Even as the American police and federal agencies spent the whole of last week disputing the news that the infamous Zodiac Killer’s identity has been revealed, the public’s excitement has not died down. For decades, conspiracies and theories about the anonymous serial killer who terrorised San Francisco in the 1960s dominated the pop culture space. It has spawned off documentaries and star-studded films like 2007’s Zodiac starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.
So when a group of cold case specialists known as the Case Breakers named a man, Gary Francis Poste as the Zodiac Killer, the internet, quite naturally, broke. And true crime fans know that despite the police pushing back on these claims, a new breakthrough comes around every year. So, while you wait for the next breakthrough in the case, here are seven shows about serial killers that you can watch right now:
Asur: Welcome to Your Dark Side (2020)
Premiering on Voot, this Hindi language thriller series stars Arshad Warsi and Barun Sobti in the lead. Set in the city of Varanasi, forensic expert Nikhil Nair (Sobti) teams up with his former mentor Dhananjay Rajpoot (Warsi) to track down a notorious serial killer who murders people who seemingly have no connection to each other.
Over the course of eight episodes, the psychological thriller intersperses itself with themes of religion and Hindu mythology which sets it apart from the usual serial killer narrative.
The Alienist Season 1 (2018)
Based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, this limited series is about a ritualistic killer who murders young boys in nineteenth-century New York. To investigate the matter, a psychiatrist, an illustrator, a police commissioner, and his secretary team up and begin to work outside the law. Combining historical fiction with real-life prominent personalities such as Theodore Roosevelt, through its plot, The Alienist tackles issues like class divide, gender discrimination, and early forms of psychological profiling.
Two FBI agents and a psychologist team up to launch a research project to interview serial killers in order to understand their psyche. Believing that the project will help them with open cases, the team interviews many notorious serial killers between the 1970s and 80s.
Mindhunter is based on the 1995 true crime book of the same name and the show has actors portraying many infamous serial killers including Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, and Dennis Radar who was known as the BTK Strangler.
True Detective Season 1 (2014)
Featuring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as detectives Rustin Cole and Martin Hart, season 1 of True Detective follows a non-linear narrative as the story jumps back and forth between 1995 and 2012. The two detectives trace a serial killer who engages in occult practices in the state of Louisiana. After investigating the murder of a young prostitute in 1995, they are drawn back to the case 17 years later when another woman is killed in a similar manner. This leads them to believe that the real killer might still be at large.
Perhaps the most famous fictional serial killer, Hannibal Lecter has been immortalised in movies many a time now. This time, creator Bryan Fuller developed a series focusing on FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) who has the ability to empathise with serial killers. When a serial killer attacks college girls, Will is drawn to the case and his boss calls upon Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a renowned psychiatrist, to keep an eye on him. Unbeknownst to them, Lecter himself is a cannibalistic serial killer who takes a fascination to Will’s unique ability.
The Confession Killer (2019)
This true-crime documentary miniseries tells the real-life tale of Henry Lee Lucas who confessed to murdering 600 people. This led to the Texas Rangers organising a task force to look into it. However, his confessions began to sound dicey as new evidence and facts suggested that he was not even in the same state as some of the murders. While Henry was convicted of 11 crimes, many argue that he may have killed only three of them.
Confession Killer not only explores Henry’s nature but also delves into the mishandling of his case by law enforcement authorities which could have let hundreds of killers go free.
You (2019- Present)
When You released on Netflix, its premise was all that social media could talk about. A book store manager Joe Goldberg sees a girl Beck and begins to stalk and obsess over her. Turns out that he is also a serial killer who will simply ‘eliminate’ anyone who comes in the way of his pursuits.
With Joe’s twisted narrative and explanations for his shocking actions coupled with unlikeable but entertaining characters, the plot only gets more bizarre with each season. The latest season is all set to premiere on Netflix on October 15.