The first season of American Nightmare has rocketed to the top of Netflix's most watched TV shows charts this week, and with good reason: it sounds like fiction, but its tale of a woman accused by the police of faking her own kidnapping is a true and twisty story.
The dramatised documentary has racked up an impressive 48.1 million viewing hours and 21.4 million views so far, nearly double the view count of this week's number two, Fool Me Once – the success of which prompted two more Harlan Coben novels to be turned into shows.
If American Nightmare has whetted your appetite for true crime documentaries, here are three more to watch on the world's best streaming service from behind your fingers. Be sure to also check out our roundup of the best true crime shows on Netflix for more.
The Tinder Swindler
The Tinder Swindler is another barely believable real-life story. This time, it's about a supposed playboy, a cruel but charismatic con artist who seduces and steals from women all over the world. The documentary follows the story of three women who were tricked by the 'swindler' and their attempts to bring him to justice. As the Radio Times explains: "Shimon [Hayut] wooed these women with private jets, bouquets of flowers, lavish trips and dates, before asking them for money, as he claimed his safety had been jeopardised and couldn't have any transactions traced back to him. Using money from one woman to fund his expensive escapades with another, Hayut was able to keep up his lifestyle."
Lost Girls is the story of some of the victims of the Long Island serial killer, and it's both unusual and refreshing in that it wants you to learn about the women and their families rather than revel in the gory details of what happened to them. The real-life case is still unresolved, and the movie is based on the 2013 book that centres on Mari Gilbert, a single mom whose daughter goes missing in the Oak Beach area. The search for her uncovers the bodies of multiple women, but because they're believed to be sex workers the police don't seem particularly enthused about finding their killer. It's a heartbreaking tale of tragedy, not just because of the women's deaths but because of the struggle their families had in order to get law enforcement to even see them as people.
A Love Song For Latasha
In 1991, a young Black girl called Latasha Harlins was shot dead by a convenience store owner in LA in a dispute over a $1.79 bottle of orange juice. Outrage over her senseless death, along with the beating of Rodney King, fuelled the 1992 uprising. But rather than focus on her murder, this award-winning documentary – which was also nominated for an Academy Award – would rather talk about the life, the hopes and the dreams that were ended that day. It's a short film, just 19 minutes long, but it has attracted great reviews. Writing in Esquire, Gabrielee Bruney says that "if you’ve seen anything of Latasha’s life, it’s likely the final seconds of her existence. [Sophia Nahli] Allison instead creates a brief, stirring portrait of the fifteen years that preceded them."
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.