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5 True Crime Shock Docs

We've come across our fair share of shock docs in the new age of streaming, where these compelling documentaries get a much broader release platform and ultimately reach more people. Documenting incredible true crime stories that seem too wild to possibly be real, one wonders just how long some of the most recent news stories will take to get the documentary treatment.

5 True Crime Shock Docs

Based on the on-going saga around Thabo Bester, who was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty on several murder and rape charges and later escaped prison by faking his own death... a true crime documentary seems imminent. While this eye-opening and undoubtedly shocking chronicle of events will probably be adapted into a fugitive crime thriller, it's worth taking a look at several other mouth-dropping stories that have been captured by way of documentary.

The Tinder Swindler

The Tinder Swindler, based on a viral investigative story, follows the escapades of several women who were duped out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Simon Leviev, the sly jet-setting suspect at the heart of this narrative was unavailable for an interview, but his social media accounts and interactions have been preserved, revived, and referenced for the purposes of this slick crime documentary.

The Tinder Swindler relays the highs and lows of this perilous dating game from the perspective of a confessional as the buzz of connecting with a vulnerable yet handsome and superrich suitor implodes in each his victim's lives.

Phoenix Rising

Evan Rachel Wood and her close activist friend Illma Gore cobble together a case against her former boyfriend, Marilyn Manson, who reportedly groomed, secluded, and mistreated her throughout the course of their turbulent relationship. Phoenix Rising tells the story of Wood's acting career, Warner's harmful influence, their twisted connection, and court battles to prolong California's reporting limit on such abuse.

Manson's freak show antics and debauched stage presence depict a troubled artist who translates his rough background and inner trauma into a persona that pervades real life. Phoenix Rising is revelatory and timely, yet its demonization of a man who openly admits to his dark side comes out as one-sided.

Our Father

Our Father is an eerie and strange medical crime documentary about a doctor who used his own sample to inseminate patients over the course of his career. A startling revelation, the Blumhouse documentary uses horror elements and dramatic license to emphasize the incredible small-town medical mystery that appears to grow sporadically.

Our Father portrays a burgeoning pool of psychological instability as more and more people realize their lives have been a lie by interviewing coworkers, staff, patients, and their children. Our Father is a gripping and persistent expose of one doctor's dishonest and inhumane conduct, as parents grapple with their love for their children, children grapple with self-love as impostors, and both strive to realize the scope of a crime that is not yet completely recognized by law.

Athlete A

This frightening and violent sports documentary examines a watershed moment in the campaign to speak out about sexual assaults and cover-ups. Over 500 women reportedly came forward after some prominent athletes took the subject further with the assistance of journalists and legal representatives. At the heart of the controversy is team doctor Larry Nassar, whose cover-up, deception, and friendly demeanor allowed him to continue mistreating young gymnasts for years.

Athlete A gives USA Gymnastics the third degree in this eye-opening and horrifying criminal documentary, representing the sports talent, the history of USAG, the coaching philosophy, and the organization's attempt to divert any reports of sexual assault. A powderkeg documentary with far-reaching implications, Athlete A re-examines America's foundational dedication to winning at any cost.

Bikram: Yogi, Predator, Guru

Bikram Choudhary built a reputation for himself in the United States by leading hundreds of yoga sessions. His altruistic mission gave way to avarice after his guru position made him a celebrity, and he vowed to share his discoveries with the rest of the world. The eccentric yogi used his celebrity to train hundreds of fresh recruits as part of a grueling 9-week training program, forcing himself on some of his students.

Oscar-winning documentarian Eva Orner covers the yogi's history, effect, methods, and celebrity before delving into specific episodes of abuse that plague him now in the eye-opening, riveting, and unsettling documentary, Bikram: Yogi, Predator, Guru. We gather a better understanding of the scenario through interviews, archive news footage, depositions, and in-studio films by way of a documented character assassination, as the title Bikram: Yogi, Predator, Guru suggests.