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12th July 2016 The MALESTROM

Murder he wrote: The best real crime documentaries

So you watched ‘Making a Murderer’ in one sitting, and became an amateur sleuth overnight. In desperate need of more crimes with question marks, you downloaded the ‘Serial’ podcast and spent your morning commute questioning, deliberating and validating a multitude of evidence – you became the investigator and the investigated, the prosecution and the defence. With real crime documentaries and podcasts taking the world by storm, our appetite for more is insatiable, but there may be one or two you haven’t seen and they’re brilliant.

So preoccupied with the trials and tribulations of crimes unknown, you began to look at the world differently, suspicious of everyone and everything and completely disengaged from the trivia of the working day. You became desperate for real crime – your appetite for baffling, unresolved criminal misconduct hopefully led you to ‘The Jinx’, a fascinating five-parter about Robert Durst – heir to a billion dollar New York property portfolio, and a story as tantalizingly trivial as Making a Murderer, but with a protagonist (antagonist) so fascinating and insecure in equal measure – you’d set your alarm an hour early the next day, just to watch the next episode while you ate your breakfast.

From here, of course, you came unstuck, walking aimlessly down a blind alley – Google just doesn’t cope too well with, best crime documentaries that are similar to Making a Murderer, The Jinx, and the Serial podcast! Desperate and lacking direction, and at times forgoing food and drink – because ‘what’s the point anymore’ – you randomly stumble upon ‘The Thin Blue Line’, YES!! The original, a classic dating all the way back to the 80s – the first of it’s kind and it was buried on Netflix all along. Fascinating, well constructed, dark and depressing – it’s directed as it appears – like nobody’s sure what’s coming next. You didn’t want it to end because you knew that was the end – ‘there’s no more out there’ you cry.

What now, you need something to fill the void – it’s too unsatisfying to simply swap genres and start watching docs about genetically modified food, and how livestock is the biggest contributor to global warming – even more so than traffic pollution and energy waste – believe us we tried also. No the thirst for another drawn out, press play at the same time as your friends and family whodunit is too strong. Then BOOM! What was that? Something catches your eye, as you robotically click through pages of links on IMDBs top 157 documentary films of all time. The Soupçon, no The Staircase, wait, which is it? Computer’s being slow – help! It’s an eight part docu-series about a wealthy fiction writer accused of murdering his soul mate, the love of his life. Could this be? Why haven’t I seen this? Yes please – oh my word – it’s the best yet!!

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