This year explored some of the best shows and documentaries around the true crime genre. Enthusiasts of this genre were in for a ride as OTT platforms probed dark mysteries and made a case for compelling docu-dramas. Right from inexplicable murders to devilish scammers, OTT platforms like Netflix investigated and presented cases like never before. So much so that several 2022 true crime shows clocked in record-breaking views.
Such has been the fascination around this subject that Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and The Watcher were renewed for a second season. The Jeffrey Dahmer drama series even courted huge controversy for glorifying a serial killer. Even then, people tuned into and watched the myriad mystifying criminal minds that committed unspeakable misdeeds. Shows and documentaries as such serve as the perfect binge-watch material as it enthralls the viewers with the perplexity of human actions. It delves deep into the minds of these criminals and tries to dissect the 5 Ws and 1 H.
Crimes occur across the countries, transcending borders and notorious criminals throughout the world have been the main subject of some of these mind-boggling true crime shows and documentaries. From Milwaukee in America to Delhi in India, convicts and their heinous crimes have become a subject of interest to audiences at large.
While one maybe wondering what piques the interest with regards to these salacious crimes, aficionados of this genre can take a back seat and feed their appetite with a list of the best true crime shows and documentaries this year.
12 most-gripping, chilling, and riveting true crime shows of 2022
Jump To / Table of Contents
- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
- Indian Predator
- Conversations With A Killer: John Wayne Gacy
- Delhi Crime
- Tinder Swindler
- The Watcher
- The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman
- BTK: Confession Of A Serial Killer
- Trust No One: The Hunt For The Crypto King
- Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
- Scream: The True Story
- The Dropout
If there was one show that became one of the most-talked about and the highest grossing drama series on Netflix this 2022 it was Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. From projecting by controversies to garnering a huge fan base, Dahmer was indeed one of the most riveting true crime show that fascinated yet scared the daylights out of the viewers.
Helmed by Ayesha Sood, The Indian Predator was a three-part docuseries that explored some of the stories about gruesome serial killers and rapists that had haunted people in the past. From the Butcher of Delhi to the newly released Beast of Bangalore, the docuseries delved into the heinous crimes committed in different cities of India.
If the Ted Bundy Tapes gave you a chill down the spine, wait and watch the Conversations With A Killer: John Wayne Gacy. The latter charts a course through horrendous never before heard audio tapes of the American serial killer who preyed on teenage boys from 1967-1978. Gacy wasn’t a nobody. He was the powerful force that everyone knew. From earning an award for the ‘Man of the Year’ to becoming a serial killer, the tale of John Wayne Gacy is one about obsession, sexual suppression and psychotics. How a part-time clown got away with violent murders makes for a compelling watch.
It earned the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series for a reason and you’d know why if you happen to sit through this nerve-racking narrative that shook India in 2012. Delhi Crime saw Bollywood actor Shefali Shah step into a cop’s role to investigate a brutal gangrape that took place in the capital city of India. While news reports, documentaries, and protests had already talked about the cold-blooded crime, the drama revisited the fateful night when the spine-chilling incident took place. The Season 2 of eponymous true crime drama was fictional but was too hailed for being a nail-biting watch.
He was the quintessential gentleman. He charmed and floored the ladies with his charismatic demeanor. His perfect profile lured many a women on the popular dating app which thus resulted in a docuseries later on on Netflix. Tinder Swindler created a quite a splash when it released earlier this year as it had victims who came forward to share their stories of turpitude and thus seek justice. In this documentary, women who fell victims to this perpetual conniving fraud spoke about how they were ridiculed and were then robbed of millions of dollars. Certainly seems straight out of a Hollywood film but happened entirely with very real people who came forward to share their ordeal.
This one came from the makers of the Jeffrey Dahmer mini drama series and puzzled the audience with its frustrating climax. And though it left unanswered questions, it was renewed for a second season as people wanted to know more about the unsolved mystery. The Watcher is a treat for the aficionados of true crime as it the case remains unsolved till date. How buying a dream house turns into a nightmare for a family is what The Watcher is all about. If you haven’t yet watched this thrilling seven-episode series, then it’s about time you do.
“He was travelling from country to country undetected for 10 years.” This is the story of Robert Hendy-Freegard – the man who masqueraded as a British spy and conned people for over two decades. Cops and the FBI said they felt as if they were searching for a ghost. Such was the dexterity of Freegard who delivered lies with astounding confidence and his victims believe every word he said. From posing as an MI5 agent to a seemingly perfect boyfriend, Freegard subjected his victims to aggressive gaslighting and coercive abuse. Named aptly as The Puppet Master, this series is a heady mix of a plethora of offences committed by Freegard.
Bound. Tortured. Killed. That’s what BTK stands for in the BTK: Confession Of A Serial Killer. The docu drama told by criminal psychologist Dr. Katherine Ramsland, delves deep into the mind of notorious serial killer Dennis Rader – a seemingly normal family man who went on murderous spree. What started in 1974 came to an end in 2005 and later had Rader speaking of the most violent and heinous crimes he’d committed. From idolising the most prominent serial killers to copying their moves and making a novel one of his own, this documentary takes you inside the mind of Rader and what made him tick.
Trust No One: The Hunt For The Crypto King tells the story of Gerald Cotten, founder of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. A documentary by Luke Sewell, Trust No One illustrates the story of a scammer who bailed out with his clients’ money. The documentary becomes more relevant in recent times as cryptocurrency gains foothold. It also exposes the paradox of cryptocurrencies in general.
A docuseries by Chris Smith, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. documents the journey of New York restauranteur Sarma Melngailis. The four-part documentary explains how once the Queen of vegan cuisine was conned by her own husband Anthony Strangis who led her to believe that he could make her precious dog immortal whilst expanding her food empire. A seemingly rich narrative about embezzlement and fraud, this one is about dreamers turned fugitives story.
True crime documentaries are riveting to say the least and if it’s mixed with paranormal findings, it gets even more scary. That’s what exactly Scream: The True Story is about. The horrific documentary is inspired by the real-life events that occurred – a string of murders committed by serial killer Danny Rolling who went by the moniker The Gainesville Ripper. In fact, it also inspired the much-acclaimed 1996 movie, Scream.
Created by Elizabeth Meriwether, The Dropout is a docuseries about a disgraced biotechnology firm Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes. Headlined by actor Amanda Seyfried, it documents the journey of Holmes who employs the most fraudulent measures to launch a successful company. From being nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards to being included for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, this one should be definitely be on your watchlist.
Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy IMDb