in love with a woman, Tyria Moore, whom she wanted to provide for and settle down with. As such, she continued to prostitute and told police that each of these men had violated her in some way, which was not apart of her sexual agreements with the customers. She insisted that she feared for her life and had no other choice, but to kill these men before they killed her. She provided intimate details of each encounter on the stand during her trial. Despite her best efforts, she was sentenced to death and stayed on death row for 10 years.

The most peculiar part about this story is the fact that Aileen changed her story several times during her stay on death row. After 10 years of fighting her sentence, she simply gave up and decided that the world needed to hear the truth. The crimes were not in self defense, but that she enjoyed killing each and every one of her victims.

After watching this documentary you’ll be left with that dirty feeling that nothing seems right in this story. Aileen’s childhood was only what one could describe as horrific. Those events spilled into her abuse that she allegedly endured as a sex worker. After being abandoned by her family at a young age, she claims she was forced into prostitution in order to survive on her own. Is self defense a viable explanation for her crimes? Or will you draw the conclusion that she premeditated all seven murders purely for her own enjoyment.

Check It Out on Netflix

The Staircase, 2004

The Staircase, 2004

Michael Peterson is a novelist who lived in Durham, North Carolina with his wife Kathleen. The couple began dating and living together in 1989 and subsequently married in 1997. In 2001, a horrified Michael called police to inform them that his wife had fallen down the stairs and was laying at the bottom of them unconscious. When police arrived, they surveyed the area, took pictures, but almost immediately began to find inconsistencies in Michael’s story.

Kathleen was laying in a massive pool of blood that was inconsistent with a fall down “15 or 20 stairs” as told by Michael. She was covered in bruises and lacerations that were also inconsistent with a fall. Blood spatter patterns on the wall showed that Kathleen would have been bleeding before she ever fell down the stairs. However, Michael’s four children stood by him and swore Michael’s innocence and love for his wife.

In a media frenzy, information about Michael and Kathleen’s marriage began to leak to the press. As it turns out, Michael and Kathleen’s marriage may not have been as happy as the children were led to believe. Allegations of extramarital encounters spread like wildfire during the trial. What’s more, rumors spread that Michael was after a 1.5 million dollar life insurance policy that his wife had taken out, though these claims were never able to be sustained.

Michael and his family hold firm on their stance of not-guilty, stating that Michael was not in the room at the time of the fall and a random intruder would have had time to come into the house, murder his wife, and leave without a trace. Is Michael guilty? You decide.

Check It Out on Sundance Now

Audrie & Daisy, 2016

Audrie & Daisy, 2016

In 2012, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman snuck out of her house late one night at the request of her older brother’s friend. Her 13-year-old friend, Paige, decided to join her. They met him at his house and proceeded to get drunk in his basement with him and four of his friends. The next thing Daisy remembered was being dragged into her home by her mother and being placed into the tub to be washed off. Her mother noticed that she had strange bruises on her body and she was taken to the ER. After various tests were completed, Daisy was told that a rape kit held results that she had been sexually assaulted that night. Daisy and her mother went to the police and filed a report against the boys that had done this.

During the trial, Daisy and Paige were humiliated at school and via social media. T-shirts were made with disparaging remarks about the girls. A video of the rape was passed around the entire school. Daisy and her family had no safe place to hide away from these attacks. Their home was vandalized and eventually burned to the ground during the trial. Regardless of the heaping evidence to prove the fault of the boys that night, they weren’t initially sentenced to any crimes.

Clear across the country, another girl had suffered the same fate. After being sexually assaulted, she was bullied at school until she couldn’t take it any longer. Sadly, in the end, Audrie Pott took her own life. This is the story of two girl’s struggles to stay alive, to fight for their right to speak up against their attackers, and to seek justice for those who are victims of sexual assault.

Check It Out on Netflix

Beware the Slenderman, 2017

Beware the Slenderman, 2017

In the Spring of 2014, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser led their friend Payton Leutner (all three girls were 12 years old) into the woods. Anissa and Morgan would then commence stabbing their friend 19 times with a 5 inch blade. Why did they do this? Because of the Slenderman.

The Slenderman is a fictional horror character created in online stories. He is said to be a very tall, stark white man who wears a suit and has no face. Anissa and Morgan read these stories together and began to believe that they needed to perform an act to appease the Slenderman. Their fantasies overwhelmed reality and they testified in court that if they didn’t kill Payton, the Slenderman would have come after them and killed their families.

Shockingly, Payton survived the stabbing and is finally back to living a normal life as a high school freshman. The two girls involved in the stabbing have pled not guilty due to mental disease or defect. However, the judge has refused any requests to try the girls as juveniles. If convicted, they may face up to 45 years in prison.

The question is, do you think that children of 12 can clearly separate the difference between fantasy and reality? This story dives a little bit deeper into the lives of Anissa and Morgan. Find how how they grew up and what strange curiosity led them to the discovery of the Slenderman. Will you find that Anissa and Morgan were normal girls that chose to do something terrible or were they swept into a childlike frenzy that blends imagination with reality?

Check It Out on HBO

Trisha is a writer from Boise, ID. She’s a vegan, gamer, true crime fanatic, and cat mom. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan or check out her blog

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