With so many different documentaries on Netflix to choose from, the 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018 might be the last genre that comes to mind…
For some of you, this may be a first choice. I, myself, watch a considerable amount of documentaries on Netflix, but often have to compromise on the nature of the topic as my other half prefers historical documentaries, and I’m more into the weird stuff. We usually settle on anything related to nature and wildlife, outer space and of course, aliens. I’d say we’ve watched every documentary on those subjects at least two times over. All of the ones worth watching, anyway. So finding the best serial killer documentaries streaming on Netflix right now was quite the change of pace, to say the least. And while learning about them is somehow brutally fascinating, I’d never wanna meet one face-to-face.
I checked out two of our other lists on the subject, and since many of the documentaries listed on the 11 Best Serial Killer Documentaries on Netflix Streaming in 2015 are no longer streaming, I thought it due time to bring to you the more updated 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018. Plus, not everyone has the option to check out all of the 15 Best Serial Killer Documentaries on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, so I couldn’t use these lists alone, but they were a good start. So, I looked at a butt ton of other similar articles to get a feel for what’s being raved about. And I mean butt ton!
After checking out dozens of similar articles from sites like Inverse, Paste Magazine, and PopSugar just to name a few, I noticed a handful of documentaries being mentioned frequently. I then took to Netflix to make sure these titles were even available, and to find more of what they have to offer. When I looked up “serial killer documentaries,” Netflix only had 11 titles. Really, Netflix? “Crime documentaries” had a way better selection. But the thing is, like many of the articles, the documentaries listed were not just about serial killers.
So, I weeded out everything that didn’t have anything to do with serial killers and came up with a serial killer documentaries list. From there I checked the ratings starting with the handful mentioned on multiple sites. I was somewhat taken back by the mixed reviews I was getting. By now, I had already watched the ones I was excited about, but again, I tend to have a peculiar taste and didn’t want my personal opinion to cloud what other viewers had to say.
Here’s what I ended up coming up with. I took the average rating of the first 10 ratings. Then added the next 10 ratings to make two separate ratings based on where they were at with only 10 ratings and where they were at after 20. I wanted to take it to 30, but too many titles didn’t have enough reviews to proceed. Some didn’t even have enough for the 10 or 20 mark, but then again, some titles had hundreds of ratings and reviews. So, I didn’t want to lower the bar too much. I stuck with those 2 separate ratings and averaged them together.
Didn’t Netflix used to have the average rating already included, or am I just dreaming up a fantasy with less work involved? Anyway, based on the new ratings I had come up with I narrowed the list down to get the 12 top serial killer documentaries. But I didn’t base these titles based on their Netflix rating, alone. I also took into consideration whether or not I saw them mentioned in similar articles paired with what IMDb had to say about them. Seems a lot easier than it really was, but a lot actually went into finding the absolute best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018.
12. Killer Kids
With 65 reviews in all, I found that viewers either hated this docuseries, or they loved it. Most didn’t seem to get through the very first episode, which doesn’t quite give much of an insight to the rest of the series. Honestly, the first episode doesn’t have anything to do with a kid serial killer as much as it has to do with an occult killer. It also focused on the kid’s drug usage and preferred a style of music as his main motive. If that were true, perhaps I could have been mistaken for a killer back in my teenage years. The rest of the episodes go on like this, but with completely different cases and therefore, different types of killers. It’s the second episode that touches on serial killers with psychopathic roots that stem back to their childhoods. Even though their rating of 1.9 out of 5 wasn’t the lowest of the 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018, I had to take into consideration that only 1 of 8 episodes had anything to do with serial killers, yet I couldn’t dismiss the facts that a: they had a 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb and b: …I actually really dug that second episode!
11. Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer
Netflix had a lot of mixed review about this docuseries. 56 ratings in total and a lot of them were 1-star ratings with reviews stating that it was all just a bunch of hubbub about how repetitive the first episode was. But that’s just it. Not many gave it a chance after the first episode, and the ratings seem to get higher the further the viewers got into the series. Unfortunately, IMDb had nothing on this particular documentary. With an overall [Netflix] rating of 1.5/5 I personally, don’t see what all the hate was about. It definitely has that documentary feel to it, which I like, and I can also appreciate the real photos and footage mixed in with the re-enactments. This docu-series takes a look at 10 different serial killers and dissects different aspects of their lives to further examine what it is that makes them tick. Definitely worth a watch if you’re into that sort of thing.
10. Nurses Who Kill
Of the 24 Netflix reviews, this British docuseries came out with a 1.9/5. Not bad. It’s not a bad watch, either, which is why I couldn’t leave it off of the 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018. While it could have used a stronger connection to the different cases and killers, themselves—rather than just pretty much re-enactments of everything—it’s still a solid cluster of morbid documentaries that is nonetheless scary to think about with or without those creepy photos. I found it on IMDb with a 5.9 out of 10 and felt that others certainly agree that it’s not the best, but it’s not the worst, either. I would recommend checking it out. That is if you don’t have any doctor visits coming up in the near future.
9. Mind of a Rampage Killer
Okay, so NOVA’s Mind of a Rampage Killer isn’t really about serial killers per say. But, then again, serial killer documentaries don’t seem real huge on Netflix. This one takes us into the scientific theories behind what drives these killers to snap and, well… go on a rampage. With nothing to go by on IMDb and a 2.0 out of 5 on Netflix, and while it’s a tad bit off topic, it’s still close enough to being one of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018.
8. Witness: Murder Files
Here’s another British docuseries that doesn’t always fit into the category of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix. It could be like one of those “Most interesting man in the world memes”—Murder files. Doesn’t always feature serial killer documentaries, but when it does, it’s one of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix. The first episode is about “The Haircut Killer,” and is the only one truly about serial killers. That along with the fact that it only had 7 reviews on Netflix made me a little harsher on the 2.9 out of 5 rating. While that rating alone stood up to most of these other titles featured on the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018, I couldn’t let it beat-out others that were true to the serial killer documentaries theme throughout the entire show or series. And at the same time, couldn’t overlook that one episode, because I’m obviously not the only one who enjoyed it. The entire series gets a 7/10 on IMDb.
7. Killer Couples
I honestly, can’t fathom how Killer Couples not only had so little reviews on Netflix, but I couldn’t even find the title on IMDb, either. With only 10 ratings to go by, this British docuseries still came out with a solid 2.0 out of 5 and still one of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix—hands down! Mark Billingham, a well-known writer of fictitious crime novels (also comedian/actor/producer… what doesn’t the guy do?) takes us on a journey with some deranged duos. What sets these true stories apart from, well, any other documentary on this list is how Mark exposes the rare cases of when these sick minds come together to create an often sicker set of psychos and tries to find a better understanding of the relationship between them.
I wanted to bring the 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix to the party, but honestly, there really weren’t that many to invite. This is the last time I’m gonna do this—I promise! Not like you’re gonna care, because although this is not a documentary this crime TV show still takes us into some infamous cases throughout history, and again uses criminal science to get us closer to these monsters. What’s cool about it is that there is a decent amount of truth behind this series. It’s set in the 1970’s and is kind of like a vintage Criminal Minds. It had the highest ratings, out of the bunch with 4.3 out of 5 and 8.6/10 on IMDb, but again doesn’t quite stay true to the “documentaries” part of the list.
5. Interview with a Serial Killer
This documentary delivers exactly what the title suggests: an interview with a serial killer. It focuses on Arthur Shawcross, otherwise known as the Genesee River Killer, and the jailhouse interview style documentary is downright disturbing to watch! Shawcross, himself, shares gruesome details in his interview and his blank stares and seemingly no remorse for the horror he had brought to all his victims bring this documentary to a 2.3 out of 5 rating with 5.5/10 from IMDb.
4. H.H. Holmes
How could the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix be complete without the one about America’s first known serial killer? Like a real-life Stephen King novel, this one is definitely the creepiest of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s set in the 1800’s, so naturally, the photos and overall vibe of the documentary is just that much creepier, or maybe it’s a simple fact that this killer even existed! I don’t know what’s scarier: how he spent years turning his house into a massive torture chamber, or what he did to his victims in his torture-house. Either way, it scored 2.8 out of 5 and a nice 7.7/10 on IMDb.
3. The Confessions of Thomas Quick
This chilling documentary takes us through the evolution of one of Sweden’s most feared killers of all time—everything from his deep psychiatric troubles to his numerous horrific crimes. I love how they mix real footage and pictures in with well-executed re-enactments along with confessions and interviews from Quick, himself. Well-deserved 3.1/5 rating and 6.2 out of 10 on IMDb and by far one of the best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018!
2. Aileen: The Selling of a Serial Killer
Apparently, viewers found this documentary disturbing in more ways than one. Not just about a prostitute who killed multiple men and tried to label it all as self-defense, but also her attorney who only saw dollar signs in her case and trial. The 3.5/5 rating and 7 out of 10 rating on IMDb put it as a very close second to the best serial killer documentary on Netflix.
1. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Coming in at number 1 of the 12 best serial killer documentaries on Netflix is the sequel to The Selling of a Serial Killer. If you watched and liked The Selling of a Serial Killer, Life and Death is even better! With 3 out of 5 and a good 7.2/10 IMDb rating, this documentary goes a bit deeper in the life and death of what was believed to be America’s very first female serial killer, with even more interviews with Aileen herself, and even a confession to boot.
This wraps it up for our list of best serial killer documentaries on Netflix streaming in 2018.