June will be a scorcher across much of the US, but with these true-crime premieres, there’s a good excuse to stay inside and cool off. For binge-watchers, Hulu will begin streaming the entire first season of 2020’s Accused: Guilty or Innocent this month ahead of its upcoming second season. But for the best of the new, Netflix remains the gold standard for great content for many crime fans, and HBO is returning to finish up Michelle McNamara’s hunt for the Golden State Killer in a new don’t-miss special. Here’s the cream of the killer crop for these early summer months.
Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell
The ghost of Jeffrey Epstein continues to haunt celebrities and politicians, but his death also left behind some potential accomplices. Ghislaine Maxwell had been part of Epstein’s inner circle since the early ’90s, and she’s been making friends in high places ever since. 2015 saw the start of legal action against Maxwell, and as of March, she’s been charged with sex trafficking. Epstein’s Shadow is a three-part docuseries produced by the UK’s Sky Documentaries that promises to take a close look at the controversy around Maxwell and her long friendship with Epstein ahead of her November trial date.
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Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell is produced by Sky Documentaries and directed by Barbara Shearer. NBC’s new premium streaming service, Peacock, will host the U.S, premiere. All episodes begin streaming June 24.
Murder By the Coast
This Spanish-language documentary is poised to dive into the 1999 murder of Rocío Wanninkhof Hornos, a 19-year-old girl whose death spurred a media frenzy across Spain. Luridly turned into a tale of “predatory” lesbians by the local media, the investigation initially focused on Rocío’s mother’s current partner, a woman named Dolores Vázquez. But a second DNA trace and the discovery of another victim turns the Hornos case into a much more bleak discussion about the local British community and how isolation allowed the true killer to almost get away with his crimes.
Murder By the Coast is a feature film documentary directed by Tània Balló Colell that will stream exclusively in the U.S. on Netflix beginning June 23.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: Special Episode
Michelle McNamara’s search for the Golden State Killer may have consumed her, but she’s a vital force behind the capture of Joseph James DeAngelo, the former cop and serial rapist who killed 13 people during his long and vicious career. While the original documentary series’ six episodes covered McNamara’s obsession, her death and the capture of DeAngelo, HBO has announced a new one-hour special following up on the life and work Michelle left behind. The special is also primed to discuss the original case that drove McNamara into a life of hunting killers, the 1984 Oak Park murder of Kathleen Lombardo.
Adapted from the book by Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is produced by HBO Documentary Films and directed by Elizabeth Wolff. It airs starting June 21.
The Real Manhunter
ITV’s Manhunt took the UK by storm in 2019, as its three episodes deftly dramatized the true story of Chief Inspector Colin Sutton’s nationwide hunt for serial killer Levi Bellfield, and has been renewed for a second season. Now, The Real Manhunter sits down with the retired Sutton himself as he talks about his remarkably successful career of catching killers and explains to true crime fans what happens after his work is done. The eight-episode miniseries is an Acorn exclusive in the U.S.
Produced for ITV and Acorn, The Real Manhunter is directed and written by Trevor Dane and Chris Matthews. It begins streaming on June 14.
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was slain in 1996 while visiting her cottage in Ireland. The beloved French native worked in her country’s film industry, and her death was a horrifying shock to the quaint Irish territory she lived in. The only suspect in her killing was the English journalist Ian Bailey, who has continued to be something of a grim media celebrity in the wake of multiple failed French extraditions. It’s one of Ireland’s most frustrating cold cases, and the media machine still grinding around it is comparable to the lingering OJ Simpson obsession. Netflix is premiering a new three-part documentary about the case with the assistance of du Plantier’s family and Bailey himself.
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork is produced by Simon Chinn (Man on Wire) and directed by John Dower. It premieres on Netflix June 30.
Rose West: Born Evil?
Rose West became one of the UK’s most notorious serial killers, her legacy spanning close to twenty years and with a body count of up to a dozen dead young women. Her partner, Fred, was her accomplice, and when Rose’s horrors came to light, he took his own life. This UK documentary takes a cold look at the crucible that formed West’s psychology, from her sexually abusive father to her own gradual experimentation with molestation and assault. The title of this feature film documentary may be asking a question, but it will handily make the case that Rose West was doomed to a broken life from the start.
Rose West: Born Evil? is produced by Kalel Productions. It originally aired on UK’s Channel 5 and will stream exclusively in the U.S. on Sundance Now June 8.
21-year-old Christina Whittaker disappeared from the streets of Hannibal, Missouri in 2009, leaving behind a baby daughter and a mother who’s still desperately afraid Christina was caught up in the net of human trafficking. Documentarian Christina Fontana found herself obsessed with Whittaker 11 years ago, and Blumhouse Productions is offering up a new six-episode docuseries about the case. Fontana’s journey includes a web of lies that complicate the cold case, but with her effort, maybe there’s still a chance to discover Whittaker’s fate.
Relentless is directed and produced by Christina Fontana alongside Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Chris McCumber and Mary Lisio for Blumhouse Television. Beginning with a three-episode premiere June 28 on Discovery+, new episodes drop on Mondays.
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