Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are two names that are very well recognised world-wide thanks to the release of the binge-worthy 10 part docu-series 'Making a Murderer' and the fight of the film-makers to prove their innocence. The whole concept of 'Making a Murderer' is that the filmmakers believe Avery and Dassey are not guilty. This list comprises of similar documentaries. If you're looking for insanely thrilling real life crime documentaries then look no further than this list of five gripping true-crime documentaries.
1. The Jinx - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
A gripping six-part Netflix documentary that revolves around American real estate heir Robert Durst and his suspected (obvious) involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen McCormack, who is still considered a missing persons case, and the murders of Susan Bernam and Morris Black. The eccentric, eerie character that is Durst has never been arrested for his involvement in the murders, which is made clear throughout.
Director Andrew Jarecki spent nearly a decade researching the case and 'The Jinx', as cliche as it sounds, truly keeps you on the edge of your seat with never-seen before documents, recordings and chilling interviews from Durst himself. The finale will actually leave you speechless. Before he made 'The Jinx' Jarecki directed the indie-film, 'All Good Things', starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, which is Jarecki's (and most of the American publics) take on what really happened to McCormack, Bernam and Black. A must see.
2. Amanda Knox
The Netflix original, 'Amanda Knox' completely changed my - and I imagine many other viewer's - opinions of Knox. Knox and then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested for the 2007 murder of fellow student and room-mate of Knox, Meredith Kercher, and spent four years in an Italian prison. They were exonerated in 2011 due to the decision by a U.S. forensic expert who declared evidence at the crime scene incompatible with her involvement therefore no traces of her or Sollecito's DNA at the crime scene. Film-makers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn really focus in on how the media truly turned the case into something it wasn't. Nicknames such as 'foxy knoxy' highlighting Knox to be promiscuous and weird played a huge role in deciding the guilty verdict. Half of the stories the media created were completely false and made up, such as Knox having H.I.V. 'Amanda Knox' is a real illuminating masterpiece.
3. The Paradise Lost Trilogy
In 1993 three young boys Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers got brutally murdered with the suspects being local teenage outcasts Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin later known as the 'West Memphis Three'. Echols was sentenced to the death penalty, Misskelley sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences and Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Luckily, Echols didn't actually get given the death penalty and all three were released in 2011 after they entered Alford Pleas, which allowed them to assert their innocence and were sentenced to time served, effectively freeing them after no DNA from the suspects was found on the children or anywhere around the crime scene. The first in the trilogy, 'Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills' follows the trials and portrays how the police convicted Echols solely because he was an outcast who liked to dress all in black and listen to heavy metal. Similar to Brendan Dassey in 'Making a Murderer', Misskelley wasn't very intelligent and had an IQ of 68. After he had been interrogated for 12 hours he signed a confession that implicated both Echols and Baldwin. The documentary was so popular the 'West Memphis Three' gained support from Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines who all campaigned that they were innocent.
4. The Case Of: Jonbenét Ramsey
A CBS special, UK viewers can find easy access on YouTube, 'The Case Of: Jonbenét Ramsey' features several world-wide crime experts tear apart the whole case and dig deep for the truth of the story that shocked America twenty years ago. Ramsey was just six years old at the time of her murder and also a beauty pageant queen, following in the footsteps of her mother. She was found dead in the basement of her home on Christmas Day 1996 with all the signs of a staged kidnapping. The experts thoroughly investigate every detail from the ransom letter and the 911 phone call all the way to what the pineapple inside the stomach of Ramsey actually means.