For years, the true crime genre has consistently thrived in podcasts, documentary series and films, and fictional productions. Recently, the streaming service Netflix achieved a mega success with the mini-series “Dahmer – Monster: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer”, which caused a real hype. The machinations of a cold-blooded killer are also the focus of the following series and films.

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Keira Knightley (37) plays the leading role in the crime thriller “Boston Strangler”, which will be released on March 17 on the Disney streaming service. The film by author and director Matt Ruskin is about a true criminal case that kept the US metropolis Boston in suspense between 1962 and 1964: 13 single women were attacked in their apartments by an unknown assailant, in most cases sexually assaulted and finally strangled.

As the mysterious killer continues to claim more victims, reporter Loretta McLaughlin (Knightley) takes on the case. McLaughlin actually writes for the lifestyle section of her newspaper, but at great personal risk and at the risk of her own life, she begins investigating with her colleague and confidant Jean Cole (Carrie Coon, 42) to convict the killer. The two courageous women are hindered in their work by corruption and the sexism that was prevalent at the time.

In the miniseries “Murder for God”, which was released at the end of last year, Mormon detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield, 39) investigates a gruesome double murder that actually took place in 1984 in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah has. There the young mother Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones, 24) and her little daughter Erica were brutally murdered. During his investigations, the devout police officer finds out that the teachings of the Mormon faith are followed particularly strictly in the environment of the Lafferty family. Pyre soon begins to question his own beliefs.

In addition to those already mentioned, the Australian actor Sam Worthington (46), known from “Avatar: The Way of Water”, and Marvel star Wyatt Russell (36) are also involved in “Murder by God”. Behind the critically acclaimed miniseries is creator and showrunner Dustin Lance Black (48), who won an Oscar in 2009 for his adapted screenplay for the film “Milk”.

The miniseries “In with the Devil” (original title: “Black Bird”) takes on another, seemingly unbelievable, real-life criminal case: drug dealer Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton, 33) is sentenced to ten years in prison without the chance of parole . He receives an offer from the FBI to go unpunished if he is transferred to a high-security prison in order to extract a confession from alleged serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser, 36). Hall is suspected of cruelly kidnapping, sexually abusing and murdering 14 women. Keene accepts the offer.

On the review collection site Rotten Tomatoes, “In with the Devil” currently has an excellent score of 97 percent positive reviews. Author Dennis Lehane (57), who has already written the original novels for the hit films “Mystic River” (2003) and “Shutter Island” (2010), acted as series creator and showrunner.

Therapist Alan Strauss (Steve Carell, 60) is being held captive by his patient Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson, 39). Fortner reveals himself as a serial killer. His therapist is supposed to get rid of his bloodlust. In captivity, however, Strauss begins to lose himself in his own past and the problems he has repressed. Above all, the recent death of his wife Beth (Laura Niemi, 56) occupies him a lot. During his attempts at therapy, Strauss was shocked to discover how deep Fortner’s compulsion to kill was deeply rooted in him. As a result, the therapist not only tries to prevent further victims, but naturally also wants to save his own life. Behind the critically acclaimed miniseries is Joe Weisberg, series creator of “The Americans.”

The German true crime series “German Crime Story: Gefesselt” revolves around the so-called Hamburg “acid barrel murderer” Raik Doormann (Oliver Masucci, 54), who kidnapped three women between 1986 and 1991 and killed two of them. The committed detective superintendent Nela Langenbeck (Angelina Häntsch, 39) tracks down Doormann and does everything to prove the two murders for which he has not yet been convicted in court. In her investigations, Langenbeck has to assert herself against the resistance of her male colleagues and sometimes does her own research in her free time.

In addition to the gripping true crime case, “German Crime Story: Gefesselt” paints the picture of a West German society that was still deeply misogynistic at the beginning of the 1990s. German critics unanimously praised the play by leading actor Masucci (“Work without an author”, “He’s back”, “Dark”).

The miniseries “Candy: Death in Texas” is about real-life murderess Candy Montgomery (73), who brutally killed her neighbor Betty Gore with 41 ax blows because she was having an affair with her husband. Leading actress Jessica Biel (40) embodies the housewife and mother Candy Montgomery in a penetrating way, who at first glance seems to be leading a perfect life in 1980. Her victim Betty Gore is played by New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey (“The Last Of Us”, “Don’t Look Up”, 45). The miniseries offers a fascinating psychological character study of its main character, while also providing a compelling look at the depths of a typical US suburb. In later episodes, “Candy: Death in Texas” develops into an equally compelling courtroom drama.

The star-studded thriller “The Devil All the Time” tells an exceedingly dark story set in post-war America. A serial killer couple played by Riley Keough (33) and Jason Clarke (53) cruelly murders hitchhikers in the film by director Antonio Campos (50), while the young protagonist Arvin (“Spider-Man” star Tom Holland, 26) has to cope with several strokes of fate. “Batman” actor Robert Pattinson (36) embodies in the film a preacher who repeatedly abuses young women. Critics praised “The Devil All the Time” in particular for the strong performances of the well-known actors and the unpredictable, twisting story.

The serial killer series “Dahmer – Monster: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer” caused a stir on the Netflix streaming service in autumn 2022. Behind the show about the murderous Jeffrey Dahmer (1960-1994) is Ryan Murphy (57), the series creator of “American Horror Story” (since 2011, available on Disney). The real Jeffrey Dahmer met his victims mainly in bars and clubs, brutally killed the young men, dismembered their bodies and performed sexual acts on the corpses. Leading actor Evan Peters (36) embodies the brutal killer in the Netflix series in a captivating way.