What starts as an investigation into an urban legend about a boogeyman turns into a stunning investigation of Andre Rand, a Staten Island man convicted of kidnapping children. The shaky camera (à la Blair Witch Project) will make you want to watch this in broad daylight.
2. Team Foxcatcher
This recently released Netflix original documentary takes yet another important look at the 1996 murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz by John E. du Pont. The New York Times describes the doc as "straightforward" and "good" for "those who haven't already spent enough time with this strange, unsettling story."
Related: The "30 for 30" take on the subject in 2015, The Prince of Pennsylvania, is also streaming on Netflix.
3. Forensic Files
It's like CSI but real life. There are two collections currently streaming on Netflix and both have 40 episodes, so do take your time.
This 2010 documentary by Errol Morris centers on the most fascinating case of Joyce McKinney, who was accused of kidnapping and raping an American Mormon missionary in England in 1977. At the time, the scandal was famously known as the "Mormon sex in chains case" and "The Case of the Manacled Mormon." The doc looks at the media sensation that surrounded the story at the time.
5. The Central Park Five
Ken Burns and his daughter Sarah directed this 2012 documentary about the high-profile case of five black and Latino teens who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park in the '80s and subsequently spent between six to 15 years in prison. The group would later sue New York State for racial discrimination, among other things.
6. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
The backstory behind Zachary's Bill (Bill C-464), which has since improved Canada's bail laws and child care procedures, is a heartbreaking but important one. Kurt Kuenne made this documentary for his friend Andrew Bagby, who was murdered by his ex Shirley Jane Turner in 2001. Turner later gave birth to Bagby's son, Zachary, and after being released on bail and given custody of Zachary, killed the child in a murder suicide.
7. The Thin Blue Line
Errol Morris has made a lot of fantastic documentaries. This one about 36-year-old Randall Dale Adams, who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, is one of them.
8. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Nick Broomfield's documentary about Aileen Wuornos's declining mental state is a follow-up to his 1992 feature Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (also streaming on Netflix). Wuornos, who killed seven men in Florida in the span of 10 years, is featured in an interview one day before her execution. This is the same Aileen Wuornos Charlize Theron portrayed in the 2003 film Monster, which earned the actress a Best Actress Academy Award.
Or, what happens when four high school football stars from a coal mining town in Pennsylvania are charged with beating a Mexican immigrant to death and three officers attempt to cover up the crime.
10. The Imposter
The curious case of missing Texas boy Nicholas Barclay was made even more curious when French confidence trickster Frédéric Bourdin impersonated him in 1997. He even lived with the Barclay family for months and convinced officials in Spain and the U.S. that he had been kidnapped for sexual abuse. P.S. The whole part about Bourdin being much older than the missing boy was not a dead giveaway.
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