The True Crime Shows You Have to Catch
Don't let any more great shows pass you by
In the past few years or so, true crime has really taken on a life of its own in media. There used to be the odd documentary or drama coming about about famous cases and famous killers, but recently there has been a boom in true crime related films, tv shows and podcasts. So if you were looking at getting into watching and listening to true crime related materials, where would you start? Well, these might be a few things you could try.
Film: The Silence of the Lambs
‘But that’s just a fictional film’ I hear you cry. Wrong. Worryingly wrong. Whilst Jame Gumb, also known as Buffalo Bill, is a work of fiction, he is inspired by no fewer than six real life serial killers, combining their worst traits to make the worst person possible. His modus operandi borrows from Jerry Brudos (strangling victims), Ed Gein (making things out of human skin), Ted Bundy (feigning injuries to attract victims), Gary Heidnik (kidnapping his victims), Edmund Kemper (killing his grandparents to see what it felt like) and Gary Ridgway (dumped women’s bodies into rivers). Combining all that made for an evil person, so it’s almost surprising when he’s not even part of the most infamous scene from that film, the cannibal Hannibal Lecter is instead.
If, for whatever reason you wanted to see Buffalo Bill in action (and wanted to see him potentially getting taken down), then you’ll be happy to know that you can get that and plenty of films for less thanks to Discount Promo Codes. They have discounts for a whole host of DVD and Blu Ray retailers like Amazon, Zoom and Simply Home Entertainment.
TV: Making a Murderer
In terms of true crime on television, that’s where documentary series really come into their own. Sometimes terrestrial television would broadcast a one off documentary about the likes of Peter Sutcliffe or Jack the Ripper, or occasionally they’d make a short drama series like Appropriate Adult, which features Dominic West playing Fred West (no relation). However, with the likes of streaming services such as Netflix, markets that were seen as niche before – like the true crime one – can now be more adequately catered for.
Making a Murderer is a must watch for anyone looking to get into true crime documentaries. Available on Netflix, this documentary series spans two series which contain 10 hour-long episodes in each. So a substantial body of work. The series covers the case of Steven Avery, a man from Wisconsin who served 18 years for the wrongful conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. He was released after his eviction was quashed, but was convicted of murder of Teresa Halbach a few years later.
The first series covers the first case, the involvement of the Innocence Project in getting his conviction quashed, and all the details of his later murder conviction, something that Steven Avery had said was a stitch up. He was in the process of suing Manitowoc County for his wrongful 18 year conviction when the 2005 murder happened. The second series covers the fallout from the second conviction, that of Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. It documents the impact on the family and the process of appeals, as Avery still claims he was framed and Dassey claims his confession during interrogation was taken under duress. It’s a complex case but it’s something you can quite easily lose yourself in. According to Cosmopolitan, it’s one of the 11 best true crime documentaries on Netflix right now.
Podcasts: All Killa No Filla
Started in 2014 by comedians Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Rachel Fairburn, this half comedy half factual podcast delivers the funnies whilst also telling you about some of the most notorious (and some of the more forgotten) serial killers that there have been. The idea of doing a somewhat comedic podcast which includes details of serial killings, but they are always handled with good taste, with the humour always arising from the tangents that the two hosts go down, or sometimes just ribbing the insane things that serial killers sometimes do. Sympathy is always given to the victims, with Kiri often mention how horrible these things must have been for the victims.
The podcast has so far amassed 66 episodes and has developed somewhat of a kind, cult following which can be seen at their semi regular tour shows (also, keep an eye out for their 2020 Edinburgh Fringe show). The regular suspects like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy have been featured, and there’s a three parter all about Fred and Rose West.