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From Serial Killers To Murderous Wives, True Crime Shows To Binge-Watch Amid Coronavirus Crisis
With people encouraged to stay home amid the coronavirus spread, it's a good time to catch up on your true-crime favs.
With a global pandemic spreading, people are scurrying inside to self-isolate to help contain the spread of coronavirus. While spending as much time as possible at home may be the best way to fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), it isn't exactly... fun — especially if you live with roommates or family members you'd rather not be stuck with for days on end.
So, how do you entertain yourself (and avoid snapping on your housemates) during a self-imposed coronavirus lockdown? Well, how about shows about people who actually snapped? Below, we've compiled the best true crime shows to watch during quarantine, from a docu-series about internet sleuths tracking down a twisted killer to a show about an ex-cop who masterminded a massive fast food scam to Oxygen originals about people who seemingly vanish off the face of the earth.
In an age of cell phones, face ID, and credit cards, it seems inconceivable that someone could just vanish off the face of the earth. But it does happen — so the "Up and Vanished" team works to find out what happened to people who went missing years, and in some cases, decades ago. Based off Payne Lindsey's hit podcast, the Oxygen show shines a light on some of the most mysterious disappearances of all time.
If you were born in the '90s or earlier, you probably remember the thrill of ordering a meal from McDonald's, peeling off your Monopoly ticket and hoping you'd won a prize. You also probably remember never being able to actually win the big Monopoly game — and there's an actual reason for that. As shown in HBO's docu-series "McMillion$," a corrupt ex-cop, Jerome Jacobson, was rigging the game and giving away winning tickets to a wide-ranging group of people. The show, alternately hilarious and poignant, recounts the FBI's efforts to unravel the bizarre fast food scam.
The opioid crisis has been ravaging America for decades now, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. One small town pharmacist, Dan Schneider, decided to fight back after his son was killed in a drug-related shooting. The Netflix show tells how Schneider didn't just tirelessly work to solve his son's murder — he also saved other lives by exposing a shady New Orleans doctor, Jacqueline Cleggett, who greedily and callously used the opioid crisis to her own advantage, enriching herself off others' addiction.
There's no doubt about it: Being trapped inside can make you just want to, well, snap. And in Oxygen's hit series, unlike most other true crime media, it's female killers who largely get the spotlight. Featuring a different case each episode, "Snapped" takes you inside a murder and unravels the motivation behind it: whether these women are killing for an insurance payoff, to be with a lover, or because they simply ... snapped.
Warning: Netflix's docu-series about a kid's tragic death at the hands of his own parents will leave you sobbing. The show argues that 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez wasn't just let down by his parents, who viciously tortured him until his death, but by the social workers who allegedly dismissed the warning signs that Fernandez was in danger. The show, as shocking and hard to watch as it is necessary, doesn't just indict abusers, but the system as a whole that allows children to fall through the cracks.
Anyone who's spent any time on the internet knows you can get away with some pretty out-there things online. But there's one major rule of the internet: Don't mess with animals. And that's exactly what Luka Magnotta, a Canadian murderer, did. His cat torture videos caught the ire of multiple people online, who started sleuthing to uncover who this monster was as his horrific online videos escalated to the murder of man. The Netflix series features interviews with many of the regular citizens who worked tirelessly to bring Magnotta to justice.
In FX's "The Most Dangerous Animal Of All," a man sets forth on a quest to find out more about the father who abandoned him when he was a child. But the more he learns about his father, the more he puts together an alarming theory: He believes his father is the infamous Zodiac Killer, the serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco area in the 1960s.
In a time when we're all quarantined inside, it may be time to reflect on the original self-isolator: Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. The Netflix documentary includes excerpts from an interview Kaczynski did, as well as interviews with those who knew him to give a portrait of how a young genius recruited by the CIA became a domestic terrorist who killed three people and injured 23 more in multiple mail bomb attacks, and whose nickname became synonymous with crazed evil.
Ted Bundy is infamous for two major reasons: He was a horrific serial killer who murdered at least 30 young women across the country, and he was legendarily good-looking and charismatic. In fact, Ted Bundy had a long-term girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall, during most of the period he was out killing young women. He was even close with her young daughter, Molly. Kendall would go on to write a book about her time dating Bundy, but in the Amazon docu-series "Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer," Kendall speaks out for the first time in decades. The docu-series examines Bundy's crimes through someone close to him, and is a chilling reminder you never really know the people around you. (What a great thing to reflect on during a quarantine!)
From executive producer Dick Wolf, Oxygen's "Cold Justice" follows former Harris County, Texas prosecutor Kerry Siegler and her team of investigators as they take another closer look at unsolved murder cases. They work alongside local law enforcement and have helped arrest, extract confessions, and prosecute suspects in these cases. The team successfully brought 45 arrests and 18 convictions through their work, and continue to bring closure and justice to victim's families.