The world of true crime is controversial, and becoming even more so as its popularity as a genre intensifies. While claims have been made that true crime shows and documentaries glorify killers — or exploit women and minorities — that hasn’t diminished the impact these series have on audiences. True crime has become an incredibly lucrative business. Every new streaming service has immediately jumped into the world of true crime (most recently Peacock with their John Wayne Gacy docuseries). This means the craze over true crime is here to stay, for better and worse. There’s a wealth of material to get through, and much of it is already included with services you probably utilize.
We’re here to help you wade through the muck of the true crime landscape, showing you the best of the best. We decided to look at the various true crime shows you can access now via HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. All of these shows captivated audiences’ attention when they debuted, asked questions about the nature of crime investigation and, more importantly, how it’s shown to audiences. There’s a show for everyone, with an emphasis on storytelling first and crime second.
This list is by no means comprehensive and tries to eschew documentaries already laid out in our look at the best true crime documentaries which includes favorites like “Murder on Middle Beach,” “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” and “The Last Narc.” Prepare to curl up with some ice cream and dive deep into the wild world of true crime series.