8 True Crime Docos To Burn Through Now That Brendan Is Free
DYK documentary makers are actually better at solving crimes than the police? Exhibit A: Making a Murderer; Exhibit B: The Jinx. Last year we watched in horror as Brendan Dassey was coerced into confession, and police officials literally framed their framing, in Manitowoc County. After the show aired, the whole internet rallied behind Brendan with #FreeBrendanDassey petitions popping up here, there and everywhere. Now, 11 years after the fact, a US judge has finally overturned Brendan's murder conviction. Yo justice, where you been?
As the world celebrates the fact that Brendan is gonna get to go to WrestleMania this year, we've taken the opportunity to curate a ~must watch~ list of true crime docos. If you haven't seen any of the following films/shows you should not only ask yourself, "What the hell am I doing with my life?" (or for those in the know: "What the hell did I do?"), you should also text your friends and say you'll be tied up for the next couple of weeks because of important life stuff.
1. The Jinx (2015)
Wait, what? You haven't watched The Jinx yet? Actually stop what you are doing and dedicate the next seven hours of your life to being enthralled, wigged out and chilled to the core. This series stars one creepy old dude who DGAF and gets away with some cray cray stuff. It also culminates in one of, if not the, most insane pay-offs in television/crime/human history.
2. The Staircase (2004)
In 2001, a novelist's wife was found dead at the bottom of their staircase. This TV series documents the twists and turns of the legal case that tried to determine how it happened. The courtroom drama is srsly gripping so do not judge it by the following terrible trailer.
3. West Of Memphis (2012)
The premise for the documentary is enough to make you never want to go outside again. It is based on the case of the West Memphis Three, which resulted in the conviction of three teenagers for the murders of three 8-year-old children as part of a Satanic ritual. After 18 years, new evidence emerges exposing the incompetence of the justice system and causing unrest amongst townspeople who fear that the wrong men have been convicted and the killer remains at large. This new suspect, a family member, becomes the dark star of this twisted story.
If you are still extremely hooked on this case, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is defs worth a watch.
4. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
This one's by the same guy who made The Jinx, Andrew Jareki, and unfolds in a similar "OMG is this really happening" kinda vein. For eg: Andrew set out to make a movie about professional clown David Friedman and ended up finding out that his brother and father were co-defendants in one of the most high-profile child sex abuse cases in America. Archival family videos are interspersed with new interviews that raise as many questions as they answer in this edge of yo' seat watch.
5. The Imposter (2012)
A kid goes missing in America and then turns up three years later in Spain. He claims to be Nicholas Barclay and even though he doesn't look like Nicholas, can't speak English without an accent, and is defs not a teenager, the Barclay family say yes this is Nicholas and take him home. Mysteries ensue.
6. Into The Abyss (2011)
This peak prison documentary made by legendary director Werner Herzog tells the story of two men: one sentenced to life in prison and the other sentenced to death over a triple homicide in Texas. This is essential watching for anyone who has ever had thoughts about the death penalty.
7. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
As the title suggests, this is a particularly heart-wrenching true crime story. Made by Zachary's best friend, the documentary details Zachary's parents attempt to recover their grandson from their son's wife, who was also his murderer. Dark.
8. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
This is the OG Serial, a documentary about a man sentenced to life in prison for a murder that he didn't commit. Proof that documentaries can actually change the lives of their subjects. 'Nuff said.