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13+ New True Crime Documentaries & Series To Watch In 2022

Grab your popcorn.

Originally Published: 
This year brings plenty of new true crime documentaries to binge-watch.
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Let’s be real — there’s something very enticing about true crime documentaries. Perhaps they make people feel better about their boring, quiet lives (it’s me, I’m people), or maybe they provide a safe bit of danger. Whatever the case, there are a lot of us who love watching stories about true crime. Real stories about theft, deceit, betrayal, and murder should probably not find a place on so many people’s watch lists. But these ripped-from-the-headlines series practically always prove riveting, and they’re only getting more and more popular.

Networks and streaming services are adapting true crime stories left and right to bring the stories to viewers. While some include the criminal in the documentary, many do not, letting victims and experts tell their stories instead. And while some of these documentaries and docuseries include a resolution, many end with a mystery still unsolved — letting you come up with your own version of the ending.

What does our collective love of the macabre say about us, though? Are we total creepers, or just curious? “Watching true crime doesn’t make you strange or weird,” psychologist Chivonna Childs, Ph.D., told Cleveland Clinic. “It’s human nature to be inquisitive. True crime appeals to us because we get a glimpse into the mind of a real person who has committed a heinous act.” Also, research shows that women are disproportionally drawn to true crime stories, suggesting there’s a self-preservation component to our viewing habits. “We want to watch true crime in part to learn how to avoid being a victim,” explained Dr. Childs, adding, “It can teach us to be prepared in case we’re ever in that situation.”

So, see? It’s educational. Now, the tricky part is picking which one to binge-watch while you obsessively Google every name and place involved. Although there are a ton of true crime documentaries available to watch and stream now, these are the best documentaries and series landing in 2022.

Best New True Crime Documentaries of 2022 (So Far)

1. The Tinder Swindler

Premiered: Feb. 2

Where to watch: Netflix

Clear an evening! You’re going to need it once you hit play on this documentary. The gist? Three women speak out about a man they were all involved with who swindled them out of thousands of dollars after matching on Tinder. After pretending to be an heir to a fortune, he made women fall in love with him and then conned them out of money. Eventually, they caught on, but not before he continued to squeeze millions out of other women.

2. King of the Con

Premiered: Jan. 14

Where to watch: Discovery+

Barry Minkow is a master con artist. Over the course of several years, he reinvented himself time and time again to deceive people to get richer and richer. It wasn’t an easy path, and Minkow found himself in trouble more than once, but his story is fascinating nonetheless. He tells it all himself in this documentary about his life and crimes.

3. Inventing Anna

Premiered: Feb. 11

Where to watch: Netflix

Anna Sorokin — or Anna Delvey — lived like the elite in New York City. The 20-something convinced everyone around her that she was a German heiress swimming in money. Using her charm and quick words, she conned friends, banks, and many other people out of thousands of dollars. The scripted series created by Shonda Rhimes tells Delvey’s story from childhood to the fallout after being caught for her crimes.

4. BTK: Confessions of a Serial Killer

Premiered: Jan. 8

Where to watch: A&E

Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer, has had a number of stories told about him and his crimes. And in this new docuseries, viewers get yet another bit of insight into the brain of a madman. Go into Rader’s past through the lens of forensic and psychological experts for a new take on what might have been happening in Rader’s head over the course of these years.

5. Murder Under the Friday Night Lights

Premiered: Jan. 4

Where to watch: ID

In small towns all over the country, football is more than a form of entertainment; it’s the community’s lifeblood. But what happens when real blood gets shed? This ID series examines tragic cases involving local high school football heroes and how the crimes affected the “Friday night lights” towns where the players lived.

6. Scream: The True Story

Premiered: Jan. 14

Where to watch: Discovery+

The return of the Scream franchise with January’s Scream 5 has brought renewed interest to this classic horror story. Did you know the films were rooted in real-life horror, though? Scream: The True Story doesn’t have Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, or even Ghostface, but it does have… an actual ghost? Well, you’ll have to watch and see. The docu-special follows a paranormal investigation to find out whether serial killer Danny Rolling (Scream‘s inspiration) was possessed by a demonic spirit that still lurks in the shadows.

7. The Dropout

Premiered: March 3

Where to watch: Hulu

Based on the podcast of the same name, The Dropout is the story of Elizabeth Holmes (played by Amanda Seyfried) and her rise to power as the founder of Theranos — as well as her downfall after being accused of fraud. Her health company claimed to have super-advanced tech, but it was all a lie, and Holmes didn’t have the know-how or equipment that she alleged she did.

8. Bad Vegan

Premiered: March 16

Where to watch: Netflix

Sarma Melngailis was once hailed as the queen of vegan cuisine — a celebrity restaurateur behind the NYC hotspot Pure Food and Wine. But shortly after meeting a man named Shane Fox on Twitter, she earned the nickname “Vegan Fugitive.” This wild four-part series follows her meteoric rise in the food world to her part in stealing nearly $2 million and going on the run.

9. Scott Peterson: The Friends Speak

Premiered: Jan. 9

Where to watch: REELZ

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since pregnant Modesto, California resident Laci Peterson went missing on Christmas Eve and captivated the nation. When her body tragically showed up in the San Francisco Bay four months later, suspicion turned to her husband, Scott Peterson, who was ultimately convicted for her murder. In this docuseries, the people closest to Laci and Scott open up — many for the first time.

10. For Heaven’s Sake

Premiered: 2021

Where to watch: Paramount+

Yes, this series technically premiered in 2021. But it’s still new(ish), and there remains the fleeting hope that Paramount+ will drop a second season in 2022. Keep your fingers crossed for that, because the comedic docuseries style of For Heaven’s Sake makes it an excellent palate cleanser to watch between grittier fare. This story follows the disappearance of a Canadian man named Harold Heaven, who went missing almost 100 years ago. The disappearance was chalked up to suicide, but now, his great-great-nephew Mike Mildon wants to reopen the case and get some answers. With the help of his buddy Jackson Rowe and his family, Mike goes back to where it all began to try to find out what really happened.

11. Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story

Premiered: 2022

Where to watch: Hulu

Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story has so many twists and turns that it will become one of those stories that sticks with you. It begins in 1972 with a young Steven Stayner who disappears from his California home. When Steven is found, we discover he’s been in the strangest place for the past seven years. However, an even darker secret rests in their family — on that is both shocking and vicious.

12. Under the Banner of Heaven

Premiered: 2022

Where to watch: Hulu

This true crime follows the real-life tale of the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. We follow Detective Jeb Pyre, played by Andrew Garfield (aka Spiderman), as he dives into the Lafferty family mystery. Through this mysterious journey, he learns a lot about himself and his faith as a Mormon. It's a seven-episode limited series you're sure to finish in a day.

Bonus! Most Anticipated New True Crime Documentaries

The series have been released and creating a ton of buzz!

1. Perfect World: The Gamer Murders

Premiered: March 8

Where to watch: Peacock

Based on a 2019 Vice article, Perfect World: The Gamer Murders is a miniseries about a group of gamers who work together to track down a murderer. In typical gaming fashion, the group of friends didn’t actually know each other well, so when one in the group contacted the others to say they’d killed three people and were about to kill another, the rest of the group found themselves in a race against the clock to find the killer and stop them before they struck again.

2. Trust No One: The Hunt For The Crypto King

Premiered: March 30

Where to watch: Netflix

When crypto millionaire Gerry Cotten turns up dead, a group of people take it upon themselves to figure out what happened — and recover the money they invested in his venture. To the tune of $250 million, Cotten reportedly swindled the investors out of their money under false pretenses. And, not surprisingly, they want to know how they can recover their money.

3. The Staircase

Premiered: May 5

Where to watch: Peacock

This new series features a slew of stars that include Michael Stuhlbarg, Juliette Binoche, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DeJonge, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Guinee, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sophie Turner, Vincent Vermignon, Odessa Young, and Parker Posey. This true-crime thriller is created by Antonio Campos, the same mind behind The Devil All the Time. The Staircase is an incredibly entertaining and dramatic documentary that’s so bizarre, you'll forget it’s based on a true story.

WATCH: Live.Work.Thrive. Why Moms Love Murder: Decoding the True Crime Obsession

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