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Five Great True Crime Docuseries - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News


Posted on: Nov 8, 2020

As the pandemic rages on, we face the harsh reality of winter. Instead of hot cocoa and eggnog with our pals at the ski lodge, we are forced back into our homes with our families/cats. How to cope? How to avoid the frozen fate of Jack Torrance in The Shining? The Criminal Justice Section is here for you with recommendations to get you through the punishing winter.

Five Great True Crime Docuseries

A recent development in popular culture, the documentary series allows directors to use the wide canvas and tropes of episodic television to tell sprawling, complicated, and fascinating true stories. While many of us were captivated by Tiger King at the beginning of the pandemic, the story of Joe Exotic represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to serialized true crime storytelling.

  1. McMillions: Who knew that the tentacles of organized crime could corrupt an institution as American as the McDonald’s Monopoly game? This zany caper takes you through the ins and outs of the scheme as the FBI tries to catch the crooks.
  2. Making a Murderer: Ubiquitous to the point of potential exclusion from the list, this groundbreaking film tells the tale of Steven Avery and Brandon Dassey. At once a who dunnit and a chilling reminder of the power of false confessions, Making a Murderer was a sensation for a reason.
  3. The Jinx: This portrait of famous rich guy/weirdo/accused murderer Robert Durst is a wildly unpredictable. As good as any scripted series, The Jinx proves that, sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction.
  4. Lorena: This Amazon Prime series tells the story of Lorena Bobbitt and her infamous crime. The film examines how tabloid sensationalism obscured what could have been a national discussion about domestic violence and sexual assault.  
  5. Wild Wild Country: Were the followers of Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh a utopian enclave driven to violence by small minded neighbors or a terroristic cult? Set in Oregon, this series is, truly, wild.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

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