I often get asked for recommendations where true crime documentaries and films are concerned, so I thought I’d leave a quick post with some quick descriptions and links of some of my favourite shows I’ve discovered over the years. If you have any you’d like added or any recommendations of your own, feel free to DM me over on Instagram!
Where possible I have left you guys some links directly to the documentaries via YouTube. (Please be aware these are not my videos or uploads) Others may only be available on streaming stations.
Lets kick things off….
There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane is the story of Diane Schuler. Diane was a happily married, successful woman who was enjoying a camping holiday with her family in July 2009. At the end of the trip, Diane left in a mini van with her young son, daughter and three nieces. Halfway through the trip home, Diane was spotted driving erratically on the wrong side of the busy Taconic State Parkway for almost 2 miles. This resulted in a catastrophic head on collision and 8 lives being lost. This original HBO documentary explores the staggering results of Diane’s autopsy and her families quest to clear her name. I have watched this a few times now and the case is pretty intense and super interesting. It leaves you with either one of two opinions and makes quite the talking point. PLEASE NOTE that there are scenes in the documentary that some people may find unsettling.
Dear Zachary . Not for the faint of heart, this documentary begins as a video being made by a filmmaker friend of Andrew Bagby for Andrews son, Zachary. Andrew was found murdered in a park shortly after ending his relationship with his girlfriend Shirley. Shirley was arrested as a suspect in the shooting of Andrew but soon announced she was pregnant with Andrews baby. The film focuses on Andrews friends and family and their dealings with his death. It begins as a wonderful tribute video, full of stories about Andrew and his family made just for Zachary to watch when he was older in order to learn all about his late father. The documentary however takes a dark turn when Zachary’s mother takes drastic actions. This is a wonderfully made film that is super personal and also heart wrenching at the same time. I’d recommend having your tissues ready for this one.
The Paradise Lost films are something I am a huge fan of. They follow the case of the West Memphis Three and the murders of three young boys that took place in West Memphis in May 1993. This case was one of the first ones I studied for the blog and it is an absolute rabbit hole. There is so much going on and a lot of conflicting evidence and opinions on this case, which is still ultimately unsolved. If you want to read up on the case before watching the shows, you can find my post about it here.
Another awesome documentary film about this case is West of Memphis. You can watch this using the link provided (This was all I could find on youtube) or on Netflix in some regions. PLEASE be aware that these films use real crime scene footage of young victims that you may find upsetting.
Mommy Dead and Dearest (HBO) and Gypsy’s Revenge focus on the incredibly twisted relationship of Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy Rose. You may remember reading my post about this case a while back. In these films we learn about how Dee Dee and Gypsy had overcome adversity in many areas of their lives and how Gypsy has a number of illnesses and problems that are incurable, leaving Dee Dee caring for her daughter with the financial and emotional support of a large number of charities and organisations. When a sinister post appears on their shared Facebook page things take a chilling twist, exposing the real lives behind the facade. Told through family, friends, doctors and even Gypsy herself, this is one not to be missed if you’re into your true crime and definitely needs to be seen to be believed.
The Family I Had. This documentary looks at the relationship between a mother and her teenage son who committed a barbaric act against his younger sister. It shows her struggles to come to terms with what has happened and the events that lead up to the crime taking place. If you’re interested in the psychology behind what drives people to commit such awful acts of violence and family dynamics this is definitely one to sit and watch.
Something Wicked (Dateline NBC) This is the story of three best friends Sheila Eddy, Rachel Shoaf and Skylar Neese. When Skylar goes missing from her home one evening her friends are beside themselves with worry and immediately take to social media to appeal for help and to vent about their feelings towards the disappearance of their friend. This documentary follows the case from the moment Skylar disappears to the day she is finally found and exposes a campaign of hate that had been going on behind her back months before she went missing.
Interview with a Serial Killer (Real Stories) gives us an up close and personal look at notorious serial Killer Arthur Shawcross, also known as the Genesee River Killer. This one to one interview also features news reports and interviews with those who were involved in the case from start to finish. It’s a rather chilling watch but is also extremely interesting if you’re interested in the psychology serial killers.
The Iceman Tapes is another interview based documentary, this time focusing on Richard Kuklinksi, also known as the Iceman. Richard, a hit man and serial killer gives a frank and chilling interview about his life before and after being jailed for 6 murders, although he is suspected in many more. He goes into detail of his modus operandi and how he kept his actions from his family for years.
Stone Phillips interviews Jeffrey Dahmer In this in depth and fascinating documentary filmed after Jeffrey was jailed for his heinous crimes. He sits along with his father to speak about what drove him to carry out his crimes, his sexuality and his family life. I really recommend watching this interview, as its extremely well done and definitely makes you wonder how someone so well spoken and quietly polite could do such horrendous things to a fellow human being. Check out my posts on Jeffrey to learn more about him before watching his interview.