Mysteries never fail to intrigue and pique the audience’s interest. This is especially true if they are crime documentaries and drama series. As shows based on real crime have seen a surge in popularity in recent times, Silverscreen India curates a list of seven shows that focus not just on murders, but are also packed with shocking revelations, that will keep viewers on the edge of their seat.
- The Keepers (2017)
In 1969, Cathy Cesnik, a Catholic nun and school teacher in Baltimore goes missing. It takes almost two months before people discover her murder. As her students set out to unearth the cause behind her mysterious death, they discover decades of rampant sexual abuse among the Baltimore police and church. Even as more and more harrowing revelations come to light, Sister Cesnik’s murder continues to remain unresolved.
- Bad Boy Billionaires: India (2020)
This Netflix documentary series aims to showcase the rapid rise and downfall of Indian business tycoons: Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy, and Nirav Modi. The series depicts their extravagant lifestyles and fraudulent scams and shocking financial deceit. Both Mallya and Modi are also fighting extradition cases apart from being held accountable for financial fraud.
Originally touted as a four-part series, Netflix was restrained from airing its episode on Ramalinga Raju (known for the 2009 Satyam Scam) by a court in Hyderabad. Raju had filed a petition saying that the series was maligning his reputation.
- The Act (2019)
Starring Joey King and Patricia Arquette, this true crime drama series is based on the story about Gypsy Blanchard, who conspired and murdered her mother, along with her boyfriend. It is soon revealed that her mother manipulated her daughter into believing that she was sick. Confining her daughter to a wheelchair and fabricating stories about her illness and disabilities for years, their relationship began to sour after Gypsy started yearning for freedom and slowly began to suspect that her mother was lying about her illness.
This Emmy-nominated show goes back and forth in time to show the events that led to Dee Dee’s murder and Gypsy’s trial.
- Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story (2020)
SonyLiv’s latest web series about the infamous Harshad Mehta Scam of 1992 opened to rave reviews when it was released in October. Tracing the stockbroker’s life, the show delves into how Mehta rose to fame in Dalal Street in Bombay and his downfall after he was accused of orchestrating a Rs 5,000-crore scam. Whether Mehta was solely responsible for the scam or was he was just a puppet at the hands of big players still remains unknown.
- American Crime Story (2016- Present)
Presented as an anthology series, each season focuses on a different crime event that took place in the US. Produced by Ryan Murphy, the first season focused on the murder trial of former football star OJ Simpson. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron.
The second season showcases the murder of famous designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan was reportedly obsessed with Versace and was known to exaggerate his meetings and relationship with the designer. A third season that is said to be about Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998 is currently under production.
- Tiger King (2020)
This true crime documentary show is about Joe Exotic, a tiger collector, and conservationist. The culture of having private zoos in the US is well-known. Tiger King explores this eccentric man’s once-famous tiger zoo, his accusations against Carole Baskin (she accused him of animal abuse), and how he ended up in prison.
This miniseries is one of Netflix’s most successful ventures and has spawned off memes, Tik Tok videos, and multiple conspiracy theories. However, the core idea of this show was to portray the deep underbelly of breeding such exotic animals.
- The Confession Killer (2019)
A Netflix documentary about how in the 1980s, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to over 200 unsolved murders in the US. However, things are not what they seem. Set in Texas, the show dives into how the Texas Rangers accepted the serial killer’s confessions as a means to cover up shoddy murder investigations. Since the DNA evidence was improper, people begin to question whether Henry was telling the truth or whether the authorities let him take the fall on purpose.