12 most chilling true crime documentaries to stream in Canada right now

·4 min read

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Young woman standing alone in a dark tunnel
Young woman standing alone in a dark tunnel

In recent years, there's been a surge in the number of true crime documentaries, and it's safe to say that they satisfy North America's insatiable appetite for the genre. If you have been surviving the pandemic on a steady diet of streaming content, we bet you've been watching at least some of the top chilling docs that have been trending recently online.

Beginning in 2018, true crime buffs were obsessed with "Making a Murderer," which followed the case of Stephen Avery. Since then, streaming services have tapped into bringing audiences an even bigger selection of gripping true crime series. 

ALSO SEE: 10 best movies, shows to stream in Canada for May: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and more

In March, "Why Did you Kill Me?" made its way onto Netflix's top 10 list, as well as "Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel," which followed the disappearance of 21-year-old Canadian Elisa Lam.

To help indulge your appetite for chilling crime documentaries, we've rounded up a list of must-see titles to stream online.

Why Did You Kill Me?

Why Did You Kill Me? Image via Netflix
Why Did You Kill Me? Image via Netflix

The doc follows Belinda Lane as she tracks down those involved in the murder of her daughter Crystal Theobald, using MySpace to try to catch the criminals responsible. Streams on Netflix.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal. Image via Netflix
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal. Image via Netflix

Remember the infamous March 2019 scandal when Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman were involved in one of the largest college admissions schemes? This doc uses a unique approach with a combination of actors and actual phone conversations that reveal how the children of rich and famous families bought their way into top U.S. universities. Streams on Netflix.

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Image via Netflix
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Image via Netflix

This limited docu-series tells the true story of Los Angeles' Richard Ramirez, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and how he was hunted down and brought to justice by two determined detectives. Streams on Netflix. 

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. Image via Netflix
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. Image via Netflix

Canadian college student and tourist Elisa Lam vanished at the Cecil hotel in Los Angeles, leaving behind all of her possessions in her hotel room. The hotel is infamous for its grim past, as it has been the scene of multiple suicides and murders. Streams on Netflix. 

American Murder: The Family Next Door

American Murder: The Family Next Door. Image via Netflix
American Murder: The Family Next Door. Image via Netflix

This doc tries to piece together why Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife, Shannon Watts and their two young daughters in 2018. It is quite compelling as they use videos of the family from Shannon's own Facebook account. Streams on Netflix. 

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Image via Netflix
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Image via Netflix

This documentary follows the case of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who vanished from her parent's hotel room while on vacation in Portugal. Streams on Netflix. 

Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer. Image via Netflix
Making a Murderer. Image via Netflix

The series that started it all, "Making a Murderer" follows the unprecedented story of two men accused of a grisly crime they may not have committed. The doc looks into the forensic evidence that points to the potential of a third party killer. Streams on Netflix. 

The Case Against Adnan Syed

The Case Against Adnan Syed. Image via HBO
The Case Against Adnan Syed. Image via HBO

This documentary focuses on the re-examination of the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. It's a case that sparked global attention by the hugely popular "Serial" podcast. Streams on Crave.

Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer

Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer. Image via Netflix
Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer. Image via Netflix

After filming himself torturing and killing cats, Luka Magnotta killed Lin Jun, a 33-year-old student from China. The documentary shows how a dedicated group of online sleuths tracked him down and helped convict Magnotta of his crimes. Streams on Netflix.

Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Image via Netflix
Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Image via Netflix

Get ready to hear clips from over 100 hours of interviews with Ted Bundy from behind bars, as he details his childhood, the grisly murders of over 30 women and even his attempted prison breaks. This four-part series also features new footage and testimonies from women who escaped Bundy. Streams on Netflix.

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter. Image via HBO
I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter. Image via HBO

HBO's "I Love You, Now Die" tells the story of Michelle Carter, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of her boyfriend Conrad Roy's suicide. After Roy had expressed his suicidal thoughts to her, Carter encouraged him to end his life over text. The two-part series examined the 2017 criminal trial and sparked a conversation around digital technology, social media and mental health. Streams on Crave.

Abducted in Plain Sight

Abducted in Plain Sight. Image via Netflix
Abducted in Plain Sight. Image via Netflix

Nothing can prepare you for all the twists in this unbelievably true story of the Broberg family, and how their neighbour Robert Berchtold kidnapped and brainwashed their 12-year-old daughter twice. Streams on Netflix.

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