True Crime Programs for Streaming

Image Courtesy of Annalisa Baranowski (The DePaulia Online)

Caroline Kelsick | Contributing Writer

True crime is a genre of media that examines real crime cases, either in documentary or dramatized form. It is not a subject for everyone - true crime is a dark and troubling subject especially because the cases are not fictitious. However, those who love true crime can explore the genre through a variety of mediums including podcasts, television, and films. If you love true crime or are interested in getting into the genre, here are just a few programs you can watch on streaming services.

(Please Note: All of the listed programs contain discussion of murder, rape, sexual assault/violence, and abuse.)

“The Keepers” - This docuseries follows the unsolved homicide of Cathy Cesnik. Cesnik was a beloved Catholic high school teacher and was murdered in 1969. “The Keepers” details the connections that former students have found between Cesnik’s murder and the school she worked for. The power of this docuseries lies in the alliance of Cesnik’s former students who are determined to solve the case. You can stream “The Keepers” on Netflix.

“Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime” - This internet favorite attempts to explain unsolved and suspicious cases. Hosts Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej discuss cases as humorously as possible, given the serious subject matter. They cover anything from the cold case of Elisa Lam to the strange death of author Edgar Allan Poe. You can stream “Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime” on Hulu or watch episodes for free on the Buzzfeed Unsolved Network on YouTube.

“Unbelievable” - “Unbelievable” is a dramatized retelling based on a series of rapes that occurred in the Northwestern United States from 2008 to 2011. The mini-series follows a young woman met with disbelief by law enforcement when she reports that she was raped. Outside agents are informed of her case and begin to draw connections to other cases on their radar. This is a very tough series to watch but it tackles the unfortunate stigma that rape survivors face in a genuine and powerful way. You can stream “Unbelievable” on Netflix.

“Unsolved Mysteries” - Although Netflix only recently picked up the title for two seasons, “Unsolved Mysteries” is a true crime classic that has been around since 1987. The mysterious cases of this program are told through interviews with real people who are close to the case, as well as re-enactments from actors. Though many of the cases are suspected to be criminal, some episodes suggest cases to involve paranormal circumstances. You can stream the two latest seasons on Netflix or watch seasons 1 through 12 for free on Peacock.

“Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” - This docuseries delves into the Atlanta Child Murders which occurred between 1979 to 1981. More than 30 black children and adolescents were abducted and murdered in Atlanta during this time, yet only one man was charged for just two of those cases. The series explores the delayed attention given to the crimes and new evidence is brought to light that challenges the outcome of the investigation. Accounts from law enforcement, journalists, and family members of the victims are included. You can stream the program on HBO Max.