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True Crime Docuseries to Binge During Lockdown in Late 2020

With the entire United States about to go into serious lockdown mode again (if you haven’t been in lockdown already), I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some things I have been watching, and things I plan on watching over the coming weeks.

A few of these recommendations have been around for a bit, but if you haven’t had the chance to this point, now is a good time to jump on the bandwagon.

Up Next

Room 2806: The Accusation

Netflix just dropped the series, Room 2806: The Accusation, a docuseries about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. In 2011, Strauss-Kahn was the head of the International Monetary Fund and was discussed as a possible candidate for president of France, until a housekeeper in the Sofitel Hotel in New York City accused him of sexual assault. This case hits close to home and should be wrapped up by the time this article is published ;).

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

I’m a little late to this party, and I am still playing catch-up. Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos have intrigued me for years. Holmes raised hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the smartest people in Silicon Valley, running a notoriously secretive company that was going to change the world. But it imploded and she turned out to be a complete fraud.

2020 Favorites

Trial 4

In 1995, 21-year-old Sean Ellis, in his third trial and after two mistrials, was convicted of killing a Boston police officer. But after some shoddy police work was uncovered involving some corrupt police officers, and because of an attorney who doggedly pressed the police to turn over state’s evidence for more than a dozen years, Ellis is now a free man.

McMillions

McMillions is a six-part documentary about an ex-cop turned security officer, who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game in the 1990s to the tune of millions of dollars. One of the highlights of the show is Doug Mathews, the loud, brash, lightning-in-a-bottle FBI agent that you will either love or hate. The show has everything from greed, deception and revenge to mobster intrigue and an amazingly fascinating set of characters.

Oldies but Goodies

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

In 2003, a pizza-delivery man with a bomb strapped around his neck robbed a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania, and died in front of police when the device detonated. The series focuses on the bizarre set of events and examines the motive behind the robbery, and the intriguing people behind the case, including Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, the mentally deranged woman who admits to killing multiple boyfriends without a single iota of remorse.

A Wilderness of Error

Did Jeffrey MacDonald, the Vietnam veteran and army physician, gruesomely slaughter his pregnant wife and daughter in 1970? Or was the murder committed by four drug-crazed hippies? [No, I didn’t make that up.] A Wilderness of Error, based on a book by Errol Morris, is a fascinating look at an old case that is still in the public consciousness after 50 years.

Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

Even though I watched this over a year ago, I still think of it often. The series is about an extraordinarily twisted Luca Magnotta, who posted a series of disturbing videos in which he suffocated and drowned kittens. It can be hard to watch at times; but trust me, it’s worth it. Unsurprisingly, Magnotta goes from killing animals to murdering a student from China and proceeds to mail his body parts to a local newspaper. The attention-seeking Magnotta is ultimately tracked down with the help of some amazing work by a group of dedicated internet sleuths using some amazing investigative techniques.

Probably my favorite show on this list.

Extra Credit

The Staircase, Making a Murderer and The Jinx are a few of my all-time favorites. They are a few years old at this point, but worthy of watching if you are running out of new shows to watch. Also Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez was pretty riveting as well.

If you aren’t willing to commit to a full docuseries just yet, try catching Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix, which has hour-long shows about some interesting cases (although they can be hit or miss).

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7 replies
  1. Marsha Shulman
    Marsha Shulman says:

    Thanks for these recommendations, Brian! I just finished binge-watching “Black Money Love,” a brilliant Turkish series of 164 episodes that involved a dedicated police officer in Istanbul, numerous crooks, as well as a beautiful love story interwoven throughout that kept me hooked!!!

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