What better way to ring in holiday cheer than dig into some of the most bizarre and disturbing true crime stories that have made it to the screen. CrimeOnline has rounded up best documentaries available to stream right now that will keep your armchair detective skills sharp during the downtime.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Most of us were introduced to Aileen Wournos through Charlize Theron in Monster, who won an Oscar for her portayal of the prostitute-turned-serial killer who shot seven men to death and was executed in 2002. But Nick Broomfield’s 2003 documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer tells a slightly different story than the feature film, and a lot more of it. Through her close relationship with Broomfield — who made another film about her years before — we get a deeper look into Aileen’s horribly abusive childhood, her erratic fits of rage, and her curious eagerness to please. And in the end, some of us are left with a tiny seed of doubt about whether justice was truly served.
Anyone who watched Curb Your Enthusiasm will no doubt remember an instant-classic episode involving a Dodgers game, a prostitute, and a carpool lane. Long Shot tells the incredible story of how that episode became a key piece of evidence in a Los Angeles murder case. At a breakneck 40 minutes long, Long Shot will have you thinking about our country’s fragile criminal justice system long after it’s over. (Bonus appearance by Larry David himself.)
Errol Morris tells the bizarre story of accused kidnapper and rapist Joyce McKinney, who claims she was trying to save the love of her life from the Mormon church. The sensational story made headlines in England in the late 1970s, but American audiences might not be familiar with this stranger-than-fiction tale. The story of Joyce’s early years as a femme fatale with a genius IQ will blow your mind, but an insane turn in Tabloid’s third act will positively melt it.
The Cheshire Murders
The Cheshire Murders chronicles the mind-bogglingly senseless slaughter of an innocent family in a well-to-do Connecticut town, as residents and police officers missed the cues that an unspeakably violent act was unfolding right before their eyes. The Cheshire Murders is available to stream on Amazon and HBO.
The Seven Five
When an ordinary Brooklyn police officer is given a chance to live an extraordinary life, he’s quickly drawn into a dark underworld of a violent drug trade. This true-life tale unfolds like a gritty Scorsese movie, except in this case the stakes and the human toll are very, very real.
[Feature image: Netflix trailer screenshot/Tabloid]