No longer am I satisfied with combing CrimeLibrary.com and perusing Amazon for new (used) books about serial killers and ghosts and other creepy stuff. I need more to satisfy my weirdo interest in the macabre. Therefore, I have turned to TV – well, TV that I can access via my MacBook, anyway. That’s where all the good stuff is anyway. From Netflix to HBOGo to YouTube, you can satisfy your inner creepo 24/7 and I do!
“Forensic Files” (Netflix)
“Forensic Files” is kind of cheesy in a throwback sort of way, but I’m still a big fan. I always get sucked into and episode and come out of a weird trance an hour or two later. It originally aired on TLC as “Medical Detectives,” but changed its name a few years ago. I like that each episode is brief (30 min), because I’m a millennial and have a bad attention span. Each episode centers around the pathologists and forensics experts to work to solve a variety of crimes, and I’m a sucker for a semi-cheesy re-enactment scene or two. Call it the “Unsolved Mysteries” effect.
“The Killer Speaks” (Netflix)
What makes someone kill? That’s the question this documentary series from A&E strives to answer. Each episode goes in-depth with a convicted killer. Sometimes they tell their own stories (often in full detail), which is chilling. “The Killer Speaks” forces you to examine humanity in all its facets, and that in itself can be truly terrifying.
After devouring “American Horror Story: Asylum” not once but THREE times over, I went on a little Wikipedia tear that brought me to “Cropsey.” You see, the fictional Briarcliff that Lana revisits under appalling, disgusting conditions was based on a real-life Geraldo piece at Willowbrook State School. A man named Andre Rand had worked there briefly, and he was the shady, menacing character who came to be known as “Cropsey.” Cropsey is sort of a bogeyman figure to children in New Jersey, and watching the documentary, I promise you’ll learn why.
This ‘90s gem is currently available to watch on HBOGo, and I for one am pretty bummed that they don’t offer the entire series because I’m devouring it. It focuses on Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist, and each episode features several short stories about different cases he’s been part of. It’s fascinating on so many levels; you can exhume a body after it’s been buried for a handful of years and still run important toxicology tests on it! One warning, though: “Autopsy” is pretty graphic. If you’re not into seeing actual crime scene footage of corpses and bodies, don’t start this one. (I had a nightmare about Ed Gein’s flesh masks last night. Thanks, “Autopsy.”)
“The Jinx” (HBOGo)
I haven’t started this miniseries yet, but it promises to be the “Serial” of TV. It’s about an enigmatic man named Robert Durst, who happens to be in the wrong place more than once in his life. Add in more than a few shady happenstances and a billion dollar fortune and you have the best kind of TV show. It’s “The Poor Little Rich Boy” with a murderous twist.