Unraveling true crime

True crime documentary series have brought in many viewers to tune in and unravel the mysteries of real criminal cases. Below is an overview of three highly rated true crime miniseries, each of which can be found on a different streaming platform. Each series was evaluated for both informational and entertainment value. 

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scary Scandal (Netflix)  

Overall rating: 4/5

The hype surrounding “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” is not undeserved. The series masterfully delves into the trial of Alex Murdaugh while showing viewers that it is one of the many scandals involving the Murdaugh family.The miniseries slightly falls short in its portrayal of the five victims whose deaths were connected to the family, as much of the series is devoted to the speculation surrounding the cases without focusing on the lives taken. For those looking for an incredibly detailed account of the entangled web that is the Murdaugh family, this series is definitely a must-watch. 

Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story (Hulu)

Overall rating: 5/5

Brilliantly covering the 1972 kidnapping of Steven Stayner and the media coverage surrounding the case after his return, this miniseries leaves viewers in constant suspense. The unique storytelling style includes clips from the 1989 miniseries, “I Know My First Name is Steven” and transcripts of Stayner’s original media statements. The series discusses media sensationalism in crime, and viewers can hopefully walk away with deeper insight into the nature of crime coverage. As emotional and raw as it is, “Captive Audience” may be one of the most insightful and in-depth true crime series of recent years.

 The Case Against Adnan Syed (HBO Max) 

Overall rating: 3/5

This miniseries ultimately falls flat of its full potential. It dives into the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the public outcry following the conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. The Emmy-nominated first episode, “Forbidden Love,” starts strong with Lee’s diary entries days before her murder. The entries are read alongside Syed’s phone interviews, creating a captivating experience for viewers. However, the following three episodes are somewhat disorganized and confusing, and it is evident why some critics said the series comes armed with a “pro-Syed bias.”