I've been a fan of true crime shows for most of my life and am partial to shows that feature cases solved by forensic science and old-fashioned detective work. Investigation Discovery (ID) is a network dedicated to true crime cases. Some of the television shows are more of a documentary-style, while others are dramatized either to add entertainment and/or to protect the victims and their families. I have been drawn to learning as much about the cases as possible, so I prefer documentary-style shows where the producers interview families, detectives, prosecutors, defense attorneys, the perpetrators, and if possible, the victim(s), and the shows I have chosen in this list reflect that.
The shows in this list feature both current and past shows, so if you can't watch them on Investigation Discovery (ID) each week, past episodes may show up sometime in the future.
*I added two additional shows at the end of the list on 1/15/19
* I have added one show at the end of the list on 8/2/19
Here's the list (in no particular order):
A Crime to Remember (2013-Present)
A Crime to Remember is a documentary-style true crime show that features famous true-crime investigations of the past. The show strives to showcase the actors in appropriate attire of the past and blends in documentary-style interviews from people involved in the cases.
This show is one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery for several reasons. One reason is that it is very interesting to hear about older cases that I may have not been aware of or not able to get a lot of information about. The cases create so much more impact when I can hear about what happened from people who were there and were affected by the crime(s). Another reason that the show is one of the best is that it is just cool to watch. I can tell that a lot of effort goes into wardrobes, the sets, hair, makeup, and the overall environment. This effort makes the show very different from other shows and very memorable.
Grave Secrets (2016-Present)
Grave Secrets is a documentary-style true crime show that features cases that were solved when seemingly buried secrets came to light.
This show is one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery because they feature cases that are truly heartbreaking and horrifying. In many true crime cases, I can usually guess who the perpetrator is and why the crime was committed, but some of these I really couldn't figure out who did it or why. This show kept me guessing and I truly felt empathy for the victims and their families. Another reason this show is so great is that I've seen a lot of and read a lot of true crime stories, and I've never heard of these cases before. I think it's so important for people to hear these stories and be aware of how people you think you can trust can betray you for the dumbest reasons.
Dateline on ID (2008-Present)
Dateline is a documentary-style true crime show available to watch on many networks, including Investigation Discovery. The show features true crime cases of all types, ranging from homicide to kidnapping to fraud. Some of the episodes focus on a straightforward investigation, arrest, trial and sentencing, while others can focus on someone who has been wrongfully convicted and would like to tell their side of the story.
This show is one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery for several reasons. One reason is that I love all the different personalities of the interviewers on the show. My favorite is Keith Morrison, who can go from empathetic towards the families of the victim to calling out a perpetrator who will not admit guilt in one episode. None of the interviewers shy away or dance around asking tough questions and I always look forward to seeing how they will react to the people they interview. Another reason is that the cases are so varied that I never know what kind of episode I will be watching. The stories are engrossing and interesting, and Dateline has a way of bringing out intense emotions in me either in defense of victims or when learning about how a perpetrator never showed remorse towards their victim(s) or the victim's families.
Shattered is a documentary-style true crime show that features older cases that have deeply impacted victims, their families, and the people investigating the cases.
This show is one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery because it truly shows just how much the loss of a person can affect their families, friends, investigators, and law enforcement investigating a true crime case long-term. This is one of the most difficult shows that I have watched on Investigation Discovery because some of the victims are still alive and you can see how much their lives have been changed because of one horrible event. In a lot of true crime shows, you just learn about the case and that's it. You don't really get to hear the details about what happened to the victim(s), friends, family members, and investigators lives for the next ten to 20 years. It's so much more impactful to hear about a crime and how it changed lives when you can see it years later.
Village of the Damned (limited series) (2017)
Village of the Damned was a documentary-style true crime show that featured five episodes about the seemingly "cursed" Village of Dryden, New York.
This was one of the best limited series on Investigation Discovery for several reasons. One reason was that it was so surprising to me that I hadn't heard of the cases of Sarah Hajney and Jennifer Bolduc, and Steve Starr. The stories surrounding these victims is so shocking and horrifying that I can see why investigators, friends and families were reluctant to talk about them. I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for everyone who was involved with these cases and empathy for the victims. I think if it hadn't been for this limited series, I wouldn't have known about these cases at all, honestly. The limited series didn't really explain in detail about the case of Sarah Hajney and Jennifer Bolduc, but the information is out there if you are good at research. I will warn you though, it's horrifying and I wish I hadn't looked it up. Some things are better off remaining a mystery, and I can see why the investigators will not talk about the details of that case. I think the most interesting thing discussed in this series is how all of these terrible events happened in such a short time span. There are conflicting stories about where exactly all of the events happened and if they all happened in Dryden (there is the town of Dryden, NY and the Village of Dryden, NY - the town has a significantly larger population than the Village of Dryden, which would make some of the crimes less shocking) or outside of the town altogether.
Golden State Killer: It's Not Over (limited series) (2018)
Golden State Killer: It's Not Over was a documentary-style true crime show that featured four episodes about the previously unsolved rapes and murders committed by the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer in California from 1976 to 1986.
This was one of the best limited series on Investigation Discovery for several reasons. One reason is that investigators caught the perpetrator, a man linked through DNA to the crimes named Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., on April 24, 2018. This was especially exciting because the show had ended saying that someone out there knew who did it and the man was arrested less than two months later. If you like seeing justice served, that was a great epilogue to that show. Another reason it is such a great series is that I had never heard of those crimes before the series aired. It just goes to show how important it is for true crime shows to put the information out there because you never know how a criminal will be caught. I liked that the series was so in-depth and so well-rounded. There was all kinds of different types of theories presented about who the perpetrator could be, victim testimony, investigator interviews, and footage of where the crimes were committed, so I felt that I got a lot of information I wouldn't have anywhere else.
Body Cam (2018-Present)
Body Cam is a documentary-style true crime show that features video evidence of crimes using police officer's own body cameras. Each show features an intense crime taking place, which you can usually witness from more than one police officer's body cam and sometimes additional footage from the camera in their police cars.
This is one of the best series on Investigation Discovery for several reasons. One of the reasons is that if you are a fan of the television show Cops, you will most like this show even more. I call this show "Cops Plus" because it can get very intense. I was not prepared for how intense this show became because you see a lot more than you will usually see on Cops. I think for anyone who is interested in true crime and likes to watch police taking down criminals, this is a great show to watch. Another reason this show is so great is that the show explains the crime from the beginning, middle, and end from the police officer's point of view. I think this brings the viewer closer to the police officer's perspective from the very beginning so you become more involved when watching the show. The show also makes an effort to get the point of views from other sources, such as additional police officers who were involved, any victims that may have been involved, and relatives of the police officers who were involved. All of the perspectives really give you a well-rounded view of how the crime took place and how it affected the people involved, which I really enjoy.
American Nightmare (2019-Present)
American Nightmare is a documentary-style true crime show that features home videos and pictures of the victims, recollections of the victims from the perspectives of their family and friends, as well as an explanation of the crime from the beginning, middle and end as told from the perspectives of investigators.
I believe American Nightmare is one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery because it really makes you think about how safe you are in your own home. In this show, the victims are seemingly safe in their homes and become victims of terrible, senseless crimes and it makes you wonder if you are ever really safe. The first episodes were so senseless that I really thought I had the perpetrators of the crimes pegged, only to discover I was completely wrong. I really liked how the detectives investigating the crimes explained how they came to their conclusions about who they thought committed the crimes, only to be surprised again and again that the people they thought were the perpetrators were innocent of those particular crimes. Coming to the same conclusions as the detectives drew me in and made me completely surprised (just as they were) when they finally caught the criminals.
Impact of Murder (2019-Present)
Impact of Murder is a documentary-style true crime show that features families and friends of victims of murder and how the crime has impacted their lives. Often, the families will read their impact statements they previously read during the criminal trials and they are truly heartbreaking to hear.
This show is one of the best on Investigation Discovery because as horrible as the crimes themselves are, they are all the more horrible in how they have affected the families and friends who live with the memories and loss of their loved one(s). In my opinion, this show is very similar to a show I listed above which is named Shattered, so if you liked that show, you might very well like this one as well.
I hope you liked this list and can find some good shows to watch on Investigation Discovery.