While not all erratic individuals are necessarily harmful, certain notorious criminals have proven otherwise
What is it about a criminal that makes them so fascinating?
Is it their traumatised past? Is it the nature of the crimes they went on to commit? Or is it the idea that at any moment, a regular, everyday individual could just snap and commit some of the most heinous offences ever seen to mankind?
While Netflix does a great job providing us with visual relief from the real world, here are 12 true crime shows on the platform that will immerse you back into reality, and to never underestimate the complexities of the human mind.
1. Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story
A beloved icon and national treasure to the British audience, Jimmy Savile was comparable to Mister Rogers. Rising to stardom as a radio DJ, he garnered superior success on the renowned children's programme, Jim'll Fix It.
However, a dark cloud would soon veil his entire legacy. After his death in 2011, an incriminating posthumous investigation revealed the assaults he committed against numerous individuals, including a child as young as five years old.
The most damning part of the entire story however, was how his close relationships with key British establishments, such as politicians, and even members of the British royal family, were used as a shield for this monster to continue his misdeeds against the most vulnerable people.
Recently released on Netflix, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story is a series you can't miss.
2. Worst Roommate Ever
The title of this series is pretty self-explanatory, though, deadlier than what you may imagine.
Worst Roommate Ever depicts how the property system in the United States disfavours landlords, who rent out their apartment space to unhinged individuals. In this five-episode mini-series, each tale distinct from the last, Netflix dives into four stories about roommates whose malignant intentions turned a rented living space into a living hell.
From a fraudulent woman posing as a caretaker for ailing individuals to a crooked lawyer who used his charm and deception to take advantage of unguarded women, catch this series and brush up on your property law knowledge the next time you decide to rent an estate to someone.
3. The Raincoat Killer: Chasing A Predator In Korea
Between the years of 2003 and 2004, multiple individuals within rich and opulent neighbourhoods in Seoul were murdered brutally, with the victims ranging from entire families to vulnerable women. Shaken to their core, fear spread throughout the whole of South Korea, as the hunt for one of the most brutal and violent serial killers became more urgent.
Despite their endeavours to crackdown this crime, police only had a single thread to go by: the murderer would bludgeon his victims with a hammer, seemingly to set up the background as a robbery gone wrong.
But was it all really robberies that went wrong? Who was the perpetrator? And why was he known as the 'Raincoat Killer'? Tune in to the three-part Netflix series, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing A Predator In Korea, to find out.
4. Don't Fk With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer
In a psychotic game of cat and mouse, Don't F**k With Cats discusses a murderer who takes this expression way out of orbit.
After discovering a shocking video of a man murdering kittens, a group of animal lovers on a Facebook group band together to seek out this killers identity. It's not until a subsequent video is released, do they learn that this person is doing more than just harming animals for Facebook clicks: he's doing it for humans too.
You'll just have to watch this three-part Netflix series to find out the makings of a murderer, and more importantly, their grisly motivations.
5. Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel
Elisa Lam's disappearance in 2013 captivated audiences throughout the world because it was a visualisation of our deepest fears brought to life. How can a young girl, with so much potential and full of life, just vanish off the face of the Earth?
Discussing the events of her unfortunate fate, the implications surrounding her disappearance was enhanced after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released disturbing elevator footage from her place of residence, the Cecil Hotel, where she was last seen alive.
What emerged were a sleuth of questions: Was foul play involved? Was she the cause of her unprecedented circumstance? Were supernatural forces at play during the time of her disappearance? Tune in to Netflix's four-part docu-series, Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel, to find out.
6. The Keepers
Though the Catholic church has seen its fair share of controversies since its formation, this story took the enigmatic society behind organised religion and exposed it to the world.
In 1969, 26-year-old Sister Catherine Cesnik was found dead near a garbage dump in Baltimore, Maryland. An English and drama teacher at an all-girls Catholic school, slow digs into the circumstances behind her death lead to a much sinister and disturbing ordeal, that the killers were part of the establishment she dedicated her life to.
Exposing the secrets that were taking place behind closed doors at this religious school, The Keepers is a seven-episode mini-series that gives us a glimpse into a world where, without proper guidance and leadership, religion can be the source of harm and grief.
7. House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths
Opening with tragedy, this three-part series discusses the unfathomable death of 11 members within the same family, ranging from the ages of a 15-year-old schoolboy to an 80-year-old matriarch. As these murders took place in the province of Burari, this case would come to be known as the Burari Deaths.
With different conspiracies being thrashed around as to the motivations behind their demise, from psychosis to delusion, a cult following or even threats by external forces, will this case ever be completely understood by the general public?
Bouncing back between Hindi, English, and Punjabi, House Of Secrets: The Burari Deaths is guaranteed to send a chill up your spine.
8. The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman
What do you think having a fake identification card and an unverified claim of being a MI5 officer gets you? Apparently, numerous successful scams that accompany an obscene amount of money.
Focusing on the story of Robert Hendy-Freegard, The Puppet Master series establishes how a conman made his way through life by convincing people of his authentic personality, when he was anything but that.
From bluffing his friends in university, to talking a friend into making her father send them thousands of pounds to sustain themselves on the road, his latest con is still being carried out to present day, and unfortunately, is at the expense of two children who are uncertain as to whether they'll ever see their mother again.
9. Murder By The Coast
If this documentary were to be boiled down to one concluding query, it would be this: How many people have to die before a criminal can receive the punishment they deserve?
In 1999, Rucío Wanninkhof was murdered just one month shy of her 20th birthday. After an outpour of support from neighbours, friends, and communities alike, the police finally reprimand their killer: Rocío's mothers' lesbian lover, Dolores Vázquez.
A few years later in August 2003, 17-year-old Sonia Carabantes is found murdered, with matching DNA samples at the crime scene to that of Rocío's, but here's the twist: It's not Dolores' DNA.
In Murder By The Coast, we are reminded how the justice system may be more broken than we think.
10. Sophie: A Murder In West Cork
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was a sought-after French producer who had her hand in multiple media successes in France, all before she turned 40. Unfortunately for Sophie, she would never see that age in this lifetime.
In 1993, Sophie paid a visit to her Irish vacation home located in the remote part of rural West Cork. Though she had visited her holiday home numerous times, she made a trip to her locale on 20 December 1996 with plans to return home for Christmas. On the night of 23 December, she was found battered to death.
Though there is no sign of any particular perpetrator for this crime, all signs point to one overzealous journalist eager to cover the mystery behind her death for his latest article.
In this three-part series, Sophie: A Murder In West Cork explores the circumstances behind Sophie's untimely death, and whether or not her lavish lifestyle had any influence on the matter.
11. Casting JonBenet
If you're a child of the 1990s, JonBenét Ramsey is a name you'll find synonymous with mystery, tragedy, and unfathomable heartbreak.
In 1996, six-year-old JonBenét was found murdered in the basement of the house she lived in with her parents and older brother. After her death, the whole world was shaken over how the life of this innocent child could be taken so mercilessly. But the question remained, who did it?
In this 80-minute documentary, Casting JonBenét depicts a mixture of reenactments from the murder case, and a casting process of individuals looking to play the real people involved in her muder, including JonBenét herself.
Instead of retelling the story we all know far too well, this documentary provides a glimmer into how one child's murder 25 years ago, has impacted the world, and is still one of the most popular cultural events to happen in modern-day crime.
12. Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes
Following the initial success of the Ted Bundy series, Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes tells the tale of one of the most brutal murderers of our time, John Wayne Gacy.
Admired by those in his community, Gacy regularly performed at charitable events and children's hospitals as Pogo the Clown, a persona he developed for entertainment. It was not until his crimes were revealed that he became culturally known as the Killer Clown.
Between the years of 1972 and 1978, Gacy had raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 boys in Chicago. Luring them into his household, he used the skills he learned as a clown to deceive these vulnerable boys, before unleashing his abhorrent desires onto them.
In this three-part series, listen to never-before-heard archival audio footage taken during Gacy's incarceration, and even an interview with one of the victims who survived a fate worse than death.