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True crime TV dramas: A round-up of some of the best to have ever hit our screens

Though there is always space on the small screen for works of fantasy and imagination, some of the most compelling TV offerings are those that have their roots in reality, and often in some of humanity's most shocking, grisly and depraved chapters. With a massive viewer appeal, true crime dramas keep streaming audiences around the world hooked to their sets for hours at a time, and here we've picked out five of the best for you to get your teeth into. Here's our current top selection of those currently available to stream folks. Any other suggestions? Get in touch via Twitter @DMorris_Star

The 'Dream Team' – Nathan Lane, Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr and David Schwimmer star in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The 'Dream Team' – Nathan Lane, Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr and David Schwimmer star in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story

With the third tale in the American Crime Story run currently airing on BBC Two, we have been thoroughly primed for a revisit to the fantastic first series.

While the new run – Impeachment – tells the story of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, series one focused on O. J. Simpson's 1995 trial for the double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

Described as the "most publicized" criminal trial in history, Simpson's case yielded a verdict that many found shocking and that polarised opinions the world over. In this fantastic drama, the tension of the trial, the twists and turns of the case, the egos of the courtroom, and the weight of the international spotlight are captured superbly. With incredible performances from a cast including Cuba Gooding Jr, John Travolta, Sarah Paulson and Courtney B. Vance, this one is what the edge of your seat was made for.

-The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story is currently available to stream via Netflix.

White House Farm

A dark tale of twisting blame and horrific conclusions, White House Farm follows the aftermath of the events of August 6, 1985, when five members of the Bamber-Caffell family were shot dead at the family home in Essex.

When questioned over the incident by the police, Jeremy Bamber –the son of two of the deceased – suggests his sister, a sufferer of schizophrenia, shot both of her parents and her twin sons before turning the gun on herself. Yet as an investigation progresses, an equally disturbing alternate theory comes to the fore.

With superb turns from Mark Addy, Stephen Graham and Freddie Fox, this dramatisation of one of Britain's most brutal ever murder cases is haunting and compelling in equal measure.

-White House Farm is currently available to stream via Netflix.


One of the most sinister episodes in the history of British crime, Des tells the horrifying story of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who between the years 1978 and 1983 murdered at least twelve male victims after luring them to his homes.

Known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, Nilsen strangled and occasionally drowned his victims at two North London addresses he lived at, before often then retaining their remains for prolonged periods of time.

In an absolutely outstanding turn from David Tennant in the titular role, this chilling drama tells the story of Nilsen's eventual arrest and capture, and gives us a truly haunting take on a truly abhorrent series of crimes.

Indisputably one of Tennant's finest ever performances, this compelling piece of work will have you hooked until the end.

-Des is currently available to stream via Amazon Prime.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

The second entry in the American Crime Story pantheon, this captivating drama is based around the events leading up to and following the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by spree killer Andrew Cunanan.

On the morning of July 15, 1997, Italian style visionary Versace is shot and killed on the steps of his Miami Beach home. His murderer, Cunanan, flees the scene, and the authorities are faced with a manhunt. As this superb drama unfolds, we are taken back in time to the route of Cunanan's actions, the growth in supposed thirst for fame (or, indeed, infamy), and the shocking string of killing's that would culminate in Versace's death.

Featuring an absolutely career-defining performance from Darren Criss as Cunanan, and brilliant turns from Édgar Ramírez as Versace and Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella, this dark yet sensational offering from the American Crime Story team is more than worthy to join its predecessor with a spot on this list.

-The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is currently available to stream via Netflix.


Featuring a talented heavyweight cast, Trust gives us a take on the 1973 Mafia kidnapping of American oil heir J. Paul Getty III.

The wealthy Getty family were offered his return for a $17 million ransom, though when his grandfather – family patriarch J. Paul Getty I – was reluctant to pay, a saga of doubt, suspicion and fear that would last for months was to begin.

With brilliant turns from the likes of Donald Sutherland and Hilary Swank, this tale of abduction, high stakes family politics and the ruthless actions of the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate is gripping to the last, and more than deserving of a place in our top five.

A brilliant piece of TV drama, this final entry in our list will leave you entirely unable to turn away.

-Trust is currently available to stream via Amazon Prime.

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