Here we go! It is one of the best times of year, COZY SEASON!! It is officially upon us, with fall happening it is cozy season where we binge watch a bunch of series and it is also spooky season with Halloween around the corner. Now those reasons, there always seems to be a ton of new True Crime and Serial Killer docuseries that come out and I am not complaining about it! However, with so many options, it is hard to know what to watch. Well lucky for you, I have watched all the docuseries on Netflix Canada as of September 2023 and here are 5 of the 10 best series I think you should spend your time watching:
1. Conversations with a Killer
Now for the sake of this list, I have combined the 3 current series of this into 1 entry because they really are all must watches and some of the best on Netflix at the moment. As of now, they look into 3 very notorious killers in Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. Each series is 3-5 episodes long and really do their homework with each of these killers. From looking into their childhood, to what is believed to be the why behind the start of their "career" (if you want to call their murder sprees that) and giving you an accurate timeline of the hunt after them, what happened once they were found and then what when on until their death.
It is how they talk to the people who were actually involved in these cases that really make it so much more captivating than other series out there and make it feel real. Yes, I know that these are reall and did happen but they happened in what was a different time. I don't know what it was like to be in that city, in that time when a notorious killer was on the loose and the vicitims were people who looked like me so having the ability to make you feel how life must've felt at the point was an added bonus to how well these were done.
This series also does a really good job at bringing a level of humanity to these notorious killers. Allowing for them to not only be shown as the monsters that they are, but as humans they were as well. Which this is very important because a lot of these big killers, John Wayne Gacy specifically, lead a double life where know one really knew that they were these killers.
Just truly accurate and very well done which makes it a much watch.
2. Unabomber: In His Own Words
To start this one off, I will say that there is another documentary about the Unabomber which also should be watched but it is no longer on Netflix but wanted to mention it as it is also so good and should be watched and if you are interested in this, you should watch it!
Why this one is so good and so interesting is because it has actual interviews with Ted Kaczynski himself. This is something that we have not seen in the other series on this list. Obviously, there is some of it that has been drawn from interviews with the killers but there is never a focus on the interviews like this one has.
What is offered was a deeper insight and revelations into what made Kaczynski so difficult for the FBI to narrow diwn the suspect list to point directly at him and to figure out potential targets of his moving forward. It also highlighted how mentally unstable this man really was and how he felt that he really was fully alone in this world, which is a common thread for serial killers. And this was really shown with how he lived in that seclusion and used it as fuel to hate everyone basically.
This is also one of the few times that an actual letter from the killer was used to help pinpoint him based on the particular style of writing. Thi sis interesting because it really shows how writing is just so specific that it can be used to pin someone down and helped figure out the potential targets that he would attack.
There is also an appreciation for this one because unlike the other killers on this list, how he operated was very personally impersonal. Being a bomber, he did not have up close contact with his victimes so it offered a different look into how there is such a broad score of what encompasses the ideal of a serial killer.
3. Catching Killers
Oh this series is a great one! If you have looked into a lot of the articles that I have written in the past, you will see that I have an undying love for Criminal minds. In watching this series, it became very apparent and interesting that a lot of the killers in this that were inspiration to episodes in Criminal Minds! It is well known that they take inspiration from real cases but to see the actual cases was faciniating and then also comparing the epsiodes to the actual cases.
The Railroad Killer, The DC Sniper, NYC Zodiac killer, The Phoenix Serial Shooter, The Happy Face Killer, all of these being direct inspirations for iconic Criminal Minds episodes. Which is so cool to see as it lets us in to how they use the inspiration of real cases to make fictional epsiodes. Can you guess which episdoes these inspired? Let me know in the comments!
It allows for us to see some of the other notorious killers out there who currently do not have a series for them specifically.The Green River killer is one of the more well-known killers but there's nothing huge on him out yet. The BTK killer as well which was going to be the focal point of season three of MindHunter and don't even get me started about that (Netflix bring it back!). And the Olympic Park bomber, which is not as famous of a bomber like the Unabomber.
One of the episodes that I really enjoyed was the one on the Toronto village killer. I was in the city towards the end of his spree, it really allows to have a deeper view on how the investigation went because when you're living in the city at the time, younreally don't know that much about it and then looking at it from kind of a birds-eye view provided a really cool perspective of it.
This series does a great job of taking smaller killers if you will, and shedding the light on how they're still some of the more prolific ones out there and how they were caught. It is nice to get almost this sneak peek of what their series would be rather than the full thing and I am sure if they gain a lor of traction they will get a full 3-4 episode series. I am really hoping that the Green River Killer and BTK get one soon cause their cases are very interesting and very important in the true crime scope.
4. The Keepers
More like the creepers! This one is just one of those that sticks with you because of how creepy it is. Namely because it involves the church and let's be real, there is alot of creepy things that come from a church. And that is not saying that the church is only bad because it is not, but this story really makes some of the churches out there jsut look groos for lack of a better word.
This is a different sort of true crime documentary because it doesn't focus on necessarily one specific person committing the act but rather an entire organization working so hard to cover it up. The reason why something like this is so important and needs to be watched because it just shows how these organizations who think they are above the law try to get away with anything or cover up whatever they need to. Unfortunately, the catholic church is probably one of the biggest perpetrators of this where they will just cover things up because they can.
Now to all those who are just going to say that it is just going against the church, no it is not. There is though, undenuable proof that there are members of the church who use the church as a guise for harm to others. This is not the entire church, this is a select number of people whitin the organization, and I think that's important to think of that in this docuseries and it does a great job of making that known.
It also allows us to see something very rare in the form of killers which is the pack mentality. This idea that a group of people commit a murder togerhter and look into the structure how the pack works. Which usually involves one person being more of a leader and the dominant and then the rest following in line in order of submissiveness depending on their relationship with one another.
5. I am a Killer.
I am a Killer is very raw, intense, unsettling docuseries but one that I wanted to add to this list because it is different once again. It looks at real stories of real people who are currently serving in jail for murder chargers talking about what they did, why they did it and what happens now.
It shows the real rawness involved in murder really. You see it from the police who dealt with it, the family of the victims going through it, to even the murderer's own family and it is a very grounding experience. It also shows the levels of which a killer can be, they be full of remorse and completely aware and disgusted of what they did. And then there are the one who are slightly delusional about what they did and are just not remorseful.
I believe that this is a very important to watch because of what mainstream media has made this community seem like since the Dahmer series came out. It has made it seem like we are sensationalizing these killers and that is the main focus when really it is not. We are not sensationalizing the killers but rather trying to look into this scope from an educational perspective and trying to understand why these people are so different. There is an understanding especailly with this, that these are not actors playing a role, it is about real people and that there are real consequences to it.
I am a Killer may seem less "glamorous" compared to others in this list but it is the most important thing because it allows an opening into understanding these individuals and being able to go deeper when watching other series.