10 Unbelievably Shocking True Crime Documentaries on Netflix to Binge This Weekend

These true crime documentaries prove that your life can change forever in the blink of an eye. Murders, scandals, and abductions take place more often than we'd like to think. You can learn more about tragedies by watching true crime documentaries to prepare for the worst.

1. Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

Abducted in Plain Sight Jan Broberg
Image Credit: Netflix.
A twisted predator enters the lives of a naive family with the sinister goal of getting their young daughter alone with him. His ability to manipulate her parents and everyone in his life leads to the young girl's multiple abductions and brainwashing that lasts over four years.

2. Sins of Our Mother (2022)

Sins of Our Mother
Image Credit: Netflix.
A doting mother suddenly becomes cold to her children and loved ones after joining an apocalyptic religious group run by Chad Daybell. This limited series explores the tragic murders of the mother's two young children and the evidence linking her to their deaths.

3. The Trials of Gabriel Fernández (2020)

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
Image Credit: Netflix.
This docuseries tells the story of the brutal, callous murder of an eight-year-old boy named Gabriel and Child Protective Services' failure to step in before it was too late. It chronicles the abuse leading up to Gabriel's murder and the many times the boy could have been saved and was left in a dire and dangerous situation to fend for himself.

4. American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020)

American Murder The Family Next Door
Image Credit: Netflix.
When a pregnant Shannan Watts and her three and four-year-old daughters disappear one morning, her husband's behavior seems off. As detectives investigate the case, they discover the bodies of the mother and her daughters and uncover incriminating secrets that lead them to charge the husband, Chris Watts, for their murders.

5. Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal (2023)

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal
Image Credit: Netflix.
This limited docuseries explores the accidental death of Mallory Beach in a tragic boating accident. The driver of the boat, Paul Murdaugh, was the son of one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in South Carolina. As investigators investigate Mallory's death, they realize the Murdaugh family has a history of evading the law for their serious crimes.

6. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (2022)

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey
Image Credit: Netflix.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a Netflix limited series about the crimes of Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Interviews with ex-members of the extremist religious group detail the disturbing psychology of Jeffs as a child abuser and cult leader.

7. I Just Killed My Dad (2022)

I Just Killed My Dad
Image Credit: Netflix.
When a teenager named Anthony Templet made a chilling 911 call to tell authorities that he had just killed his own father in self-defense, the young man's life is turned upside down. But as details about Anthony's abusive upbringing and the circumstances of his father's death come to light, many question whether Anthony was guilty of a crime at all.

8. I Am Vanessa Guillén (2022)

I Am Vanessa Guillén
Image Credit: Netflix.
Her family quickly grew concerned when a twenty-year-old soldier named Vanessa Guillén went missing on a Texas army base. Not long before her disappearance, Vanessa told her mother a fellow soldier sexually assaulted her, and she did not feel safe reporting the incident to her commanding officers. When Vanessa's body was discovered dismembered nearby, her family stopped at nothing to force police and the military to investigate the case and bring justice to their beloved daughter.

9. Girl in The Picture (2022)

Girl in the Picture
image Credit: Netflix.
This harrowing true crime documentary follows the investigation of the death of a mysterious woman after her husband told the police she was killed in a hit-and-run. When the woman's two-year-old son, Michael, was placed in foster care, the woman's husband abducted him and disappeared. As investigators tracked down the young boy, they discovered more and more horrific details about the abductor's life of deceit and violence.

10. The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker (2023)

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Stephen Colbert
Image Credit: Netflix.
When a young nomadic man named Kai stepped in to prevent a violent man from wounding a woman, he repeatedly smashed a hatchet into the attacker's head. After the incident, Kai's brief interview on the news went viral, shooting this transient man into superstardom. But as the world learned more about Kai and his life, strange events rapidly unfolded that turned public opinion against Kai.
What other harrowing true crime documentaries on Netflix are missing from this list?
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.