True Crime Documentaries


Documentaries are interesting especially ones focusing on true crime, it forces views to think while watching and keeps them intrigued.  (Photo in public domain labeled for reuse by PeakPx)

While in quarantine, I have had a lot of free time to watch some popular documentaries on Netflix, National Geographic, Disney Plus, and Sundance. These were some of my favorites I highly recommend watching.  

The limited Netflix series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes are four, hour-long episodes which have detailed audio from Ted Bundy’s private interviews with journalists Hugh Aynesworth and Stephen Michaud. The interviews were set up in hopes of gathering more information about the remaining unsolved cases in connection to Bundy, but it became more of a self told memoir. The series has several interviews with people from different stages in his life from childhood friends to his pastor. The documentary keeps you on your toes waiting for a defining moment or memory that explains the why of his current situation. Conversations with a Killer is full of suspense and does not have a dull moment. 

The Day I Met El Chapo is a documentary about Kate Del Castillo, a famous Mexican telenovela star, and her affiliation with Joaquin Guzman known as El Chapo, an infamous drug cartel leader. “Today I believe more in El Chapo than the government that hides the truth from me, even though they are painful…” read a tweet by Castillo which sparked lots of controversy and quickly turned into a media frenzy. This tweet was also her ticket to meet El Chapo. She teamed up with Producer Sean Penn who had his own agenda for meeting El Chapo, and together they got to know one of the most notorious drug traffickers in the world. 

Princess Diana: In Her Own Words is a National Geographic film on Disney Plus. This uses audio from interviews with Princess Diana that Andrew Morton used for her memoir Diana: Her True Story– In Her Own Words. The film takes you through the story of her life as Diana narrates it. She reveals details of her past before and after marrying into the royal family that will have you shocked. Between secrets and betrayal, we soon find out life as a princess is not as glamorous as it seems.

The Preppy Murder is a Sundance exclusive mini-series that focuses on the unsolved murder of Jennifer Levin — her tragic story leaves viewers in absolute disbelief. The story seems very self-explanatory at the beginning, but the two-year trial for the conviction of Robert Chambers Jr. takes a drastic turn. Chambers grew up on the upper East side and had many opportunities that he wasted because of crippling drug addiction. His erratic behavior was perceived to be out of character, but, as detectives dug further and reached out to some of the people in his life, murder was definitely something he was capable of. After all, it would not be the first crime Robert Chambers Jr. had committed. Chambers faced five to fifteen years in prison for the murder of Jennifer Levin in the 1980s, so why is he still in prison today? 

Tiger King has quickly become a popular series on Netflix. It focuses on Joe Exotic who owns the private zoo The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, OK  that is home to many exotic animals. To the public, it seems like a sanctuary for at-risk species but Exotic’s agenda runs much deeper than that. Secrets about Joe Exotic’s life quickly unravel as the episodes progress until his untimely demise. 

The Pharmacist is a documentary on Netflix about pharmacist Dan Schneider, after his son’s tragic murder, Schneider embarks on a dangerous adventure trying to find his son’s killer. He puts himself at risk in a dangerous Louisiana neighborhood seeking out answers about his son’s death, which detectives determined was a drug deal gone wrong. Soon a witness comes forward fearing sharing information that may help close the case. A dramatic plot twist arises no one would expect: could Schneider already know his son’s murderer? and is there another witness from that tragic night?

All of these were amazing documentaries because they are first-hand accounts from the parties involved. 


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