Why do women love true-crime documentaries so much?

The question remains. As a true-crime obsessed female myself, I don’t really know how to answer that, except that I think it’s just really interesting and that’s about the long and short of it. It’s more about the human psychology of it than the grisly details itself – taking a look into someone’s head and trying to figure out why they did what they did.

Our streaming platform saviour Netflix has no shortage of mind-bending, skin-crawling, jaw-dropping true-crime stories that will leave you sleepless and saying ‘just one more episode’ while you know in your heart that that is not the case. Take your pick and read on about ours.

What Jennifer Did

This Netflix film follows the case of Jennifer Pan, a Canadian woman who, in 2010, orchestrated an attack on her parents with a kill-for-hire in the mix and was convicted of the same. Jennifer wanted out from her life of lies and ended up faking a robbery gone wrong that resulted in the murder of her mother.

Jennifer’s parents had mapped out her future for her, enforcing strict rules and impossibly high expectations from a young age. Her comings and goings were watched closely and she wasn’t allowed to date lest she falter from her academic goals. The whole affair didn’t end well and she’s now serving life in prison.

The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth

Former HR consultant and media executive Indrani Mukerjea is said to have been responsible for the disappearance of her own daughter, Sheena Bora. It is alleged that Indrani murdered her for financial gains and, also disapproved of her relationship with her then husband Peter Mukerjea’s son from a previous marriage (uh, what?).

Indrani has spent time in prison ever since, although never actually confessing to the murder or having to do anything with it. The documentary reveals Indrani to be toting some new brand of narcissism I’ve never seen before, and not only are the details of the case itself interesting, but also her own take on the whole thing.

The Outreau Case: A French Nightmare

One of the biggest scandals in French history and a gross mess up of the French justice system, this chilling case of familial child abuse, wrongful convictions and a lot of lies grappled the country in the early 2000’s, when the alleged crimes took place.

Outreau is a relatively quiet, small town in the North of France, and when the case started unfolding, the details were terrifying. A total of 18 people were accused of being involved in the Outreau case, of which 10 were convicted. Later, six of those 10 were acquitted of the crimes.

Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer


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A serial killer in the midst of Berlin’s nightlife – this is the terrifying true story of how one murderer remained at large in the Berlin nightlife scene in 2012, committing a string of grisly murders and leaving not much to track him behind – until one of his targets survived.

The serial killer put the capital and the law enforcement agencies under great duress – he always got away and the bodies were piling up. The ‘Darkroom Murderer’, as they called him. The docu-series follows how the surviving victim helped the cops to close in.

Our picks…

The Staircase

The strongest case I’ve seen that the people operating the simulation we’re all living in have a dark sense of humour. It’s a classic did-he-do-it? – murder his wife by pushing her down a staircase, or did she fall? Was she attacked by an owl (a genuinely proposed defence theory)? I still don’t know and I’ve changed my mind at least 30 times. The Key USP though, is this one piece of evidence (involving staircases) is either double lottery-winning levels of coincidence, or a smoking gun/owl. – Miles Buckeridge, Deputy Editor, Dubai

Crime Patrol

That’s it. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, Abu Dhabi

Amanda Knox 

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I think it was quite possibly one of the first true crime documentaries I had watched, apart from all of the countless series I grew up watching on the Crime Investigation channel. I remember vividly watching it at school as part of one of my English classes about perspective and objectiveness. Whether or not Amanda was innocent wasn’t in question (I don’t think she was entirely innocent). However, the documentary was obviously from an American perspective, favouring Amanda Knox and I think the way that the documentary tried to make the Italian police force seem as incompetent as possible was slightly jarring. The entire series of events, as in most crime-docs, was just a little bit too fishy for my liking. It gives off a similar energy as world-famous Madeline McCann – too many fingers have been pointed, too many people have seemed guilty and turned out to be ‘innocent’. The only actual people who know what went on that morning are Amanda Knox, Raffaelo Sollecito and Rudy Guedo. I stand by my views that they were all complicit in some way. I think I know what I’m rewatching this evening… – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Thinking about this show still gives me chills. The story is an unbelievable tale of a girl who met a tragic end at the notoriously ominous Cecil Hotel, where many misfortunes have befallen the residents. As the episodes progress, the whole mystery is unpacked, and in the end, even with clarity, you’re left with deep sadness at the way it all unfolded. It’s shines a strong light on the dangers of unchecked mental illnesses, and how they can lead to something much worse than you can imagine. One thing is for sure – you won’t find me staying at the Cecil Hotel. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Reporter 

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