One of my most requested blog posts over the last few months has been a round-up of my latest favorite creepy true-crime podcasts, Netflix series and documentaries. So, today, I’m excited to finally share ONLY the best with you. I’m breaking down the TEN creepiest true crime [with the exception of one!] podcasts, Netflix series’ and documentaries that I have watched / listened to since getting into them last year.
While it may seem a little weird to be into these tragic, horrible and creepy stories, I think they ultimately remind me about how precious life is. More on that in this Instagram post. It’s also why I felt led to take these photos in a cemetery. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or make light of the dead here. I find cemeteries to be beautiful and reminders that the past deserves to be honored and remembered. They are visible reminders of what was, otherwise peoples’ stories would be forgotten.
Up & Vanished
This is probably the leading investigative true crime podcast out there right now! Payne Lindsey and the team at Tenderfoot TV have curated one full season of Up & Vanished, which delved the Tara Grinstead case, which was one of the top 5 cold cases in the state of Georgia up until the podcast led to TWO arrests in the case. The list of episodes looks intimidating at first but, I promise, it’s very well done, and you’ll fly through them and wish there were more at the end! This podcast truly proves the power of social media. It can be used for good. While it’s sad what happened to Tara, what comes out of this is closure for her friends and family.
The second season is underway now and they’re investigating an all new cold case about a girl named Kristal, who up & vanished in the small town of Crestone. I wish the episodes were as long as the ones in the first season but, it is proving to be an interesting story and I always look forward to the new episodes on Monday’s.
In The Dark
This is another investigative podcast that was heartbreaking but kept my attention. It’s about the notorious case of Jacob Wetterling, a child who was abducted back in 1989. This case was admittedly mishandled by law enforcement, fueled national anxiety over stranger danger and led to the development of sex offender registries in the United States. Listen to Season one to hear about the case and see if Jacob’s parents and family have received any closure over who abducted their son.
This is a true-crime podcast that has been all the rage over the last year. It is the first to come out of the L.A. Times. It explores the relationship between Debra Newell, a successful interior designer, and John Meehan, a good looking nurse anesthetist who just got back from deployment in Iraq. However, Debra’s family felt like their relationship had maybe escalated too quickly and eventually we exposed to the ‘real’ John, the John that has this terrifying control over Debra. We start to fear John and wonder what he can do and then he shows us through the account of one of his victims. Let’s just say this podcast is a true life account of abuse, deception, denial and survival. There was a Dateline episode that talks about the case if you get done listening to it and want to hear more! Also, Bravo is releasing a limited television series inspired by the story. It airs on November 25th!
Okay, so this is the only one I included in the list that ISN’T true crime. I’m not typically super into fictional crime stories but I was HOOKED by the end of the first episode of Season 1. I loved that it kept me intrigued to know what happened next and the second season is no different. Both seasons are completely different stories but it’s the same detective trying to uncover the truth behind the deaths that occur in the first episode.
The first season stars Jessica Biel, who plays a mother who inexplicably stabs a stranger to death, and Bill Pullman, the detective, struggles to unlock the mystery buried in her missing memories. The first season had some scenes of a sexual nature that were extremely difficult for me to watch so beware and, when you come to that point in the story, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Thankfully, season two had none of that but the story was just as bizarre and difficult to piece together. It centers around an 11-year-old boy who kills his parents with no apparent motive. Soon, though, you realize there’s nothing normal about this boy and where he comes from. This story will confuse you, surprise you and, if you’re like me, will leave you with quite a few questions. I didn’t hate this season. It kept me intrigued and interested but I felt they cut it short by a few episodes. There were things left unexplained, which annoyed me.
But … excited for Season 3!
So, this is scripted series that examines the federal seige of David Koresh’s Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas back in 1993. While it isn’t the typical true crime documentary that I prefer, I did find it to be interesting as I didn’t know anything about this tragic story prior to watching it. There was so much about Koresh and his teachings that I didn’t agree with as well as his way of life, but I do think it shed some light on the media and how federal negotiations work that I found to be enlightening, if it’s true. It hurt my heart a bit to see that there was also a strong possibility that some of the women / young girls were not keen on having a sexual relationship with Koresh so, that was unsettling, and the end is really, really sad. This is definitely a bit of a different ‘creepy’ suggestion but creepy in some ways, nonetheless.
This docuseries examines the decades-old murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik and its suspected link to a priest accused of abuse. It was quite disturbing and left me pretty angry at the end.
This four-part true crime Netflix documentary begins with the gruesome and public death of a pizza man who attempted to rob a bank with a bomb around his neck. What unfolds from there is more bizarre than anyone could have guessed and one woman, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, is at the center of it all. The documentary, in my opinion, is not as good as the recent Dateline episode that covered this story so, if you find yourself wanting ‘more’ about this story – check out Season 27 Episode 4 of Dateline. You should be able to watch it On Demand. It aired this past Friday evening.
If you love a story that leaves you wondering whether it was an accident or murder, you will be sucked into this one! After Michael Peterson’s wife is mysteriously found dead at the bottom of the stairs, his life is put under the microscope to figure out whether he is to blame or if there could be any other explanation. There are also some podcasts that look into this case but I like the Netflix series the most. If you’ve seen it, what do you think? Did he do it?
This two-time Emmy winning HBO series is a six-part examination of Robert Durst, the scion of a New York real estate empire, who has been long since suspected of three different disappearances and killings, one being the killing and dismemberment of his neighbor in Galveston, Texas. This man is sick and twisted and, up until recently, was not in jail. He has maintained his innocence the entire time. The very end will have you completely shocked.
NOTE: DO NOT LOOK HIM UP ON GOOGLE BEFORE YOU WATCH. It will spoil it.
Golden State Killer Documentaries
Okay, I saved the CREEPIEST for last. My friend, Lauren, sent me these documentaries about the Golden State Killer back in May and told me to buckle up. There’s one on CNN / HLN and then there’s one on Investigation Discovery. Y’all … I can watch a lot of creepy stuff and not get actually creeped out. But … the story of what this guy did to women – and later men – between 1974 to 1986 throughout the state of California is truly disturbing. To think that this happened when families didn’t have the luxury of modern day security systems gave me goosebumps and instilled a deep sense of gratitude for the things we’re able to opt into in our day and age.
The creepiest thing is that law enforcement never caught this guy …. until this year. They were able to link him to the murders because a relative of his sent in their DNA through one of those family ancestry sites. The DNA submission was extremely similar to DNA found at one of the crime scenes and they were able to apprehend the Golden State Killer. There have actually been a lot of cold case breakthroughs thanks to this new DNA technology. It has also proven the innocence of people who have been serving life sentences for crimes they didn’t commit. Obviously, this is controversial and it’s possible this will be something that we will have to vote on in the future but, for now, if you submit your DNA to sites like that, law enforcement can use it to find links to criminals.
There’s an HBO docuseries in the works that is based on Michelle McNamara’s book “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer”. McNamara, a freelance writer and crime blogger, was the woman obsessed with this case and trying to figure out the identity of the killer. Sadly, she passed away in 2016 while writing the book and her husband, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, finished it for her along with some of her colleagues close to the case. I’m really excited to hear more about when it will launch and will keep y’all updated when I know more!
After watching the documentaries, if you want to hear more, you should listen to this podcast where the ladies from My Favorite Murder interview Paul Holes. It’s everything!
And, that does it! While it may seem a little weird to love true crime, I think these stories can really help us better understand certain aspects of life that we wouldn’t otherwise understand if we didn’t have this curiosity. If you’re looking to get creeped out in time for Halloween, any of these will certainly do that!
Leave a comment below if you’ve seen any of these and let me know if I missed one of the ones that creeped you out! Also, all outfit details are mentioned below! xo.
It seems really inappropriate to be taking these kinds of pictures in a cemetery…
Hi Sara! Thanks so much for sharing your point of view. I truly appreciate it. It is never my intention to offend anyone or come off as inappropriate when curating the imagery for AlysonHaley.com, which is why I am not smiling or making light of where we were in any of these photos. The deceased deserve respect and I didn’t exhibit any behavior in these photos – or otherwise – that display blatant disregard for those buried here. My mother is no longer alive so I can assure you this was of utmost importance to me.
Cemeteries can be seen as ‘creepy’ so, in lieu of the Halloween holiday, it goes along with the theme of this post. Personally, I find cemeteries to be beautiful so I loved having this one as a backdrop for these photos. For me, cemeteries are a reminder that life is fleeting, sometimes sad and unfair, and that what we do here on Earth [our actions] can affect people when we are gone, in good ways and not so good ways. They remind me to be intentional with my time, to be good to people and to make choices out of pure love vs. pure selfishness; to make the most of the dash in between the two years that will ultimately mark my stone. Maybe this is also why I enjoy true crime the way that I do … they’re real stories and while we can’t control what people do to us, we can control how we treat others and how we are remembered after we’re gone. So, while everyone has a different view of cemeteries, that’s mine. I hope this gives you a light insight into why I felt drawn to take these photos here for this post. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it truly wasn’t coming from a disrespectful place.
I’m not usually a huge true crime person, but I randomly started listening to the podcast “Let’s Not Meet”, which is a bunch of stories about people’s run-ins with all sorts of dangerous situations and it’s addicting. So scary but so good!
briana | youngsophisticate.com
The Staircase sounds really interesting -well actually all of your recommendations , will start with the Netflix’s cause it’s easier for me hahaha .
Thanks for your recommendations.
Love ♥️the documentaries recommendation … so lovely have a fabulous Sunday!
???ROSES FOR FRIDAYS ??? | by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog
Oh my gosh, this was so interesting. Thanks for all the great recs Haley, you can’t beat some creepy true crime!
Thanks for sharing these! I love when bloggers share these snippets into their other interests (outside of what their blogs are popular for) because it feels like we’re getting to know another side of you! There are definitely true crime enthusiasts that toe the line of glorifying crimes so I also want to thank you for taking “tasteful” photos while in the cemetery. I appreciate your sentiments that cemeteries can be beautiful, it’s a reminder of loved ones we’ve lost and that we should cherish the ones we have with the time we’re given. I’m excited to check some of these suggestions out!
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 xo.
I totally have this post bookmarked on my browser now! I love a good true crime documentary. In The Dark is now on my podcast list, I grew up in MN so this has always been an interesting case. I also binge listened to Dirty John in a day, after I found out about it from a former coworker, because we used to work with Debbie, and I’ve met her numerous times! There are too many things on my to listen/to read list. But this will work well for when I have to travel a few times next month.
I’ve been wanting some new true crime shows/docs to watch! And perfect for around this time of year. This is a great list!!
PS, love those shoes!
Love this! I have listened to most of the Podcasts and the have watched many of the Netflix series but can’t wait to dive into a couple of your recommendations I did not get to yet. Thank you again for a great post!
Happy to hear I touched on a few you hadn’t heard of! Enjoy! [As weird as that feels to say .. :\]
I’m definitely adding some of these to my list! My friend just recently got me hooked on the podcast, “Serial”. Have you heard of/listened to that one?? It’s so good! I want to listen to it every free minute I have! I’m just finishing season one, so I can’t speak to the second or third season, but the first one has me hooked!
Hey! Yeah! I’ve definitely listened to Serial! It was super popular a few years ago and when I started getting into true crime podcasts, it was one of the first ones I listened to. Season One is the best. Season Two wasn’t that memorable to me, to be honest. Season Three is different and not my favorite but, interesting if you have an interest in the reality of America’s criminal justice system. They look at ordinary cases in Cleveland; different stories each week.
Omg! Hailey! My daughter and I are addicted to this type of true crime stuff as well! We can’t get enough Dateline either and have trouble explaining our ‘addiction’ and fascination with it to others as well! To hear you ‘suffer’ (lol) from the same fate warms my heart ? I’m 53 and my daughter is 27 and when we get together this is how we spend our ‘girls night’ (lol). We love it! Keep the recommendations coming (and thank you) … I think we are all kindred spirits! ? so grateful and feeling Blessed to have found you on insta and love to follow your page (and your two sweet fur babies ❤️?)
Aww, Deb!!! We totally are kindred spirits! 🙂 xo.