Did you know that in 2017 a violent crime occurred every 24.6 seconds? Violent crimes aren’t the only ones happening, either. The sobering statistic might explain why they are so many true crime documentaries and docuseries currently floating around. While many crimes are pretty cut and dry, not all are. We’ve collected three true-crime docuseries that are so bizarre that it is hard to believe they are telling a true story. Believe it, though. They are.
‘The Keepers’ posits that a nun’s murder was part of a much larger coverup
In November 1969, Sister Cathy Cesnik disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland. The Catholic nun was teaching at a girls’ school at the time and, by all accounts, was well-liked. Her movements on the day of her disappearance were easy to track. She planned to go shopping. and may have stopped at a bakery. She was seen in front of her apartment building around 8:30 pm. From there, the trail went cold.
In January 1970, hunters found Sister Cath’s body in a rural area. The 2017 Netflix documentary, The Keepers, gives voices to several women who allege priests abused them at the school in the years leading up to Cesnik’s disappearance. The documentary posits that Cesnik was killed by priests because she was prepared to blow the whistle on rampant sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School in the 1960s. Was Cesnik’s murder a way of silencing a whistleblower? You decide.
Netflix released The Keepers in May 2017. The Netflix original is still available for streaming on the platform.
‘Two Shallow Graves’ is a true-crime docuseries that tells a tragic tale of the McStay family’s murder, but there is a twist
In 2010, Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer McStay, and their two sons, Joseph Jr., and Gianni McStay, disappeared without a trace from their California home. Their disappearance perplexed police, who noted that while the family appeared to leave in a hurry, there were no signs of a struggle inside the house. For years, internet sleuths floated theories about the disappearance. One theory suggested the family had voluntarily fled the country, although there was no discernible reason why they would. Then police discovered their bodies in two shallow graves in the California desert. The discovery explained where the McStay family went, but the mystery was just beginning.
Two Shallow Graves investigates the family’s disappearance and murder. It also delves into a tangled web of gambling and money issues that led to the arrest and conviction of Joseph McStay’s business associate, Charles ‘Chase’ Merritt in 2019. While a jury convicted Merritt and sentenced him to death for the murders of the McStay family, Two Shallow Graves questions if someone else had the means and motive to commit the horrific crimes.
ID Discovery released the seven-part true-crime docuseries on May 22. It is now available for streaming on Hulu and discovery+.
‘Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives’ is a mindblowing story of success gone awry
If you need something a bit lighter after watching a lot of murder docuseries, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives is the perfect pick. The 2022 Netflix Original tells the story of Sarma Melngailis, a famed restauranteur who went from an overnight sensation to a con artist.
Melngailis ‘ raw food eateries were an undeniable success. Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck, located in New York City, were frequented by celebrities and celebrated by food critics. MeIngallis was on top of the world, or so it seemed. When she met a man who called himself Shane Fox, everything came crashing down. According to the docuseries, Fox, whose real name was Anthony Strangis, promised Melngailis immortality, but it came at a massive price. Melngailis married Strangis but continued to pay him, totaling nearly a million dollars. The restauranteur stole the money from investors and her employees. While Melngailis insists Strangis victimized her, there might be more to the story.
The true-crime docuseries, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives., dropped in March 2022. It is available to stream on Netflix.