Twisted crimes, unsolved mysteries, and chilling suicides: Netflix’s top documentary series.
Top 3 Documentary Series on Netflix
From twisted true crime to nature documentaries, Netflix has some riveting on-demand content. From ‘did they do it?’ mysteries to shocking history, these are some of the best documentary series you can binge-watch right now.
Shaping a documentary narrative can be tricky as the footage often speaks for itself. However, using the three-act structure can help you map out the journey and ensure your story is engaging.
Lori Vallow, a former beauty pageant winner and TV game show contestant, is serving life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of her two children and her co-conspirator Chad Daybell. She also faces a murder charge in Arizona where she and her brother conspired to kill their fourth husband, Charles Vallow.
The pair became enthralled with religious extremism after meeting at a Utah conference and began preaching that only the 144,000 faithful would be saved from the coming apocalypse. They identified family and friends as “dark spirits” who needed to be killed. One by one, they were taken out.
At her sentencing, Vallow’s only surviving son, Colby Ryan, spoke about the many lies his mother told him as members of his family were murdered one by one. The documentary is a disturbing glimpse of an unhinged mind.
When 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey disappeared from her Boulder home on Dec 26, 1996, police suspected her parents John and Patsy. Their suspicions were fueled by a three-page ransom note and a bloody knife. The girl’s body was found hours later in the basement, bound and strangled with a garrote made from a knotted white rope and one of her mother’s paintbrushes. She had a fractured skull and sexual assault marks.
The case generated worldwide attention and led to the vilification of the Ramsey family. But new DNA tests cleared them in 2008, and the couple’s New York Times bestseller and sitdown with Barbara Walters reassured the public that they were not responsible for their daughter’s death. Lou Smit, who took over the investigation from the original detective, revisits the case with his son and daughter and members of the Ramsey family to hear their thoughts on what really happened. He also discusses how advances in crime scene testing may shed light on the murder that remains unsolved to this day.
When two carpenter brothers moved into a house in Burari, Delhi, they drew suspicion from the neighbors and their community. It wasn’t long before 11 family members, ranging in age from 15 to 80, were discovered dead inside their home in what was a suspected mass suicide that seemed to go wrong.
Leena Yadav began investigating the case, and soon she was convinced that there was more to the story than what had been reported. She uncovered security footage and notes in 11 diaries kept over the course of 11 years. She also found that the Chundawats didn’t expect to die and believed they would emerge stronger after their ritualistic hanging.
Police haven’t been able to prove that the family was in contact with a self-styled godman who is known as Bidiwale Baba, but they still haven’t ruled out the possibility of supernatural causes. The case is being portrayed in Netflix’s three-part documentary, House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths.
The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring was a group of teenagers who raided celebrity homes, sparking a media frenzy and eventually arrests. Now, two members of the gang speak out for the first time since their convictions.
Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo went to school together at Indian Hills, an alternative high school in Calabasas. They were fascinated with celebrity culture and figured they could steal from the wealthy residents of their affluent neighborhood.
Prugo says he was “inspired by the reality show Pretty Wild” and believed that stealing from celebrities would be easy. He pleaded no contest to burglarizing Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge and Orlando Bloom and served one year of his two-year sentence.
His partner in crime, Alexis Neiers, was featured on the E! show Pretty Wild along with her friend Tess Taylor. She’s now a life coach and married. The pair was also featured in Sofia Coppola’s 2013 satirical movie The Bling Ring, starring Israel Broussard, Katie Chang and Emma Watson.