In 2015, there were two true crime documentaries that had everyone talking – The Jinx, that documented eccentric heir Robert Durst as he stood trial for murder, and Making A Murderer, that witnessed Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey’s sentencing for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Now producers are looking for even more shocking but true stories to share with the world.
Kevin Sullivan, executive producer of Reveal, an NPR series and podcast produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Public Radio Exchange, explained to AdWeek, “I think long-form investigations are finding a home on nontraditional outlets like Netflix because people crave great stories.” He added, “People feel connected to what’s happening to the people in the stories, and they end up caring about an issue they didn’t even realize was important.”
When it comes to the true crime genre, there is an endless stream of stories to choose from. In 2017, these are the shows that producers have picked up to share with the world…
7. Making A Murderer Season 2
Rumored Release: Late Summer 2017
Now, a year on, we will get to revisit Steven Avery’s case once again as Making A Murderer directors, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, have confirmed they will begin filming their second series soon.
The show was a surprise hit for Netflix and the second season will continue the investigation into Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey’s involvement with the murder of Teresa Halbach. A federal judge ordered on November 14th 2016 that Dassey’s confession was involuntary and granted his release but an appeals court overturned his ruling on November 17th, ordering that he remain incarcerated pending resolution of an appeal.
The directors have spoken to Steven Avery’s new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, who is also on board for the second series. They said: “From our perspective this story is obviously not over. It’s real life and (Avery and Dassey’s) cases are both still pending.”
Further reading: 6 New Shocking Pieces Of Evidence That Could Free Steven Avery
6. Mommy Dead and Dearest
Release: March 2017
Dee Dee Blanchard appeared to the world as a model parent who took care of her wheelchair-bound, terminally ill daughter Gyspy. In 2015, Dee Dee was murdered – it was revealed that not only had her daughter Gypsy stabbed her to death but that she was never ill at all.
Gypsy stood trial, pleaded guilty, and was charged with second-degree murder. She was ordered to serve the minimum sentence possible for the crime – ten years in prison.
Mike Stanfield, Gypsy’s attorney, told News-Leader, “Essentially Gypsy’s mother was holding her a prisoner. Her mother would not allow her to spend any time alone with any other human being. Her mother, when they went to the doctor, did all the talking.”
Director Erin Lee Car will look at the case in her new HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “I am thrilled to be back at home with the team at HBO to bring this incredibly complex case and tragic story to audiences,” said Carr.
5. The Von Bulow Affair
Release: Late 2017
Universal Cable Productions
A documentary series based on the book ‘The Von Bülow Affair’, written by William Wright, has been commissioned by Universal Cable Productions for next year.
In 1980, British socialite Claus von Bülow was accused of the attempted murder of his wife , millionaire Sunny von Bülow (born Martha Sharp Crawford). He was accused of administering an insulin overdose which left her in a persistent vegetative state for the rest of her life, but he was found not guilty.
Dawn Olmstead, executive vice president of development at Universal Cable Productions, told Variety, “The story of the Von Bülows will go down in history as one of the most sensational scandals in American high society. We look forward to delving deeper into this true crime story that still leaves us cold today.”
4. Time: The Kailief Bowder Story
Release: March 1st 2017
Rapper Jay-Z and the Weinstein Company will air their six-part docu-series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story in March next year. In 2010, 16-year-old Kailief Bowder was accused of stealing a backpack, he never stood trial and was sentenced to three years in prison at Riker Island.
Most of his time behind bars was spent in solitary confinement and when he was finally released – he committed suicide.
Billboard reported that during a press conference Jay-Z revealed, “I look at Kalief Browder as a modern-day prophet. Our prophets come in many different shapes, forms and mediums. This young man, just by the fact that he brought all of us here today, lets you know how powerful of a soul he was.”
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
3. Untitled Denise Brown Series
Release: Late 2017
In 1994, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, were found murdered at Nicole’s home in Brentwood, California. O.J. was suspected of the double homicide but he was later acquitted in what was known as the ‘trial of the century.’
Nicole’s sister Denise Brown committed her life to raising awareness against domestic violence and she has increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act. She will now work closely with a team of experts investigating her own sister’s brutal murder in closer detail.
She told Variety magazine, “Peacock Productions’ expertise in the true-crime narrative and unscripted programming is unparalleled. I am excited to begin working with Peacock and tell the stories of lives that have forever been changed by the criminal justice system.”
2. Finding Chandra
Release: Late 2017
TNT & Sony Pictures Television
Chandra Levy was an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., who disappeared in May 2001. One year later, her skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park. After a thorough investigation, the police found she had been having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit, a married Democrat, then serving his fifth term.
Nobody knew many details about Levy’s disappearance until March 2009 when D.C. authorities had obtained a warrant to arrest Ingmar Guandique, an immigrant from El Salvador, who had been convicted of assaulting women in Rock Creek Park around the time of Levy’s disappearance. Guandique was found guilty and sentenced to 60 years in prison, although he claims to be innocent and is seeking an appeal of all charges.
Written and produced by Keith Huff, the dodu-series will be based around the book ‘Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery’ by Washington Post reporters Scott Higham and Sara Horowitz, who were assigned to dig into the cold case in 2007.
Further reading: 10 Most Shocking U.S Government Sex Scandals
1. Beware The Slenderman
Release: January 23rd 2017
The Slender Man is a thin, unnaturally tall man with a featureless face, wearing a black suit. Dark internet stories known as “creepypastas” are passed around, with many following the theme of him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, especially young children.
HBO have finally released the first trailer for their new documentary Beware the Slenderman, which will premiere on the cable network January 23, 2017. The shock documentary will shed more light on the case of two Wisconsin teenagers, who tried to murder a friend apparently in honor of Slender Man.
On May 31st, 2014, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who were aged 12-years-old at the time, lured their friend, 12-year-old Payton Leutner, into the woods and stabbed her 19 times.
Leutner managed to crawl to a road nearby, where a cyclist found her on the sidewalk and immediately called 911. When she was rushed to hospital the doctors declared that she was just seconds away from death. The girls were charged with attempted first-degree homicide. They were both tried as adults, as in the state of Wisconsin all murder charges for those aged older than 10 are tried in adult court.
During the trial, Morgan Geyser revealed that she believed Slender Man would hurt her family if she didn’t kill on his behalf. It was also heard that the murder was to “impress” Slender Man” A psychiatrist testified that Geyser suffered from schizophrenia and was delusional.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: