Humans are different, indeed. For some, their moral side outweighs the morbid and sadistic one. And there are some sadists—or simply curious—people who enjoy watching things that are gruesome and bone-chilling, documentaries about infamous and notorious serial killers being one of those examples.
If you are looking for some suggestion for a good serial killer documentaries, we are here to assist you in this. This is a well-crafted and much-researched list of the most bone-chilling serial killer documentaries that can make you a little insomniac for some days… these are definitely binge worthy.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
This four episode original documentary that Netflix premiered the Los Angeles serial killer, Richard Ramirez was perhaps one of the best and most detailed documentary we have seen in a long time. The documentary is well balanced with all the details from the rookie officer who finally tracked the Night Stalker down all based on a shoe print.
I love to kill people. I love to watch them die. I would shoot them in the head and they would wiggle and squirm all over the place, and then just stop. Or I would cut them with a knife and watch their faces turn real white. I love all that blood.Richard Ramirez
The serial rapist Richard Ramirez went on a killing sprees in the summer of 1985 where he killed about fourteen people, raped and torture over two dozen people. He was not your typical serial rapist and killer because he did not have a certain “type” of victims that he targeted. He killed anyone he felt compelled to kill, from the elderly to the young… it didn’t matter to him… and in the end it was the people of Los Angeles that finally caught him.
The Son Of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness
On May 2021, Netflix premiered it’s four episode documentary of the shootings and ultimate eight murders that happened starting from summer of 1976 to the following summer of 1977 in New York City, specifically in the Brooklyn area. The documentary focuses from the perspective from a investigative reporter by the name of Maury Terry who was convinced that David Berkowitz did not act alone in the killings. In fact the he goes goes on to document the timeline that there had to be many more killers that committed these murders.
Maury Terry devoted his entire life until literally his last breath to prove that the murders were part of a satanic cult that may have had ties and possibly its origin from Scientology; and that may have involved some very high profiled people. Sadly the New York Police Department, the New York District Attorney and Mayor Koch (who was running for re-election at the time) wanted to capture the killer, close the books and did not want to investigate further. They just wanted to pin all the 6 killings (and 7 wounded) to just one man, David Berkowitz. The killer(s) had written to the police and newspapers… and if you compare the handwriting, it does not match which is rather weird that the documentary did not go into this comparison. All in all, the documentary is very good and worth the binge.
Ed Kemper: In His Own Words
Ed Kemper is 6’9” in height an absolute predator in actions. This documentary that can be found on YouTube features the interviews with Ed Kemper who was also known as the “Co-ed killer,” because he targeted college age females…reveals a side of him that only he can tell, literally in his own words. A serial killer with nine killings to his name—including one of his grandparents and his mother and her friend. But, this is not the end. He was so stone-hearted that he used the severed heads of his victims to get sexual pleasure. And this documentary features his interviews!
Perhaps one of the most insightful and intelligent serial killers, with an IQ of 145 we have come across… Ed Kemper knew that he belong in jail, otherwise he would keep killing. After he murdered his mom and her friend, he called the police to turn himself in…and also confessed to killing six other college age women… what he needed to do… he got it out of his system when asked why he turned himself in:
The original purpose was gone … It wasn’t serving any physical or real or emotional purpose. It was just a pure waste of time … Emotionally, I couldn’t handle it much longer. Toward the end there, I started feeling the folly of the whole damn thing, and at the point of near exhaustion, near collapse, I just said to hell with it and called it all off.Ed Kemper
Conversations With A Killer: Ted Bundy Tapes
This Netflix original documentary goes into every detail of the rampage killings that Ted Bundy committed from the day his girlfriend broke up with him because she didn’t see a real future with him. To Ted, Diane Edwards was the ideal girl, a really classy gal that perhaps outclassed him. “The relationship I had with Diane had a lasting impact on me,” Ted Bundy admitted years later.Perhaps this was the catalyst that drove Ted Bundy to go on a murdering spree for girls that resembled or reminded him of his first love.
Society wants to believe it can identify evil people, or bad or harmful people, but it’s not practical. There are no stereotypes.
We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.
He should have recognized that what really fascinated him was the hunt, the adventure of searching out his victims. And, to a degree, possessing them physically, as one would possess a potted plant, a painting or a Porsche. Owning, as it were, this individual.Ted Bundy
The Netflix documentary released in 2019 for streaming on the 30th anniversary of his 1979 arrest for murder of is everything you need to know about Ted Bundy, the era of the 70s and all the murders he committed from the State of Washing to Florida.
The Pig Farm
The 2011 documentary revolves around the remorseless Canadian millionaire Robert Pickton. He was a farmer who neglected his farming business and rented out his farm instead for raves and sex events. Yet his dark side triumphed over his moral one: he murdered scores of women in cold blood, and, when that couldn’t satisfy his morbid side, he fed those women to the pigs on his farm. The horrific episodes of murder and brutality lasted between 1983 to 2002.
He confessed to killing 49 murders though his goal was to kill another one “to make it an even 50” and that he was planning to “shut it down, but that’s when I got sloppy”… but he told Canadian investigators that he would have succeed his 50 had he not been so sloppy with the other 49 killings.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files
This 2013 Netflix documentary is a collection of interviews, archives, and fictional characters and scenarios that revolves around the cannibal murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, whom neighbors described a man that was “disturbing normal.” According to the records and investigations, he bears the murder of seventeen male youths on his hands.
I separated the joints, the arm joints, the leg joints, and had to do two boilings. I think I used four boxes of Soilex for each one, put in the upper portion of the body and boiled that for about two hours and then the lower portion for another two hours. The Soilex removes all the flesh, turns it into a jelly like-like substance and it just rinses off. Then I laid the clean bones in a light bleach solution, left them there for a day and spread them out on either newspaper or cloth and let them dry for about a week in the bedroom.
It is now over. This has never been a case of trying to get free. I didn’t ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. This was a case to tell the world that I did what I did, but not for reasons of hate. I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Now I believe I was sick. The doctors have told me about my sickness, and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused… Thank God there will be no more harm that I can do. I believe that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save me from my sins… I ask for no consideration.Jeffrey Dahmer
H. H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer
We know about Sherlock Holmes—though a little narcissist, he was not a bad person. This Holmes was an epitome of horror: He had designed a ‘hotel’ in the heart of Chicago with hidden torture chambers, a specific place (known as the “Murder Castle”) where he used to kill his victims—what investigators believed to have been hundreds of them during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Looking at the name i.e. Murder Castle, we can have a faint idea about how much he fantasized killings of innocents people.
This 2003 Netflix documentary explores the time H.H. Holmes left his hometown in New Hampshire until his capture and trial. H.H. Holmes confessed to killing twenty-seven victims during his killing spree but he was ultimately only convicted and was sentenced to only one murder.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Most serial killers are men, very few are women… but Aileen Wuornos is not like any woman. She loved women, hated men and did not have a problem killing them. This documentary by Netflix goes into the detail of her killing spree and her trial. She was found guilty of murdering six people from 1989 to 1990 and was sentenced to death in 2002. Killing six people for a woman cannot be a walk in the park—yet, she did it.
I robbed them, and I killed them as cold as ice, and I would do it again. And I know I would kill another person because I’ve hated humans for a long time.
To me, this world is nothing but evil, and my own evil just happened to come out cause of the circumstances of what I was doing.Aileen Wuornos
The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman
This 2001 HBO documentary about a mafia hitman, named Richard Kuklinski, who murdered around 200 people in cold blood. He was a brutal, remorseless machine without a heart. In this movie, he himself confesses about his killings— and surely that would send chills down one’s spine!
Richard Kuklinski was a devoted husband, a loving father who was your ordinary family man… who happened to love his job. He killed without a flinch and found the perfect employer because he got paid for what he would have naturally done anyways had he not worked for the mafia.
This Is The Zodiac Speaking
And here is one of those yet-to-be solved serial killer cases: This is the Zodiac Speaking. The documentary touches nearly each single aspect of the investigation of that case—including original interviews of the detectives and the survivors. Next was a sheer cannibal!
Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation
Well, the name says it all. The 2007 documentary movie by John Borowski focuses on the sadist child killer, rapist and cannibal, the brutal Albert Fish—a heartless serial killer who confessed to killing, raping and torturing many men, women and children. He was a name that sent frissons down the spine of the the American population a century back.
Albert Fish’s reign of terror happened between 1924 to 1932. He confessed to three murders and the stabbing of two other people. However, investigators believed that he had over hundred victims spanning across the United States.
“I like children they are tasty.”
“I have no particular desire to live. I have no particular desire to be killed. It is a matter of indifference to me. I do not think I am altogether right.”
“I always had a desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt.”Albert Fish
Boogeyman was a fictional character until the birth of Andre Rand. This 2009 documentary mystery movie Cropsey probes the life and *doings* of the serial killer from Staten Island who was kidnapped five children during 1970s in NYC.
I Survived BTK
This 2010 documentary film by Marc Levitz is based on the recollection of Charlie Otero the oldest surviving member of the Otero family who were murdered by the American serial killer infamously known as the BTK, which stands for “Blind, Torture, Kill,” the true identity of a Dennis Rader. Dennis Rader did not only killed 10 people but for 3 decades, but he would taunt at the police in his letters. How we was capture was classic… and so satisfying.
Dennis Rader crime spree took place between 1974 to 1991 in Kansas between Wichita and Park City. He was convicted of killing ten people
The Confessions of Thomas Quick
A patient in psych ward in Sweden, revealed a shocking truth about killing 39 people in 1993. Later in the 2008, he drew back with his own confessions. Police had to end investigation as there were no evidence except for his confessions. 39 people killed in cold blood. That really takes some spine to commit the crime of this magnitude.
Jack The Ripper: Prime Suspect
This 2012 BBC documentary the famous East End of London killer, Jack The Ripper is a name with no face in American Crime history. Investigators and Criminology experts have long followed the trails to put a face to the infamous man, but to no avail. Now, the team of experts behind this documentary came up with another face whom they term as a Prime Suspect.
Tales of the Grim Sleeper
This 2014 HBO original documentary focuses the Los Angeles based serial killer who terrorized South Central Los Angeles, known as the “Grim Sleeper,” who killed twelve women in just 25 years between 1985 and 2007. Lonnie Franklin was finally convicted of killing one teenage girl and nine women. He was known to have stalked sex workers and all except one of his suspected victims were women.
Interview with a Serial Killer
This 2008 documentary by director Christopher Martin jailhouse interviews Arthur Shawcross, also known as Genesee River Killer, who tells his horrible crime story in this horrifying documentary. Apart from killings of a boy and a girl along with eleven prostitutes, he was notorious for his unconventional yet highly psychopathic ways: he was known for cannibalism and mutilation!
My Brother The Serial Killer
The 2012 documentary film story is told by Clay Rogers, brother of the king of infamy Glen Rogers, famously known as the “Casanova Killer” and “The Cross Country Killer” as he left four women dead in 1995. Glen was convicted in 2 murders and some seventy other criminal events during 1990s. Rogers apart from these homicides was a prime suspect in multiplicity of cases that involved homicide, torture, rape and mutilation.
Tobin: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Part of the Real Crime television series, this specific 2010 documentary episode directed by David Street focused on the crime based on the life of Scottish killer Perter Tobin. He was charged with the murder of 3 people between 1991 to 2006, and was sentenced for life imprisonment. Peter Tobin claimed that he committed about 48 murders through the course of his killing spree before he was caught.
Bay Blue is a dreadful 2014 documentary by Alix Lambert and David McMahon of a penniless Ronald Dominique from the poorest part of southeastern Louisiana. He was involved in rape and murder of twenty-three men from 1997 to 2006.
Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance
This 2011 documentary film is based upon the life of Carl Panzram, serial killer who was jailed in 1928 for killing twenty-one people. He was also involved in committing more than 1000 acts of sodomy in the early 1900s until his capture. This is a documentary based on the 40,000 words from Carl Panzram himself as he documented all the rapes, tortured, and murders he had committed. A young jailhouse guard paid him one dollar and supplied him with pen and paper for this “diary” of his.
Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer
The Netflix docuseries starting in 2015 tries to dig into the dangerous minds of serial killers. The thrilling, dramatic actions along with real pictures that can chill one to their bone has made this series more interesting and worth watching—for those who are not faint-hearted.
Serial Killer Culture
This docuseries by John Borowski does not focus on serial killer, rather it tries to find out our own interest in the serial killer by interviewing different collectors of murder memorabilia. The interviews of the people are also included in the series who showed interest in these killers. If you are that much interested, you can volunteer for series like this in future!