The Keepers and 10 Other True Crime Dramas You HAVE to Watch

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26 May 2017
by: Hayley Spencer

If you’ve missed the heatwave we’re willing to bet it’s down to your new Netflix obsession: The Keepers has landed and we’re hooked. But it’s just the latest true-crime docu-series to grip the nation. Ever since Serial dropped in our iTunes library in 2014, the genre has become a phenomenon, spawning a flood of documentaries and dramatisations to feed our morbid fascination.

Here’s the lowdown on the latest Netflix hit, plus 10 more of the most chilling series that every true-crime fan should watch…

The Keepers
The 1969 murder of nun Sister Cathy Cesnik remains unsolved, but The Keepers doesn’t just probe the evidence surrounding her case. It also sheds light on another disturbing crime: the horrific abuse of female students at the Catholic school where Sister Cathy worked and become their confident. Two of her former students now lead the investigation into her murder hoping to achieve justice for their beloved teacher.

The Jinx
Comprising 10 years of research and a candid interview footage with long-time murder suspect Robert Durst, The Jinx gripped America when it debuted on HBO in 2015. The opening episode reveals that while living in a rundown apartment and disguising himself as a mute woman Durst becomes the suspect of the murder and disembodiment of an elderly neighbour. It fast emerges that Durst is in fact a millionaire real estate heir, and also a suspect of two further murders, including that of his former wife. Over the next six episodes, the case hurtles towards the shock-ending to end all shock endings.

Three Girls
Currently on iPlayer, Three Girls is a heart-wrenching dramatisation of the 2012 child sex abuse case in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Following three prominent victims, it reveals how the systematic grooming of underage teens by a ring of much older Asian men was able to continue despite being known to the police for years. It features a career-defining performance from Maxine Peak as a sexual health worker and the girl’s confident, intent on achieving justice for them.

Making A Murderer
If you’ve never seen Making A Murderer, you’re one incredibly lucky true crime drama fan. Even if you know all the spoilers it’s still worth every minute of the 10 episodes. To refresh your memory: Wisconsin man Stephen Avery spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but shortly after his release he was accused of another crime: the rape and murder of young photographer Theresa Halbach. His nephew Brendan Dassey is also instigated. The series is an examination of the evidence by students Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, which invites the audience to play jury from their sofas. A second series is set to debut on Netflix later this year picking up the cases of both men where the first left off.

Amanda Knox
Meredith Kercher’s murder was one of the most publicised of the Noughties, but this Netflix Original documentary is a seriously illuminating look into the case from the perspective of the wrongly-accused suspects; Amanda Knox, and her boyfriend at the time, Raffeale Sollecito. One that takes us behind the salacious media portrayal of ‘Foxy’ Knoxy and allows us to get the story straight from the horses mouth.

10 Rillington Place
Taking us back to the Fourties, BBC’s 10 Rillington Place uncovers how serial killer John Christie attempted to conceal eight murders at the titular address, including that of his wife Ethel who he buried under the floorboards. Chilling stuff, featuring a gripping performance from Nico Mirallegro, as Christie’s falsely accused neighbour.

Damilola: Our Loved Boy
This feature-length drama examining the death of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor, which shook the nation in 2000, recently won two TV BAFTAs. The story takes us behind the headlines, following Damilola’s family as they travel from Lagos to London, and in the aftermath of his murder as they fight for justice. Stock up on tissues.
Airs 8:30pm Sunday 28 May on BBC 1.

The Moorside
Sheridan Smith smashes another TV performance in BBC’s The Moorside, as one of the volunteers who rallied together to find missing child Shannon Matthews. In the notorious kidnapping case, the nine-year-old disappeared from The Moorside estate, resulting in a heart-warming effort from the community to locate her. Only, as it turned out, Matthews wasn’t missing at all, and was being harboured by her mother, who had conspired to hide her in order to reap the £50,000 reward offered for finding her.

Little Boy Blue
Rhys Jones was 11 when he was gunned down in Liverpool, caught in the cross-fire of rival gangs on the way home from football practice. ITV mini-series Little Boy Blue looks at how his untimely death effected his home town of Croxteth, revealing the extent of gang violence which gripped the area, and conversely the strong sense of community.

American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson

Featuring a stellar cast including Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Junior and David Schwimmer, The People VS OJ Simpson scored a string of awards earlier this year, and it’s just as compelling as the accolades suggest. It reveals never-before-heard insights Simpson’s controversial double-murder trial, examining the case from the perspective of both the prosecution and defence. On top of that there’s gratuitous references to the Kardashian sisters, trash talk about Sarah Paulson’s perm and a now infamous scene involving a leather glove.

Casting JonBenet Ramsay
The case of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay continues to spark huge public interest decades on, and has spawned plenty of documentaries, but this Netflix Original manages to give a fresh perspective with its unusual format. The evidence is portrayed by a group of actors all auditioning for the roles of those connected to the case. In doing so they reveal their personal thoughts and theories on the notorious crime.


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