15 of the Wildest, Most Insane Documentaries You Can Find on Netflix

People often say that real life is stranger than fiction and that some things are so wild that they can’t possibly be made up. There are a lot of documentary series and films that prove the truth to this, and a lot of them are available on Netflix.

Some of these stories are just so insane that you won’t be able to wrap your head around the fact that they are not fiction but are actually legit, real-life stories.

Here are 15 that might leave you gaping in disbelief:

Abducted in Plain Sight

Jan and Berchtold, 1974 from Abducted in Plain Sight.
Image Credit: Top Knot Films.

 

In a small town in 1970s Idaho, a man befriended and manipulated a religiously devout couple and abducted their daughter not once but twice. He also had romantic affairs with both parents separately. You won’t believe the choices the parents make; the director admitted she had to take a break sometimes during production because she just couldn’t fathom what the parents did.

 

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez - Production Still Image.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

This 2020 series covers the abuse and murder of an 8-year-old California boy. The content was so disturbing that during production, there was always a therapist available on set.

 

American Nightmare

(L to R) Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn in American Nightmare.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

Released just this year, this documentary examines the 2015 kidnapping of a woman from the home she shared with her boyfriend. At the time, many treated her disappearance as a hoax and even called her the “real Gone Girl.” It turned out not to have been faked.

 

Making a Murderer

Scott Tadych, Brendan Dassey, Barb Tadych in Making a Murderer.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

After being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder, Steven Avery was exonerated and released. Not long after filing a civil lawsuit against the Wisconsin county that convicted him, he was charged with murder and eventually convicted and sentenced. This series makes a compelling case that police and prosecutors framed him, possibly as retaliation for the lawsuit.

 

The Tiger King

Tiger King.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

This series was a huge hit, taking us into the world of big cat conservation and small zoos. The people who are the subjects are fascinating and almost unbelievable, especially the subject personality, former zookeeper and convicted felon Joe Exotic.

 

The Keepers

Catherine Cesnik in The Keepers.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

In 1969, a nun who taught at a Catholic High School disappeared, and her murdered body was found two months later. This documentary seeks to uncover the truth about what happened, but we still don’t know who the murderer was.

 

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

This documentary takes a look at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and its leader, Warren Jeffs. The FLDS is an offshoot of Mormonism that practices polygamy, often involving the leaders marrying all the young girls in their communities and stunting the marital prospects of the young men. Jeffs is now serving a life sentence after being convicted of child sexual assault.

 

Icarus

Icarus.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

Director Bryan Fogel sets out to investigate doping to win an amateur bicycle race and ends up uncovering a major international doping scandal. The next year, the film won the Oscar for Best Documentary.

 

Don’t “Mess” with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

 Hunting an Internet Killer - Production Still Image.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

Here’s a perfect example of not being able to make things up. A Canadian porn star posted a video of him cruelly killing two kittens, and this prompted amateur online investigators to attempt to identify him. Eventually, he murdered a Chinese international student, mailed out dismembered body parts, fled Canada after a video showing the murder went online, and became the subject of an international manhunt.

 

Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.

Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Sarma Melngailis in Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

 

In New York City, a con man met and married the owner of a vegan restaurant, and he manipulated her into embezzling money from the restaurant and giving it to him. Why did he need the money? Well, he wanted to pay a deity to make them immortal. Really!

 

Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan

MONSTERS INSIDE: THE 24 FACES OF BILLY MILLIGAN.
Image Credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX.

 

In the late 1970s, a man named Billy Milligan was a serial rapist preying on women near Ohio State University. When arrested and charged, he claimed to have multiple personalities and blamed them for the rapes. This docuseries covers that, his trial, and his post-trial life.

 

Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet

Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

 

Misinformation and digital deception online are growing problems, and this documentary presents some especially troubling cases. They include an online gamer making fraudulent calls to the police in hopes of sending SWAT teams to their homes (something called “swatting), a woman drawn into the world of white nationalism and hate speech, and more.

 

Evil Genius

William Rothstein in Evil Genius.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

In 2003, a pizza delivery man robbed a bank in Erie, PA, with a bomb strapped to his neck; when police apprehended him later, the bomb detonated and killed him. Here, the filmmaker explores how a highly intelligent woman masterminded the heist. She wanted to use the money to hire someone to kill her father so she could inherit his money.

 

Escaping Twin Flames

Escaping Twin Flames.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

Twin Flames Universe is a cult that allegedly preys upon people seeking love. In this documentary, former members share tales of deception, coercion, abuse, and indoctrination.

 

Worst Roommate Ever

Worst Roommate Ever.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

 

Did you ever have a bad college or apartment roommate? Be glad you didn’t have one of the four this docuseries describes in four separate episodes. They turned their roommates’ lives into real-life nightmares.

Critics Agree: These 12 TV Shows Are the Absolute Worst

The Secret Life of an American Teenager
Image Credit: Brendavision.

 

What’s the worst show you’ve ever watched? Not just a bad show. Not a show you found boring, or didn’t like, or couldn’t get into. I mean the worst of the worst.

If you’re critical (like I am), it can be hard to narrow down the list, so I pulled some fantastic fan suggestions for this one instead.

Critics Agree: These 12 TV Shows Are the Absolute Worst

19 Hyped-Up Movies That Were Actually Terrible

Brid Box.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

So, you know how there’s always this buzz around those hyped-up movies, right? Like, the ones that everyone’s talking about, the trailers that give you goosebumps, and the anticipation that’s through the roof?

Yeah, those. But here’s the kicker- sometimes, they turn out to be total duds.

19 Hyped-Up Movies That Were Actually Terrible

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