True crime documentaries have taken the world by storm and there’s plenty to choose from all different platforms. We know that Netflix’s wide range of collections has some of the greatest true crime documentaries ever, with Evil Genius: The true story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist, and American Murder: The Family Next Door.
However, it doesn’t mean that Netflix is the only place where you find great true crime documentaries. If you’re looking for something new and fresh in this genre, HBO Max may just be your next stop with an abundance of high-quality true crime documentaries that will suit your taste. Take a look at our list of the highest-rated true crime documentaries now streaming on HBO Max, based on viewer ratings from world-famous review site IMDb.
Now, are you ready to dive into the new world of true crime documentaries? Let’s go!
| 1. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
2015 | 6 Episodes | 4h 39m | 8.6/10
A groundbreaking six-part documentary directed and produced by Andrew Jarecki and produced and shot by Marc Smerling (the Oscar-nominated behind “Capturing the Friedmans (2003)”) delves into the strange history of real estate heir Robert Durst, long suspected in the still-unsolved 1982 disappearance of his wife as well as the subsequent murders of family friend Susan Berman and neighbor Morris Black. It features an extended, revealing interview with Durst himself, with whom Jarecki developed a unique relationship following the release of “All Good Things (2010)”, Jarecki’s 2010 feature about Durst’s life starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. “The Jinx” results from nearly a decade of research by the filmmakers, who expose police files, key witnesses, never-before-seen footage, private prison recordings, and thousands of pages of formerly hidden documents. (IMDb)
| 2. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
1996 | 1 Episode | 2h 30m |8.3/10
Berlinger and Sinofsky’s documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the subsequent trials of three suspects takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in ‘small-town’ America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds. (IMDb)
| 3. Mea Macia Culpa: Silence in the House of God
2012 | 1 Episode | 1h 46m |8.1/10
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. By investigating the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control – the film shows the face of evil that lurks behind the smiles and denials of authority figures and institutions who believe that because they stand for good they can do no wrong. (IMDb)
| 4. At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal
2019 | 1 Episode | 1h 28m | 8.0/10
In 2016, USA Gymnastics was rocked by the revelation that national team doctor Larry Nassar had been abusing young athletes for decades. Tribeca alum Erin Lee Carr’s unflinching documentary unpacks the scandal, its cover-up, and aftermath while giving voice to the survivors. (IMDb)
| 5. Capturing the Friedmans
2003 | 1 Episode | 1h 47m | 7.7/10
In the late 1980s, the Friedmans – father and respected computer and music teacher Arnold Friedman, mother and housewife Elaine Friedman, and their three grown sons, David Friedman, Seth Friedman, and Jesse Friedman – of Great Neck, Long Island, are seemingly your typical middle-class American family. They all admit that the marriage was by no means close to being harmonious – Arnold and Elaine eventually got divorced – but the son’s talk of their father, while also not being always there for them, as being a good man. This façade of respectability masks the fact that Arnold was buying and distributing child pornography. Following a sting operation to confirm this fact, the authorities began to investigate Arnold for sexual abuse of the minor-aged male students of his computer classes, which he held in the basement of the family home.
Based on interviews with the students, not only was Arnold charged with and ultimately convicted of multiple counts of sodomy and sexual abuse of these boys but so was eighteen-year-old Jesse, who was mentioned by many as the aggressor of the two in the acts. Arnold admitted that he is a pedophile, but that he did not abuse the boys in his class as charged and convicted. The trial process brought out the dysfunction that previously existed within the family. But the issue of Arnold and Jesse’s guilt of these acts is hotly debated among the family, among the authorities, among the media, and among the students of the computer classes. (IMDb)
| 6. Murder on Middle Beach
2020 | 4 Episodes | 4h 25m | 7.5/10
Murder on Middle Beach is about the director Madison Hamburg’s complicated journey to solve an unspeakable crime and absolve the people he loves while seeking out answers within his own fractured family and community. The series revolves around the case of Barbara Hamburg, Madison’s other, who was brutally murdered on March 3, 2010, near her home in the upper-middle-class enclave of Madison, Connecticut. Investigators speculated this was a crime of passion, but without sufficient evidence, the case grew cold.
Over the course of eight years, Hamburg interviewed his family members and many others to learn more about his mother’s life and gather evidence in hopes of solving her murder. Along the way, he uncovers a web of familial and local secrets, connections to shadowy figures, and years-old resentments in his deceptively serene hometown. (HBO)
| 7. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
2019 | 1 Episode | 2h 23m | 7.5/10
In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy dies by suicide in his car at a parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass. Police soon discovered a series of alarming text messages from his girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, that seemed to encourage him to kill himself. This discovery sparked sensational headlines nationwide, leading to a trial that raised difficult questions about technology, social media, and mental health while asking if one person can be held responsible for the suicide of another. (HBO)
| 8. Mommy Dead and Dearest
2017 | 1 Episode | 1h 22m | 7.4/10
Dee Dee Blanchard and her ailing, wheelchair-bound daughter, Gypsy Rose, were beloved members of Springfield, Mo., but the tight-knit community was rocked when Dee Dee was found murdered in her home, and Gypsy was missing. Investigators tracked a graphic Facebook status stating, “that Bitch is Dead,” to Wisconsin. What unraveled next was a disturbing sequence of events that nobody saw coming.
| 9. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark
2020-2021 | 7 Episodes | 5h 53m | 7.4/10
A six-part documentary series based on the book of the same name, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of the violent predator she dubbed “The Golden State Killer,” the man who terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s and is responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 13 murders.
The series is also a journey into the soul of McNamara, whose True Crime Diaries blog and years of relentless determination for justice for the victims helped keep the case alive and in the public eye, and who tragically died of an accidental overdose while writing her book. A meditation on obsession and loss, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark chronicles the unrelenting path of a mysterious killer and the fierce determination of one woman to bring the case to light. ( HBO)
| 10. Who Killed Garrett Phillips?
2019 | 1 Episode | 3h 6m | 7.3/10
On Oct. 24, 2011, 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was murdered in his home in Potsdam, a small town in upstate New York. Police quickly zeroed in on a suspect in this unthinkable crime: Oral “Nick” Hillary, a black man in the mostly white community, who was a soccer coach at Clarkson University and the ex-boyfriend of Garrett’s mother, Tandy Cyrus. (HBO)
| 11. McMillion$
2020 | 6 Episodes | 5h 44m | 7.2/10
A six-part documentary series from Executive Producer Mark Wahlberg, McMillion$ chronicles the stranger-than-fiction true story of how $24 million dollars was stolen from the McDonald’s Monopoly game of the 1990s, the mysterious mastermind behind the scam, and the intrepid FBI agents on his trail.
For over a decade, McDonald’s fast-food empire awarded prizes in its Monopoly promotional game tie-in, unaware that the biggest winning tickets were being stolen and sold to undeserving winners through a complex web of family and friends who became co-conspirators. An anonymous tip to the FBI in 2001 triggers a far-reaching chain of events that will come to include dogged and unorthodox investigative work, undercover sting operations, and dirty dealings by shifty ex-cons with ties to the mafia.
| 12. Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults
2020 | 4 Episodes | 3h 26m | 7.2/10
A thorough examination of the infamous UFO cult through the eyes of its former members and loved ones. What started in 1975 with the disappearance of 20 people from a small town in Oregon, ended in 1997 with the largest suicide on US soil and changed the face of modern new age religion forever.
| 13. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
2019 | 1 Episode | 1h 59m | 7.2/10
In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start a company that was going to revolutionize healthcare. In 2014, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, making Holmes, who was touted as “the next Steve Jobs,” the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world. Just two years later, Theranos was cited as a “massive fraud” by the SEC, and its value was less than zero.
| 14. Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn
2020 | 1 Episode | 1h 40m | 7.1/10
On August 23, 1989, 16-year-old African American boy Yusuf Hawkins was innocently killed by an Italian mob in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, sparking protest and a deep racial divide. On the 30th anniversary, this film revisits the tragedy through interviews and archival footage to uncover the impetus of Hawkins’ death and highlight the systemic racism still existing today.
| 15. Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
2020 | 5 Episodes | 7.1/10
Atlanta’s Missing And Murdered: The Lost Children is a five-part documentary series offering an unprecedented look at the abduction and murder of at least 30 African-American children and young adults in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. Forty years later, with the official re-opening of the case by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the series tells the inside story of this shocking tragedy, shedding new light on the horrific killings through exclusive archival material as well as interviews with those closest to the children and investigation. (HBO)
| 16. The Vow
2020 | 9 Episodes | 7.0/10
This documentary series from Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Square, Control Room) follows members who joined the self-improvement group NXIVM – whose leader was convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering conspiracy, and other crimes – to reveal the emotional toll of unfolding events on these individuals.
| 17. Class Action Park
2020 | 1 Episode | 1h 30m | 7.0/10
Class Action Park is the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore the legend, legacy, and truth behind a place that long ago entered the realm of myth. To some, New Jersey’s infamous Action Park was the most spectacularly fun amusement park on Earth: A place where unruly 1980s teenagers were given free rein to go gonzo on strange contraptions that seemed to violate the laws of common sense (and perhaps physics). To others, it was an ill-conceived death trap. One thing is sure: It’s the type of place that will never exist again. Shirking the trappings of nostalgia, the film uses investigative journalism, newly unearthed and never-before-seen documents and recordings, original animations, and interviews with the people who lived it to reveal the true story for the first time. The documentary features an original score by The Holladay Brothers. (HBO Max)
| 18. Leaving Neverland
2019 | 4h | 6.9/10
Leaving Neverland is a two-part documentary exploring the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age 7, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson.
Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 40, and Robson, now 36, as well as their mothers, wives, and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of his own.
| 19. Behind Closed Doors
2017 | 4 Episodes | 6.8/10
An original four-part crime documentary series produced in association with HBO Asia and Star World, The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors examines the story of a double murder of a teenage girl and her family’s household servant in Noida, India. Featuring never-before-seen exclusive interviews with Aarushi’s parents, the series chronicles the twists and turns of a case that has confounded and divided India’s law enforcement, media, judiciary, and people alike. (IMDb)
| 20. The Lady and the Dale
2021 | 4 Episodes | 3h 32m | 6.7/10
Directed by Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker, the film traces the story of Elizabeth Carmichael, who rose to prominence when she released a fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicle during the 1970s gas crisis. As she wins over major carmakers and investors, a web of the mystery unfolds regarding the car’s technology and Carmichael’s surprising past. A portrait of an extraordinary entrepreneur’s rise and eventual fall, the series explores a one-of-a-kind story of fraud, family, and identity. (HBO)
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