With the demand for true crime as strong as ever, true crime documentaries have exploded across multiple streaming services. There’s never a stop to what can be watched and decoded by sleuths across the web. To help sort through the catalog of true crime documentaries, we lined up some of the best documentaries of 2021 so far with plenty more exciting ones to come. This list encompasses real-world occurrences of greed, murder, thefts—all those things we read in crime fiction bubbled to the surface.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal
You’ve probably heard of it. The scam of the century. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal follows a group of celebrities and elite figureheads wrapped up in a scandal that, simply stated, allowed them to buy their childs’ admissions into some of the top universities in the United States. At the center of this scandal is the man who started it all—Rick Singer, a former high school basketball coach. An alternative to the documentary is the book Guilty Admission by Nicole LaPorte that details the shocking brides and favors that comprised one of the worst scandals in our country’s history.
This is a Robbery
Get a deep dive into the art heist of the century. This intriguing true-crime limited series tells the real-life story of two mysterious men who, dressed as police, go on to steal some of the highest-regarded art in history from the Boston Museum. These men have never been caught—and some of the artwork has yet to be found. Sounds like something straight from a movie? We think so, too. However, this art heist actually happened—and it’s captative law enforcement and the likes to this day.
Murder Among the Mormons
The Mormon church has long been the subject of controversy. This isn’t the first true crime documentary that seeks to exploit the history of the Mormon church. In Murder Among The Mormons, a series of violent events and bombings that wreaked havoc in Utah during the late 1980s, all seemingly random…but connected by one community. This miniseries begs the question: how far people will go to protect their church?
The Sons of Sam
David Berkowitz—also known as The Son of Sam—was an active serial killer in the late 80s. He terrorized women across the Tri-State area, leading to the death of six people. Alongside detailing the gruesome murders, The Sons of Sam docu-series follows one sleuth’s exploration into the case and the rabbit hole that led him to believe that Berkowitz didn’t act alone in his killings, bringing into question all we know about this infamous case.
John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise
If you’ve never heard of the infamous John Wayne Gacy, you’re sure to have at least seen him. Wearing the getup of a clown—face paint and all—Gacy was responsible for the deaths of at least 20 men across the Southeastern United States, making him one of the most notorious serial killers in the world.