If you enjoy thrilling stories brought to life by your favorite actors or prefer nonfiction docuseries, you’re in for a treat. Peacock offers an excellent selection of best true crime shows that delve into unsolved mysteries, cult fanaticism, and various other intriguing cases. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to immerse yourself in these captivating stories!
Violent Minds: Killers on Tape (2023)
|Ari Mark, Phil Lott, Kathryn Vaughan
|Jeff McDonald, Al Carlisle, Carrie Anne Drazewski-Keller
If you’re intrigued by the psychology of murderers, you won’t want to miss Violent Minds: Killers on Tape. This captivating docuseries revolves around Dr. Al Carlisle, a psychiatrist who had the opportunity to interview several killers during his career. Among the chilling individuals he spoke with were Ted Bundy, Manny Cortez, the Hi-Fi killers, and Arthur Gary Bishop.
What makes this series even more fascinating is that each episode features recorded tapes of these interviews, which were thought to be lost until they were discovered by Carlisle’s family after his passing in 2018. So, if you’re ready to delve into the minds of these notorious criminals and gain insights into their twisted thinking, this is definitely a must-watch!
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (2017)
|Edie Falco, Gus Halper, Miles Gaston Villanueva
The Law & Order franchise has brought us many gripping “ripped-from-the-headlines” stories over the years. One such short-lived miniseries delved into the infamous real-life case of the Menendez brothers. This dramatic series takes us through the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were charged with the murder of their parents in the mid-’90s.
Edie Falco delivers a stellar performance as Leslie Abramson, the defense attorney for the brothers. The series explores the controversy surrounding Abramson when it was alleged that she influenced Erik’s psychiatrist to alter doctor notes. Falco’s portrayal in this role earned her an Emmy nomination for her outstanding acting.
If you’re a fan of the best true crime shows that delve into real-life cases, this miniseries on Peacock offers a captivating and intense look at the Menendez brothers’ trial and the complexities surrounding it.
Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed (2023)
|Roy Rosselló, Cliff Gardner, Robert Rand
The murder of Jose and Kitty Menendez in 1989 by their own sons, Lyle and Erik, became one of the most widely covered cases of the ’90s. Since then, numerous movies, shows, and specials have explored the details of this tragic event. One particular three-part docuseries focuses on an intriguing claim made by former Menudo group member, Roy Rosselló.
In the series, Rosselló asserts that he was sexually abused by Jose Menendez, which aligns with the defense put forth by Lyle and Erik during their trial. This revelation adds a new layer of complexity to the case and sheds light on possible motivations behind the shocking crime committed by the Menendez brothers.
If you’re interested in delving deeper into this infamous case and uncovering previously untold aspects, this docuseries promises to provide a compelling and thought-provoking perspective.
A Friend of the Family (2022)
|Jake Lacy, Colin Hanks, Lio Tipton
Prepare to be gripped by the chilling true story of Robert Berchtold, a neighbor and friend of the Broberg family, in this nine-episode miniseries. The series portrays the shocking abductions of Jan Broberg, the daughter of the family, which took place on two separate occasions.
Jake Lacy takes on the role of the cunning and manipulative Berchtold, who kidnapped Jan when she was just 12 and later at the age of 14 in the mid-’70s. The series also features Hendrix Yancey and Mckenna Grace, who portray Jan at different ages, offering a poignant depiction of her harrowing experiences. Colin Hanks, Lio Tipton, and Anna Paquin contribute to the cast, adding depth and emotion to this riveting drama.
Unsolved Mysteries (1987–2002)
|John Cosgrove, Terry Dunn Meurer
|Robert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Brosnan
Unsolved Mysteries has long been a beloved documentary crime series, making its debut well before the true crime craze of the 2010s. Narrated by the iconic Robert Stack with his deep, distinctive voice, the show delved into the mysterious and unexplainable, covering cases of missing persons, unsolved mysteries, and even exploring paranormal activity.
The series left many cases unsolved, prompting viewers to get involved by calling in with any information they might have. Sometimes, updates on solved cases were provided in later episodes, adding an interactive and engaging element to the show.
Over the years, Unsolved Mysteries has taken on different forms, including a Netflix revival released in 2020. However, there’s a certain nostalgia and charm associated with the original series from the ’90s, featuring the classic Robert Stack narration, available on Peacock.
The First 48 (2004–present)
|Dion Graham, Nathan Schilling, Jason White
In the race to solve a homicide, the first 48 hours are critical for investigators. Beyond that window, the chances of cracking the case diminish significantly. A&E’s long-running series, The First 48, debuted in 2004 and follows detectives from various cities during this crucial timespan. The show chronicles their efforts to unravel the crime using forensic tests, witness testimonies, and other investigative tools.
Narrated by Dion Graham, “The First 48” has captured audiences with its propulsive pacing. The show features a literal ticking clock, counting down the hours remaining to crack the case within those initial two days. This sense of urgency adds to the tension, making it an engrossing and suspenseful watch.
While not every episode dating back to 2004 is available on Peacock, there are still dozens and dozens of episodes ready for you to explore
Cold Case Files (1999–present)
|Bill Kurtis, Dave Reichert, Kathy Mills
Cold cases have a unique allure due to their difficulty and the mystery that surrounds them. Cold Case Files, which premiered on A&E in 1999, delves into unsolved murders from years past. The show profiles these perplexing cases, with investigators utilizing modern forensic technology and their understanding of criminal psychology to hopefully provide long-awaited answers.
Having earned multiple Primetime Emmy nominations, Cold Case Files initially aired from 1999 to 2002, and A&E briefly revived the docuseries in 2006 and 2017, with the latter run also available on Netflix. The series was revived again in 2021, and new episodes continue to air on A&E. On Peacock, you can stream the first five seasons of this gripping and acclaimed show.
If you’re drawn to captivating and best true crime stories and the intricacies of solving cold cases, Cold Case Files is one of the must-watch shows on Peacock. The series promises to keep you intrigued as investigators meticulously uncover new leads and utilize cutting-edge techniques in their relentless pursuit of justice.
Forensic Files (1996–2011)
|Peter Thomas, Tom Bevel, Skip Palenik
Forensic Files, one of the most influential true crime docuseries, played a significant role in fueling our fascination with forensic evidence as a crucial tool in solving criminal cases. Since its debut in 1996, the series has focused on different forensic scientists in each episode, though some analysts appear in multiple installments.
Unlike shows like Unsolved Mysteries, Forensic Files typically provides a sense of closure by the end of each episode. The investigations featured often lead to convictions or acquittals, offering a satisfying conclusion for viewers. The visual style of the series has had a lasting impact, influencing fictional crime dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other docuseries in the true crime genre.
Narrated by Peter Thomas throughout its 14 seasons, the series has become synonymous with the captivating world of forensic science and criminal investigations. In 2020, HLN rebooted the show as Forensic Files II, continuing the legacy of this iconic series.
So, whether you prefer true crime dramas or mysteries that challenge the boundaries of the unknown, there’s plenty to immerse yourself in. From past classics to modern adaptations, these shows offer a riveting exploration of the human psyche and the mysterious world around us. Grab your popcorn and prepare for an enthralling journey into the realm of the best true crime shows on Peacock.