More than seven years after the release of the Emmy-winning Making a Murderer, true-crime documentaries are still wildly popular on Netflix. The latest hits to have become part of the canon? A decades-spanning mystery involving an angelic young girl and her strict father, and a staggering four-part saga about a vegan restaurant owner, siphoned funds, a prized pitbull, and promises of immortality.
Below, the 13 best Netflix true-crime documentaries to catch up on now.
The Death And Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
Director David France chronicles the heroic life of activist Marsha P. Johnson, an icon in the gay liberation and transgender rights movements from the 1960s to 1990s, whose body was found in the Hudson river in 1992. Years later, activist Victoria Cruz and the community reexamine the death (initially classed as suicide) of one of the most influential figures in LGBTQIA+ history.
The Innocent Man (2018)
Based on John Grisham’s 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, director Clay Tweel’s TV adaptation follows the murder cases of Debbie Sue Carter in 1982 and Donna Denice Haraway in 1984, exposing the broken criminal justice system and its gut-wrenching consequences for four men: Ron Williamson, Dennis Fritz, Tommy Ward, and Karl Fontenot—three of whom have been exonerated or released from prison.
Don’t F**K With Cats (2019)
A group of amateur online bandits are on the hunt for Canadian pornographic actor Luka Magnotta, who in 2010 shared graphic videos of himself torturing and killing cats on a Facebook group. The documentary then takes a shocking turn as they uncover more of his heinous crimes, including the murder of student Lin Jun in 2012.
Tiger King (2020)
If there’s one show that epitomizes the madness of 2020, it’s Tiger King—the eight-part series following the life of zookeeper Joe Exotic that was viewed by 64 million households worldwide. We witness Exotic’s activities in the Tiger King Park in Oklahoma and his sentencing to 22 years in prison for his attempt to hire a hitman to kill his rival Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (2020)
Survivors of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious “pyramid scheme” come together to uncover his network of rich and powerful confidantes in this four-part documentary based on the 2016 book of the same name by James Patterson. In the post #MeToo world, the series is as harrowing as it is enraging.
Athlete A (2020)
A team of investigative reporters at The Indianapolis Star uncover the crimes of Larry Nassar, a doctor for the women’s program at USA Gymnastics who, for decades, was sexually assaulting young female gymnasts. Athlete A is Maggie Nichols, who in 2015 reported her assault to her coach. It is revealed that the president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, was working to protect the coaches and was later arrested for his involvement in covering up their countless crimes (reportedly 54 coaches had allegations made against them dating back to 2012).
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork (2021)
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021)
Chris Smith’s gripping docudrama, composed of YouTube clips from high school seniors and reenactments of wiretapped conversations, investigates the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal. At its heart is Rick Singer (played by Matthew Modine), an education expert who helped the wealthy, including celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, get their children into top U.S. universities by any means necessary.
Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan (2021)
In 1977, 23-year-old Billy Milligan was arrested for kidnapping, robbing, and raping three women on the Ohio State University campus and was the first to be cleared of charges on the grounds that he had no recollection of the crimes. Psychologists diagnosed Milligan with dissociative identity disorder and his lawyers pleaded insanity, claiming that his alternate personalities committed the crimes. Is he a victim or a fraud? Composed of archival footage of interviews with Milligan’s family, psychiatrists, and lawyers, this fascinating series delves into that question with chilling effect.
The Tinder Swindler (2022)
The first documentary to top the streaming giant’s weekly film chart, Felicity Morris’s jaw-dropper centers on three women—Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Koeleman—who are conned by Shimon Hayut, a grifter posing as a suave diamond mogul who finds his victims on the titular dating app. Heartbroken and deep in debt, they team up to bring him down, exposing him in the press and, in one instance, selling his designer clothes and pocketing the profit. It’s a compelling study of narcissism, gaslighting, and, ultimately, resilience.
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. (2022)
Across four increasingly bizarre episodes, Fyre director Chris Smith tells the true story of Sarma Melngailis, a Wharton graduate who became a rising star in the New York culinary scene of the early 2000s. After turning her raw-food restaurant into a celebrity hotspot, she meets the mysterious Anthony Strangis, a Twitter friend of Alec Baldwin’s. They marry and Strangis convinces her to send him large sums of money in return for making her and her beloved dog immortal. When she fails to pay her employees as a result, they go on strike and the pair go on the run, only to be found after Strangis orders Domino’s from a traceable phone. Is Melngailis even partly to blame, or is this a classic case of coercive control? We’re left to make up our own minds.
Girl in the Picture (2022)
Skye Borgman, who directed 2017’s horrific Abducted in Plain Sight, returns with this endlessly twisty tale of decades-long abuse, kidnapping, and deception that begins with a seemingly ordinary hit-and-run in ’90s Oklahoma. The victim is 20-year-old Tonya Hughes, who has injuries that are inconsistent with a car accident, as well as an overbearing, much older husband who falls under suspicion after her death. The kicker? The fact that when her mother is contacted, she says that her daughter passed away as a toddler. As we come to learn about her true identity and that of her monstrous father, prepare to be blown away.
Who Killed Jill Dando? (2023)
When Jill Dando, the BBC presenter who helmed the six o’clock news and Crimewatch, was murdered outside her home in Fulham in 1999, the Metropolitan Police launched one of the most extensive investigations in its history in order to track down the perpetrator. Eventually, a local man was convicted, but after being imprisoned for eight years, an appeal and retrial saw him acquitted of the crime. Now, Marcus Plowright’s absorbing documentary series dives into this still-unsolved case, with archival footage, an analysis of how the media shaped the story at the time, and new interviews that prompt as many questions as answers.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com