Sensational crimes and their resulting coverage have captivated the public for years, and recent television programs and documentaries have begun to capitalize on the fascination with shows on network television, streaming services and more.
From long-cold cases to more recent crimes, these series have brought the true crime genre to the forefront of television, and even spawned scripted shows like American Crime Story.
Read on for a few true crime series that featured some seriously shocking moments.
Kicking the true crime obsession into high gear, Netflix's Making a Murderer followed Steven Avery, who was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. He was later exonerated and arrested again and accused of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.
The series detailed the case against Avery as well as the one against his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was also charged in Halbach's murder. The alleged conspiracy against the pair led the public to demand Dassey's release from prison.
The current A&E series follows the 2002 murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, followed by the subsequent trial and conviction of Laci's husband, Scott Peterson, who is currently on death row.
The show examines the evidence against Scott, which was circumstantial, and brings up points like the fact that detection dogs used in the case had failed their tests, and the difficulty of finding an impartial jury due to the case's exposure. The show also interviews investigators on the case who shared the reasons they suspected Scott in the first place.
Another Netflix series, The Keepers centers on the unsolved 1969 murder of Cathy Cesnick, a nun who worked at a Catholic all-girls' school teeming with corruption in the form of priests allegedly sexually abusing the students.
As the series progresses, it appears' Cesnick's murder likely had something to do with her knowledge of the abuse. One former student alleged that a priest at the school took her to see Cesnick's corpse and told her, “This is what happens when you say bad things about people.”
Natalee Holloway was 18 when she went missing on a class trip to Aruba over 12 years ago. The Oxygen series follows her father, Dave Holloway, as he attempts to find out what happened to his daughter.
The series appeared to make a break in the case when a sting operation found a man who allegedly confessed to disposing of the teen's remains. The man alleged that Holloway was killed by Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the case.
He revealed that van der Sloot later paid him to dig up Holloway's remains and better dispose of them.
A six-part HBO documentary series, The Jinx sparked the public's fascination with its examination of real estate heir Robert Durst, who was suspected in the disappearance of his wife and the murders of a family friend and a neighbor.
The series is the result of nearly a decade of research and includes a lengthy interview with Durst himself. The day before the show's finale aired, Durst was arrested on murder charges, and the finale itself contains a shocking admission from Durst.
Photo Credit: Netflix
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