Best true crime documentaries on HBO Max
Are you a fan of true crime documentaries? Even if it seems that most movies of this genre are on Netflix, there are some good pieces on other streaming platforms as well. We've compiled a list of the top ones to watch on HBO Max right now: From "Mommy Dead and Dearest" to "A Brutal Pact: The Murder of Daniella Perez".
A Brutal Pact: The Murder of Daniella Perez (2022)
Why do killers kill? It's the question that has guided the academic life of psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow. The documentary, directed by Alex Gibney and narrated by actress Laura Dern, features interviews from VHS archives that Dr. Otnow conducted with death row killers and her findings on the dissociative identity disorder of the most famous criminal minds, such as Ted Bundy. What is interesting about "Crazy, Not Insane" is the connection he makes between murderers and society. Advocating that murderers are made, not born, the documentary questions the relevance of the death penalty as a deterrent to violence. Why, once these dangerous people are locked up, is society so determined to execute them? Watch "Crazy, Not Insane" on HBO Max.
Alabama Snake (2020)
When Pentecostal pastor Glenn Summerford forced his wife, Darlene, to put her hand in a nest of venomous snakes, it wasn't to mimic a game of Fort Boyard broadcast but to kill her...or so, Darlene claims. "Alabama Snake" has it all: hillbillys (inhabitants of remote, rural or mountainous areas), religious rites such as snake handling, and, of course, the dark shepherd Glenn Summerford... "Alabama Snake" portrays the fascinating gothic side of the American South. Watch "Alabama Snake" on HBO Max.
Baby God (2020)
Dr. Quincy Fortier, a fertility specialist, went around inseminating women who came to his office without their consent. "Baby God" interviews several of Dr. Fortier's illegitimate children and questions the scientific morality of this megalomaniac who took advantage of his status and the little knowledge that existed at the time about DNA to abuse women who came to his clinic for help. Watch "Baby God" on HBO Max.
Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017)
Continuing with the theme of filiation, a bond that offers yards and yards of fabric to cut, we can't stop talking about "Mommy Dead and Dearest". This documentary investigates the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, perpetrated by Gypsy Rose Blanchard, her frail and ever-sick daughter. Why would Gypsy have killed her devoted mother, who cared for her while the little girl suffered from leukemia, epileptic seizures, years in a wheelchair, and countless other afflictions? Scary, isn't it? What if we told you that Gypsy was never sick and that her mother made her and the rest of society believe it? Do you know about Munchausen's syndrome? To give you a head start, let us tell you that it is a mental illness whereby the child's caregiver, often the mother, invents or provokes symptoms to make it appear that the child is ill. The rest we leave you to discover.
P.S.: If after watching the documentary you want to see what the daily life of this mother-daughter duo has been like, we advise you to watch the series "The Act", starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King. Watch "Mommy Dead and Dearest" on HBO Max.
Beware the Slenderman (2017)
On May thirty-first, 2014, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 911 receives a call. A twelve-year-old girl, Bella, has been stabbed and left on the side of the road near the woods. If the crime is grisly in itself, what the police discover is even worse. Little Bella's murderers are none other than two of her friends, also twelve years old. Both girls confessed that they killed Bella so that Slenderman would not kill their respective families. Slenderman, like the "boogeyman," is a fictional character that emerged from the most terrifying monster of all time: the Internet. Slenderman's first appearance was in 2009, in a PhotoShop contest. Since then, the character has spread to multiple platforms, such as fan fiction, art, games, and videos. In addition to the horrific crime, "Beware the Slenderman" tries to elucidate how these urban myths impact the impressionable minds of young people. Watch "Beware the Slenderman" on HBO Max.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)
In 2010, Andrew Jarecki directed the film "All Good Things" starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. The story is based on the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire heir to a powerful New York real estate family and a suspect in the 1982 disappearance of his wife. After the premiere, Jarecki received a call from Robert Durst himself to congratulate him on his work and give his version of events. The result of that conversation was this six-episode miniseries. "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" shows that the more than likely death of his wife almost forty years ago is not the only death of this obscure tycoon. Through interviews, testimonies and the recreation of certain facts, he structures in a fragmented way a documentary that is very entertaining and effective. Watch "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" on HBO Max.