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The Latest Fish Obsession: True Crime

On a scale of 1-10, how much would it freak you out if I said at Fish, we’re all big fans of murderers, serial killers and criminals in general? At the end of a long day busting our butts making sure our clients get the best PR possible, we all agree that there’s no better way to wind down than by filling our brains with stories of the craziest true crime cases in history. Nothing gets our Fish team group Skype more #Lit than when someone brings up the latest true crime documentary series they just finished. In fact, sometimes the most difficult part of my job is avoiding spoilers on shows I haven’t had a chance to binge yet. If you’re also weirdly obsessed with the true crime segment, today is your lucky day. I’ve gathered the top 5 best series that we’re all obsessed with at Fish, along with summaries and details on where you can catch them.

Happy binging!

  • Making a Murderer: This ten-episode first season, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, explores the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who served 18 years in prison for the wrongful conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen, before being fully exonerated in 2003 by DNA evidence. He filed a suit against the county on this case. In 2005, Avery was arrested on charges of murdering Teresa Halbach, a local photographer, and was convicted in 2007. The series also covers the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was also charged in the murder, largely based on his confession under interrogation. Read more here.
    • Where to watch: Netflix
  • The Staircase: Netflix‘s newest docuseries, The Staircase, dives into the twisty case of Michael Peterson, a novelist who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson, after she was found unconscious at the bottom of a staircase in their home. Taken as a whole, with all 13 episodes available together on Netflix for the first time ever, the series paints a grim portrait of the criminal justice system. De Lestrade’s interest was never in the questioning Peterson’s guilt — his intent was to paint a broad picture of how Peterson would be treated inside the system until his final plea deal. Read more here.
    • Where to watch: Netflix
  • Mommy Dead and Dearest: In Mommy Dead and Dearest,provocative documentarian Erin Lee Carr explores a crime in the age of social media. Things are not always as they appear, especially in the case of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose, and what starts out as a grisly tale of matricide morphs into a rabbit hole of deception. Read more here.
    • Where to watch: HBO
  • The Jinx: This HBO documentary miniseries about New York real estate heir Robert Durst, an accused murderer. The Jinxgained widespread exposure when Durst was arrested on first-degree murder charges the day before its finale aired. The series investigates the unsolved 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife Kathie, the 2000 execution-style killing of writer Susan Berman, and the 2001 death and dismemberment of Durst’s neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas. It uses a wide array of existing media including news footage, security footage, police evidence, and archival interviews, combined with footage shot by Jarecki. Read more here.
    • Where to watch: HBO
  • Evil Genius: This true crime docuseries is about the murder of Brian Wells, a high-profile 2003 incident often referred to as the “collar bomb” or “pizza bomber” case. Trey Borzillieri, the co-director of Evil Genius, first got the idea to make a series about a high-profile crime after watching Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. He became captivated with the murder of Brian Wells when evidence emerged that Wells may have been forced to commit the robbery with a bomb strapped to his chest. He subsequently began interviewing people around Erie, Pennsylvania, where the incident had occurred. In 2005, two years after Wells’s death, Borzillieri struck up a correspondence with Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, originally because she was one of the only people who might have information about the (then) cold case. He spent years investigating the case, including interacting extensively with Diehl-Armstrong while she was in prison. Read more here.
    • Where to watch: Netflix