Crime Documentaries Worth Watching

By | June 13, 2012

I made a list of my favorite documentaries focused on mental health and now I have a new list of favorite documentaries related to criminal justice. Many of these films can be viewed online for free. The links are provided below. Did I miss one? If so, let me know.

1. *The Real CSI: (PBS FRONTLINE): Investigates the reliability, or lack thereof, of the best-known forensic science tools.

2. *Top Secret America: (PBS FRONTLINE): Examines the top-secret world of government that has developed since 9/11. The documentary features Dana Priest of the Washington Post.

3. *The Interrupters: (PBS FRONTLINE): This documentary demonstrates a new approach to solving gang violence. The film offers a different way of understanding violence and poverty.

4. *Death By Fire: (PBS FRONTLINE): It is believed that the state of Texas executed an innocent person named Cameron Todd Willingham. This documentary investigates that case in great detail.

5. *Solitary Confinement: (National Geographic): This documentary explores the psychological effects of solitary confinement. You can view this on Netflix or by clicking on the link.

6. *The World’s Most Dangerous Drug: Meth: (National Geographic): This documentary explores the tragedy of methamphetamine and how it destroy lives. It is probably the best methamphetamine documentary I’ve seen.You can view this on Netflix or by clicking on the link.

7. [amazon_link id="B001CDEGWM" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Paradise Lost[/amazon_link]: (HBO Documentaries): This is the in-depth story of the West Memphis three, Damion Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. & Jason Baldwin who were convicted of murdering three boys in West Memphis Arkansas but who were later found to be innocent. There are a number of subsequent documentaries that update the details of the story.

8. *The Released: (PBS FRONTLINE): This documentary provides an inside look at mentally ill offenders and their struggle for stability.

9. *Cocaine Cowboys: The very interesting story of the history of drug trafficking in Miami.

10. Most Evil: (Investigation Discovery Channel). This is a long-running series of one hour individual television shows on the Investigation Discovery channel. I would consider these “mini” documentaries about the science of evil. The show features Dr. Stone and his scale of evil.

12. *Post Mortem: Death Investigation In America: (PBS FRONTLINE): This documentary examines the status of autopsies and the doctors who provide them. The overarching conclusion is that it is a dysfunctional system with few standards and little oversight.

13. *The Iceman: (HBO Documentaries): This is a chilling look at Richard Kuklinski who is known to have killed many people as part of his “job.” Many consider Richard Kuklinski to be a “textbook case” of antisocial personality disorder.

*Indicates that it can be viewed online for FREE.

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