October is deemed as “spooky season,” so when is a better time to binge a few spine-chilling serial killer documentaries? This article has all of the must-watch true crime documentaries that are available to stream right now. Society has always had a deep fascination with serial killers, and while it is interesting to learn about their disturbing crimes, it is also important to honor the lives of their victims and not glamorize the murders themselves.
Viewing these documentaries is not only to learn about the minds who committed these despicable crimes but also to understand and sympathize with the victims and their families. We recommend watching these with a friend and don’t forget to lock your doors and sleep with the light on just in case.
“Conversations With A Killer: The Wayne Gacy Tapes” (2022)
This docu-series shines a light on the brutal crimes of the infamous John Wayne Gacy, known as “Killer Clown”, who murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. They tell the story through never-before-heard audio footage of Gacy while they were preparing for his trial that ultimately convicted him guilty of being a serial killer. Gacy was an aspiring politician and well-known contractor with a dark secret and bodies buried beneath his house.
“The Confession Killer” (2019)
This chilling tale tells the story of Henry Lee Lucas, who confessed to over 200 murders in the United States. Throughout the years and with DNA testing, many of these confessions were proven to be false. Through archival interview footage, news channels and interviews with the victims' families, we take a closer look at Lucas’ false confessions and the police officers who blindly went along with them. This documentary centers on the detrimental outcome of seeking easy answers and poor detective work.
“H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer” (2004)
This film illustrates the story of serial killer Torture Doctor H.H. Holmes, who murdered at least 27 women during the 1893 World's Fair at his “castle of horrors.” He designed his castle with torture chambers, acid vats, gassing rooms and greased shoots and rented out his rooms to his victims. Widely known as America’s first serial killer, the criminal mastermind eventually sold their skeletons to local medical schools.
“Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer” (2021)
“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer” is a four-part true crime miniseries about the serial killer Richard Ramirez, who attacked men, women and children aged six to 83 at night. This documentary tells the true story of how one of the most notorious serial killers in American history was hunted down and eventually convicted of 13 murders and 11 sexual assaults.
“Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer” (2020)
“Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer” focuses on Bundy's victims and loved ones rather than the killer himself. This documentary recounts the unforgivable murders, trial, and eventual execution of Bundy told from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall and her daughter, Molly along with other survivors.
“Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” (2022)
“Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” features hours of recorded interviews in which serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer confesses to all his horrific crimes to his defense attorney. It also includes archived photos and videos from Dahmer’s apartment, clips from his childhood, and real accounts from his neighbors and people who came into contact with him. This docu-series also covers the power of white male privilege and how that allowed him to hide in the dark from his crimes for so many years.
“Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer” (2004)
British documentary “Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer” outlines the crimes of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was convicted of killing six men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. It then follows interviews with Wuornos that capture her increasing mental instability where she reveals that she believed her mind was being controlled by radio waves.