The best true crime documentaries to watch on Netflix this Halloween

Frank Salerno (co-lead Investigator) in 1985 with reports after Richard Ramirez trial in episode 4 “Manhunt” of Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Cr. NETFLIX © 2021
Frank Salerno (co-lead Investigator) in 1985 with reports after Richard Ramirez trial in episode 4 “Manhunt” of Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Cr. NETFLIX © 2021 /

There’s often nothing scarier than the big bad world and some of the unthinkable characters within it, and Netflix‘s vast array of true crime documentaries have highlighted just a handful over the past few years.

With spooky season creeping up on us, a series exploring some cruelties and creeps is arguably the perfect thing to set the mood, particularly if you’re not a fan of the typical horror film!

Here is a selection of some of the best true crime shows that you can watch on Netflix for this Halloween, in no particular order.

True crime documentaries to watch on Netflix

Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer

A thrilling four-part true crime series, Night Stalker investigates a horrific series of murders, rapes, and kidnappings from 1984 to 1985 across LA.

The crimes were described as showing “cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding” (BIG spoiler alert for this source link!), and are successfully depicted as such throughout the Netflix show, chilling you to your very core whilst exploring the true, poignant stories of the people involved and affected by such barbarity.

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

This award winning three-part Netflix documentary takes the fascinating route of following along a rollercoaster murder case via the online sleuths and animal rights activists who initially took it upon themselves to hunt the titular ‘internet killer’, a person who broadcast their atrocities online to the world.

This led to a global chase practically fit for a Hollywood blockbuster. Whilst arguably leaving out major details and judicial decisions, the series itself is addictively hair-raising, bizarre on a number of levels, and asks tough moral questions for all true crime junkies regarding complicity and the blurred lines between fascination and encouragement. 

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Twisting most of the true crime documentaries on this list on their heads, Killer Inside examines a murder case from a psychological and mental health based perspective, with a prior acknowledgment of the crime committed by then New England Patriots star tight end, Aaron Hernandez.

With questions of his wealth, success, and happiness on everyone’s lips, the three episodes address the possible motivations and struggles of the American footballer who was somehow able to carry out heinous crimes whilst playing alongside the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Beware of some blatant biphobia, however!

The Staircase

This series builds on the original French documentary from 2004, adding an extra two episodes and helping to round off the controversial story that led to the hailing of director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade as “a true crime documentary genius“.

The Staircase explores the trials of author Michael Peterson, accused of his own wife’s murder despite his insistence that it was purely an accident, with her falling down the stairs and dying in his arms.

Horrifyingly fatal coincidences, inconsistencies with dried blood, and an unbelievable amount of twists and turns keep you hooked through each of the 13 episodes as you desperately clutch for the truth of what happened back in 2001. Unfortunately yet another warning for some biphobia throughout!

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

A twisted bank robbery, the grisly, explosive death of a pizza delivery man, and a corpse in a freezer. Evil Genius, exploring the ‘collar bomber/pizza bomber’ case, is one of the most baffling true crime docuseries that Netflix has to offer, showcasing some eccentric characters and stories as well as interviews with the suspects involved. The show can be easily binged over the Halloween weekend in just 4 episodes.

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For more Halloween, check out these recommendations of both movies and tv shows across platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime to get even more of your fix this spooky season!