When passion turns to crime: Exploring the mystery behind the motive

A quick review on true crime documentaries on Netflix and the ones I recommend for you.


media by S. Erickson

Maren Erickson watches Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Vile and Evil March 1. The documentary was released in 2019.

by Svea Erickson, Reporter

My heart starts beating rapidly and chills are running down my spine. Watching these documentaries creates an anxious and creepy feeling that I am being watched. I look out my window, checking and thinking I am in the movie myself. True crime documentaries allow me to use my imagination and predict the storyline with what may happen. Some of the best documentaries on Netflix that I recommend for you to watch are American Murder: The Family Next Door and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Vile and Evil

American Murder: The Family Next Door is a true crime documentary that takes place in 2018 and involves the Watts family murders in Frederick, Colorado. This documentary follows  the story that leads up to Shanann Watts and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, going missing with no lead as to where they went or why they left. The documentary features past text messages and how Chris and Shanann Watts’s relationship was rough before Shanann and her daughters went missing. In the documentary, it reveals what happened to Shanann and her two children and why it happened.

American Murder: The Family Next Door is one of my favorite documentaries! I love the storyline and it is very intriguing knowing the lies and interrogations [that are] involved. Overall it was a really good and interesting documentary. Documentaries like these keep me wanting to watch more,” Ellie Thompson ‘23 said.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Vile and Evil is a 2019 American crime drama film about the life of the serial killer Ted Bundy. This documentary goes through Ted Bundy’s life and the crimes he was a part of. The story is mainly from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years. It stars Zac Efron playing Ted and includes many past photos and interviews from when Ted Bundy was convicted of kidnapping and murder. The documentary walks through Ted’s girlfriend’s journey of dealing with the trauma and being able to find forgiveness and freedom. 

If you love a mysterious storyline and trying to predict the endings, I recommend these true crime documentaries!