All the documentary series are available on major streaming websites like Netflix, Disney + Hotstar.

A screengrab from clips of Muzaffarnagar Baaqi HaiYouTube/Subculture
Flix Documentaries Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 18:02

Although the origins of how true crime became to be known as a genre is murky, the audiences’ fascination with it has exponentially grown. The crimes that left people across India shaken have found their way into popular culture. From Mumbai’s mafia or colloquially called Bhais to Kerala’s infamous killer Jolly, have found spaces in books, films and podcasts. Crime-based series—like Delhi CrimeJamtaraScam 1992 and Breathe—on the online streaming platforms have garnered great responses from the audience. Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Discovery Plus, Mubi and others also offer a range of true crime documentaries and docu-series to watch.

Recently released Netflix Kannada docu-series Crime Stories: India Detectives produced by Minnow Films has become the talk of the town with its gripping narrative of the crimes that shocked Bengaluru residents in early 2020. If you enjoyed watching Crime Stories, here are some more true crime documentaries and docu-series about Indians and Indian crimes you can watch online.

The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors

HBO documentary The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors examines the mystery behind the double murder of a 13-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her family servant Hemraj Banjade in Noida, India. PA Carter’s documentary on the mysterious double-murder takes one through the entire journey spanned over a decade since the crime happened in 2008, including the botched investigation of the incident, the legal appeals filed by the parents—Rajesh and Nupur— and the probable outcomes of the same. The 2019 documentary is not particularly remarkable but the way it is shot and edited coupled with the paced music makes it a thrilling watch. It is available to view online on Disney + Hotstar.

Wild Wild Country

Based on the life of Shree Rajneesh or popularly known as Osho, the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country focuses on Osho, his former assistant Ma Sheela and the members of the Rajneeshpuram Community in America’s Oregon state. The award-winning docu-series made in 2018 begins in India and then moves to how he established a community town in Antelope and the subsequent crimes that erupted due to the friction between locals and the community members. The 2018 Netflix documentary received critical and audience praises for the sharp narrative of the story surrounding the controversial figure and its detailed portrayal of the events that transpired in the 1980s as the guru gained popularity. However, the Osho International Foundation based in Pune, India, said that it did not give a real account of the events.

Operation Black Tornado

Operation Black Tornado is one of the many documentaries that explore the biggest terror attack that India that Mumbai witnessed in decades since the serial blast of 1993. A group of 12 men who crossed the border and arrived in the city despite high security left everyone across India shook. The documentary made by Discovery unlike other media on the same, and does not focus on the entire attack but the defence operation that commenced after the Mumbai Police secured hijacked places. The docu-series shot like the classic Discovery documentaries shows police personnel involved in the operation speaking in detail about the operation along with archival footage of the incident. The docu-series can be streamed on YouTube.

Money Mafia

The Discovery plus documentary series Money Mafia deals with everything finance. From the Telgi Scam to Mehul Choksi fiasco, the documentary is old-fashioned in its approach and dives straight into the stories of the crimes. While many true-crime documentaries are largely based on chilling crimes like murder, massacre, this series explores the world of white-collar crimes which was well-received, but its making is not as appealing for everyone. If you’re interested in watching a series on financial crimes, do give this series a watch; it is streaming now on Discovery Plus.

House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths

Backed by Leena Yadav, the docu-series House of Secrets will be released on Netflix next week on October 3. The documentary series by Yadav examines the truths and theories behind the chilling deaths of 11 members of a Delhi family in July 2018 who allegedly died by suicide. By the trailer, the series looks like an explanatory stint into the murder of the Chundawat family’s matriarch and subsequent suicides of the 10 other family members.

Muzzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai

Streaming on Netflix, the 2015 documentary is based on the communal riots that broke out in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the State Assembly polls in 2013. The documentary film by Nakul Singh Sawhney, unlike other documentaries, sees his own ideology seeping through as he explores the loss that the riots brought to the Muslim community. The violence purportedly is rooted in an incident where a Muslim man allegedly sexually harassed a Hindu Jat girl in Kawal village which led to more such incidents being reported, leading to the violence. The documentary which received criticism from the BJP and Samajwadi Party, was shot as the violence unfolded and gives a raw picture of the loss, bloodshed of the mass violence.