The truth, however, is that without an interest in the "who, what, why and how" these things happen, there will never be an end to it. All the prison time and state sanctioned murders in the country will not stop it. Only an understanding of the acts can prevent them.
In keeping with that theory, there are many amazingly insightful movies about true crimes that not only depict the crimes in horrifyingly realistic detail, but show all sides of the crimes and criminals for a whole picture. In fact, some true crime movies and documentaries have won worldwide awards for the light they shed on such horrific acts and those who commit them.
Here are some of the most renown true crime films ever made in no particular order.
The Thin Blue Line
Not every true crime fan thinks of this one. It is the story of the investigation of a Dallas, Texas police officer and the corrupt police force therein. Drifter, Randall Adams, ran out of gas and after a 16 year old runaway, David Harris, picked him up, they went on a day-long pleasure excursion; drinking beer, smoking pot, hanging out and catching a movie. Adams returned to his hotel room where his brother was also staying, and went to sleep. He was arrested and charged with the murder of a police officer shortly after. The problem however was there wasn't any evidence that connected him to the crime. David Harris was a runaway in the throes of a crime spree and eventually ended up on death row.
Released in 2009, the filmmakers delve into their own childhood myth and track down the origins of their neighborhood boogeyman and 5 missing children. This film also says a lot about mental health and law and order in the 70's. If you're a child of the 70's, it's an interesting take on the way we lived in those days. In the end, you're left wondering if the killer was ever mentally ill at all or just a very clever man. You can see it free here: CROPSEY .
The Cheshire Murders
This HBO film is a documentary about the murder of a woman and her two daughters in Connecticut. The husband/father lived. The interesting part about this film is how many it times it shows you where this crime could have been prevented as well as a whole host of police screw ups in the investigation. It cumulates into a high profile death penalty case.
How Terri-Lynne McClintic Became a Killer
This documentary tells the story of little Victoria "Tori" Elizabeth Marie Stafford, 8; her life and death at the hands of Terri-Lynne McClintic,18, and Michael Rafferty, 28,. The pair abducted, raped and murdered the young girl. The shocking part of this case is not only the horrific crime, but the fact that the mother was the prime suspect, despite a witness coming forth to identify a video of a woman luring the girl away. The film then goes into Terri-lynne's life. She was raised by strippers and molested repeatedly from an early age. She lived a life of horrific abuse of every type and never knew anything but that. She never had a day that did not hold rape or a beating or drug abuse. So many people blame themselves for knowing what was happening and not stepping in. Although some did, the authorities did nothing. It's an interesting view of the making of a monster. You can see it for free here: TERRI-LYNNE