Five Horrifying True Crime Documentaries

creepy hands around trunk
Pixabay / Simonwijers

Scary movies certainly aren’t for everyone. People either love the thrill or hate the paranoia, there is little in between. It takes a certain type of person to endure the twisted storylines. Luckily for horror fanatics, there are dozens of new thrilling releases each year that are enough to make fans never sleep again.

While traditional scary movies are terrifying enough, true crime documentaries can be even more horrific adding the extra element of realism. Unlike monsters or ghosts, true crime documentaries highlight serial killers and criminals who actually once existed.

And unlike the average fictional horror flick, the victim could just as well be you or your friends. Sure, the odds of being kidnapped in the street are low – about 1 in 120,000 to be exact – but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen.

That’s why these documentaries are so horrifying. These bring to light nonfiction stories that happened to unsuspecting victims just like you. If you’re feeling daring, here are five true crime documentaries that will make you double-check your door lock at night….

Abducted in Plain Sight

You’ve probably heard before that crimes are often perpetrated by people you know and trust. Still, it seems unlikely that one of your loving friends would put your family in harm’s way. This Netflix documentary illuminates this nightmare through unpacking the bizarre events of the 1970s. Jan Broberg, who was abducted twice, portrays herself in this film making the storyline true to life.

Out of Thin Air 

In 1974, Iceland’s most infamous murder case occurred. It seemed that the case was resolved when six young friends confessed to the murder after an intense investigation. Turns out, their confession may have been built on false memories that they were convinced to believe. This documentary will have you thinking twice about the justice system.

Wild Wild Country

Cult stories often seem unrealistic. The things you hear on the media often seem too far out there to be true. However, this documentary takes a deep dive into the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon lead by Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The documentary is noted to be horrifically graphic, so be prepared for a culturally shocking reality check.

Evil Genius 

The world’s most “diabolical” bank robber is exposed in this strange four-part documentary. The series covers the events of 2003 in Eerie, Pennsylvania. It begins with Brian Wells who comes off as an average pizza deliverer. Instead, he has a bomb around his neck and a mission to steal a quarter of a million dollars.

The Innocent Man 

While this Netflix film has been critiqued to only cover half the story, the content presented is enough to get your heart pumping. In six episodes, the audience is taken through a murder conviction in a small town in Oklahoma. With the death penalty inching closer and closer, the convicted men face a race against the clock to prove their innocence.

If you’re in the market for an extra horrific movie night – turn on one of these documentaries, lock your doors and prepare yourself for a thrilling adventure.