5 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix
In the last few years, Netflix has produced some extremely popular true crime documentaries. Being one of the pioneering streaming platforms across the world, it has an extensive library of the same, alongside all other genres.
For lovers of this genre, the streaming platform also has several crime documentaries that revolve around some of the most notorious serial killers of recent times. Netflix recently released another thrilling watch based on the Jeffrey Dahmer incident called Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes on October 7, 2022.
This article lists similar spine-chilling documentaries you can stream on Netflix right now.
The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and more - 5 of the most spine-chilling documentaries on serial killers to stream on Netflix
1) The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness
The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness is a 2021 docuseries directed by documentary filmmaker Joshua Zeman. The series profiles the findings of investigative journalist Maury Terry and revolves around one of the most prolific serial killers in New York, David Berkowitz, who was convicted of the Son of Sam killings of 1976.
The docuseries focuses primarily on the possibility that Berkowitz aka the Son of Sam, was not the lone culprit in the series of murders that took place between July 1976 and August 1977. Investigative journalist Maury Terry dedicated over 40 years of his life to gathering evidence on the same, based on multiple factors that the authorities apparently ignored.
Berkowitz's testimony stated that he was part of a satanic cult, and he said:
"I did not pull the trigger at every single one of them"
With Terry's findings, Zeman took it upon himself to bring the truth to the world. The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness is an attempt to portray just that.
2) Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is a 2021 docuseries that revolves around the serial killings that shook Los Angeles during the mid 1980s. Directed by Tiller Russell, the four-part docuseries focuses on the terrifying incidents and how they affected the whole city.
The series focuses on the fear that spread through Los Angeles when the killer was on the loose. Survivors have later said that the ordeal was nerve-wracking and the grinning face of their attacker was the stuff of nightmares.
After a year of police hunts, the killer was finally identified as Richard Ramirez and was arrested on August 31, 1985. The four-part docuseries gives a comprehensive view of the whole case.
3) Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes
Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes is a 2021 Netflix original documentary by Michael Harte. The one-and-a-half-hour-long documentary is a first-hand testimony of Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who murdered nearly 15 to 16 men in London. He primarily operated between the years 1978 to 1983 before getting caught by the police.
This docuseries is unique as, firstly, not all victims have been identified, and secondly, details of the case are narrated by the killer himself. Memories of a Murderer utilizes a series of audio tapes recorded within Nilsen's cell while he was incarcerated. With over 250 hours of audio recordings, the film has intricate details of the crimes.
The film also brings in detective inspector Steve McCusker, who worked on the case and interrogated Nilsen.
4) Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer
Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer is one of the most talked about true crime documentaries in the last few years. The three-part docuseries is directed by Mark Lewis and chronicles an online search for actions of animal cruelty that led to a murderer. Don't F**k With Cats quickly rose the charts to feature in the top five most watched documentaries on Netflix in 2019.
After videos showing a man torturing kittens were uploaded to YouTube in 2010 and 2011, a group of animal lovers got together to punish the man for his actions. The internet sleuths created groups on Facebook, conducted a preliminary investigation, and identified him as Luka Magnotta. However, it was later found that Magnotta's acts of cruelty did not solely involve animals.
He was later convicted of murdering Jun Lin, an international student. While the instances of animal cruelty already had the police breathing down his neck, the murder of Jun Lin warranted an Interpol red notice. The documentary showcases a comprehensive timeline of the incidents and how Magnotta was finally apprehended.
5) Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is another documentary that created a lot of hype when it was released on Netflix in 2019. Created by Joe Berlinger, the docuseries has four extensive episodes which shine a light on one of the most infamous serial killers, Ted Bundy, who had more than 30 victims.
Ted Bundy is known for being one of the most charismatic and notorious serial killers America has ever seen. The documentary utilizes over 100 hours of interviews with Bundy and archival footage paired with interviews from his family, friends, surviving victims, and involved law enforcement officers.
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is surely one of the most spine chilling crime documentaries on Netflix.