The latest Netflix show to gather all the buzz is the controversial DAHMER: Monster — The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. It is one of Netflix’s biggest releases and has maintained the number-one spot on the global Netflix Top 10 list for the second week in a row. This success can be attributed to the impressive 496 million hours of viewership since its September 21 debut.
As the story goes, Jeffrey Dahmer was responsible for gruesomely taking the lives of seventeen innocent victims during the years 1978 and 1991. He was eventually caught in his Milwaukee apartment on July 22, 1991, and was sentenced to fifteen terms of life imprisonment. The Netflix series is as thrilling as it is gruesome, and the fact that it is based on true incidents has gathered a fanbase. If that is something you enjoy, here are a few must-watch crime dramas that are based on real-life incidents.
American Crime Story
The first one on the list has to be one of the best. A crime anthology series, American Crime Storyunfolds the events behind several historical high-profile murder cases, each season focusing entirely on one case at a time. What makes the show such a hit among the viewers is that the events re-enacted in each season are carried out with factual evidence, official records and sometimes information that wasn’t publicly available. So far the show has three seasons, following the murder trial of O. J. Simpson, the assassination of Gianni Versace and the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. While each season has its own separate fanbase, the first two are claimed to be one of the best retellings of some of the most unfortunate events. The first season, The People v. O.J Simpson: American Crime, is a dramatized narration of the murder case of O.J. Simpson which got national attention back in the early ’90s. Cuba Gooding Jr stars as O.J. Another beloved season, Season Two follows the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. The story was adapted from the nonfiction book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History.
Watch online on Disney+ Hotstar
A word of advice for the faint-hearted, Dr. Death is not your cup of tea. Based on a hit podcast of the same name, Dr. Death is inspired by the true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a neurosurgeon based in Texas. Dr. Duntsch became famous after he was accused of mutilating as many as 33 patients while killing another two. After building a flourishing neurosurgery practice, everything changes when patients entering Dr. Duntsch’s operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries are left permanently disabled or dead. In the series, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater play the two real-life doctors working at the same Texas hospital who soon recognise Duntsch’s horrendous crimes. The pair teamed up and made it their mission to stop Duntsch before he could cause more harm, but unfortunately, no one wanted to listen to their pleas and more damage was done.
Watch online on Amazon Prime
I Am the Night
A six-part miniseries directed by Patty Jenkins, I Am the Night is another retelling of the infamous Black Dahlia murder case. Actress Elizabeth Short, known to post her death as the Black Dahlia, was found gruesomely murdered in Los Angeles in 1947. The series is based on Fauna Hodel’s memoir One Day She’ll Darken: The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel, and takes place over a decade after the murder of Black Dahlia. Given away at birth, not knowing where she came from was never worrisome for Fauna Hodel. That was until she travels to Los Angeles to seek out her estranged grandfather and crosses paths with the fictional journalist Jay Singletary played by Chris Pine. The latter who became obsessed with the Black Dahlia murder case stumbles upon a potential path that leads him to the prime murder suspect, Gynaecologist George Hodel, who is also the grandfather of Fauna Hodel. Hodel and Singletary cross paths, which changes everything for her, making her question everything she knows and believes.
Watch online on Disney+ Hotstar
If you’ve never seen or heard of the haunting story about the mother-daughter duo Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard, you’re in for a ride. One of the most chilling crimes, The Act is an eight-episode miniseries following the story of the overprotective Dee Dee and her daughter Gypsy, who is trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her mother. Gypsy has spent years as a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. All her life, she has believed herself to be terminally ill, suffering from multiple diseases like leukaemia, asthma, and muscular dystrophy, all of which were a lie. Gypsy’s quest for independence opens up Pandora’s box of secrets, which ultimately leads to the murder of her mother Dee Dee. One of the most interesting bits about this miniseries is that it came from a 2016 BuzzFeed article that detailed the shocking crime committed in 2015. The movie stars Oscar winner Patricia Arquette and Joey King as Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose respectively.
Watch online on Disney+ Hotstar
A notorious serial killer and con man, Charles Sobhraj was a well-known criminal, known both in India as well as internationally. He was often regarded as a seductive master of disguise, who preyed on travellers exploring the “hippie trail” in Southeast Asia during the 1970s. The Netflix series, The Serpent stars Tahar Rahim, as the serial killer, tracing his crimes between 1975 and 1976. Posing as a gem dealer, Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc, played by Jenna Coleman, were responsible for at least 12 murders committed along the ‘Hippie Trail’. Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg investigates the disappearance of a young couple and soon catches up with Interpol’s most wanted man.
Watch online on Netflix
When They See Us
A four-part series is based on the real-life Central Park Five case When They See Usshowcasing one of New York’s most infamous cases. In 1989 a 28-year-old investment banker was assaulted and raped while jogging in New York’s Central Park, and five young boys from Harlem were subsequently charged with the crime, despite having nothing to do with it. The group were labelled the Central Park Five, who maintained their innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated. It is said that each of them served somewhere between 5 to 10 years in prison despite being innocent. The four-part series spans a quarter of a century, from the time the teens are first questioned about the incident in the spring of 1989, till their exoneration in 2002 followed by the settlement with the city of New York in 2014.