The most chilling and captivating crime documentaries to binge-watch on Netflix right now

We can't get enough.
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If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Netflix has gifted us with some of the best true-crime stories to date.

WATCH BELOW: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork | Official Trailer | Netflix

There is truly nothing quite like settling in on a Friday night, armed with buttery popcorn goodness, a drink of choice (possibly wine because it’s been a long day at work), all snuggled up in our favourite Oodie, and hitting play on a true-crime documentary.

Maybe it’s the nail-biting suspense, or how we swear we know who did it before the big reveal, or maybe it’s just our deep and twisted fascination with all things crime, where we can’t get enough of it.

Whatever it is, Netflix is just one of the many streaming platforms out there to give us our true-crime fix, coming out with a new series almost every week for us to binge-watch in one-go.

From unsolved murder mysteries to infamous serial killers, we’ve rounded up some of our top crime documentaries to binge-watch on Netflix in Australia right now.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. (Credit: Netflix)

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

In this four-part series, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel looks into the infamous Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, where some of the city’s most notorious activity, from untimely deaths to housing serial killers, are linked to the location.

The series tells the story of college student Elisa Lam, who was staying at the Cecil before she vanished under extremely bizarre circumstances. After a string of strange and unexplained behaviour, Elisa’s case takes a turn when a global community of internet sleuths try to solve the case.

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. (Credit: Netflix)

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

In this docu-series, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer tells the haunting story of how one of the most notorious serial killers in American history was hunted down and brought to justice.

Told through first-person interviews, archival footage and original photography, this four-part series places the viewer right in the middle of a time when anyone could be the Night Stalker’s next victim.

Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami
Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami. (Credit: Netflix)

Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami

Coming right out of the Scarface playbook, Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami is a six-part saga on the South Florida traffickers indicted in one of the largest drug cases in U.S. history.

Alleged to be the chief U.S. distributors for two of Colombia’s biggest cartels, Augusto “Willy” Falcon and Salvador “Sal” Magluta were accused of smuggling over 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S. in the 1980s.

With charming personalities and sheer determination, the high school friends built a reputed $2 billion empire that made Willy and Sal, also known as “Los Muchachos”, two of Miami’s biggest celebrities.

The gripping tale sees a game of cat and mouse play out as law enforcement plotted their takedown, all the while the two friends managed to skill-fully outrun and outmanoeuvre prosecution for decades, before the chase finally came to an end.

The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness
The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness. (Credit: Netflix)

The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness

What started out as a hunt for the “Son of Sam”, one of America’s most notorious serial murderers, led to a deep obsessions for one man, who couldn’t shake-off the feeling that there was more to the story.

After David Berkowitz was arrested and convicted for the killings of several New Yorkers, journalist Maury Terry was convinced that David had not acted alone.

Maury would go on to spend decades attempting to prove that the web of darkness behind the murders went deeper than anyone imagined – and his pursuit of that elusive truth would eventually cost him everything.

Through archival news footage, conversations with the people closest to the investigation, and Maury’s own words and case files to tell a cautionary tale of a man who went down a rabbit hole and never came out.

The Ripper
The Ripper. (Credit: Netflix)

The Ripper

For five years, between 1975 to 1980, the Yorkshire Ripper murders cast a dark shadow over the lives of women in the North of England. It was a time of national hysteria, where 13 women were dead and the police seemed incapable of catching the killer. No one felt safe – and every man was a suspect.

It led to one of the largest police manhunts in British police history, and this four part series re-examines the crimes within the context of England in the late 1970s.

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia
Fear City: New York vs The Mafia. (Credit: Netflix)

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia

This three-part docu-series takes a detailed look into the “Golden Era of the Mob”, where it tells the story of the history-making organised crime investigation and prosecution case brought against New York’s most formidable mob bosses.

Set in the 1970s and ’80s, the story focuses on the “Five Families” of the New York mafia – Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Luccese – who held the city in a tight grip.

Through interviews with law enforcement officials, ex-mafia associates and others, Fear City: New York vs The Mafia sheds light on how the mafia’s control of unions, high-rise construction and other industries netted billions for organised crime.

Sophie: A Murder in West Cork
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork. (Credit: Netflix)

Sophie: A Murder in West Cork

This three-part series examines one of Ireland’s most famous murder cases, the death of French producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier in the town of Schull, West Cork in 1996.

The brutal murder, which shocked the country, triggered one of the biggest murder investigations Ireland had ever seen and became a national obsession.

The documentary looks into the haunting circumstances of her death, and with exclusive access to Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family, the series brings together, for the first time, the views of her family with Ian Bailey, the man at the centre of the investigation.

The Confession Killer
The Confession Killer. (Credit: Netflix)

The Confession Killer

In truly bizarre circumstances, Henry Lee Lucas confessed to hundreds of murders that took place in the ’80s – despite having no direct evidence linking him to the crime scenes.

But it was his ability to sketch victims’ portraits while citing brutal details of each attack that had authorities convinced. Yet journalists and attorneys found impossibilities in Henry’s timeline, and DNA testing started to contradict his internationally-reported claims.

The Confession Killer, a five-part docu-series, explores how the man once called America’s most prolific serial killer was really a complex figure who got caught up in an intricate web of a deeply-flawed justice system.

trial by media
Trial By Media. (Credit: Netflix)

Trial By Media

Over six compelling parts, Trial by Media explores the many ways in which the press have contributed to reshaping public perception about guilt or innocence before, during or after a trial.

This series reflects on some of the most dramatic and memorable trials in recent history, including the unforgettable Jenny Jones made-for-Court TV murder trials, the sensational story of Rod Blagojevich’s political fall, and the case of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant who was shot 41 times by police in New York City.

Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. (Credit: Netflix)

Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

In what possibly sparked the obsession with true-crime documentaries for many, Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer follows the story of a mysterious figure who killed two kittens and posted it online – sending the internet into a frenzy.

A group of amateur online sleuths took it upon themselves to try and track him down, which led to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, because he didn’t stop at killing animals, but he would soon turn his attention humans too.

This horrifying true story is that of a killer who is so consumed with achieving fame that he breaks the first rule of the internet: Don’t F**k with Cats.

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