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9 true-crime shows to get obsessed with in 2021

Do you love a true-crime drama or documentary? Here's what's coming next year

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
30 December 2020
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Have you cleared Netflix's true-crime section? Well don't worry, because with 2021 comes a new wave of documentaries and dramas based on real-life events. From fraud to impeachment to exploring police investigations, check out the top true-crime shows coming out in the new year... 

The Serpent - BBC One, 1 January

Jenna Coleman stars in this 1970s true-crime drama, and the BBC synopsis reads: "The Serpent tells the remarkable story of how the conman and murderer Charles Sobhraj was brought to justice.

Posing as a gem dealer, Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc travelled across Thailand, Nepal and India in 1975 and 1976, carrying out a spree of crimes on the Asian ‘Hippie Trail’ and become the chief suspects in a series of murders of young Western travellers." 

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The Pembrokeshire Murders - ITV, 11 January

Starring Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans, the three-part series looks at two unsolved double murders of siblings Richard and Helen Thomas, and married couple Peter and Gwenda Dixon, which took place in Wales in the 1980s. The murders went unsolved for decades, before the cases were reopened.

WATCH: The Pembrokeshire Murders is out in January

The drama, which is from the makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, will dramatise the real-life events of the book The Pembrokeshire Murders - Catching the Bullseye Killer, which was written by ex-DCI Steve Wilkins, who Luke will be playing in the drama, and ITV journalist, Jonathan Hill. 

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer - Netflix, 13 January

This Netflix offering looks at how one of the most notorious serial killers in American history was hunted down and brought to justice due to an extensive police investigation. Back in 1985, a series of murders and sexual assaults were committed with no seeming pattern, with victims including men, women, and children ranging in ages from six to 82 - sparking fear in the public at the police tracked down the culprit.

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The Barking Murders - BBC One, Date TBC

Starring Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith, The Barking Murders is set to air on BBC One in 2021 and follows the true story of apprehending serial killer Stephen Port. Told from the point of view of the families of the murderer's four victims, the show will follow them as they attempt to discover what happened to their loved ones. 

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Stephen Merchant stars

Speaking about the show, writer Neil McKay said: “Four young men with their entire future ahead of them lost their lives in a brutal and tragic way. This is a story not only of the consequences of that loss but also of the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by those who loved them as they sought truth and justice. It is a privilege to be able to tell it." 

Landscapers - NOW TV/Sky, Date TBC

Inspired by true events, Olivia Colman plays Susan, a woman who managed to get away with the murder of her parents for ten years undetected after burying them in her back garden. The synopsis reads: "This blackly comic, narratively playful true-crime drama is based on extensive research, hours of interviews and direct access to the accused, who have always protested their innocence of murder."

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The Oscar-winning actress will play Susan

My Name is Lizzie - Channel 4, Date TBC

This upcoming true-crime drama looks at the true story of the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992, and how the police sent officer Lizzie Jones to go undercover to become sexual bait for their prime suspect. 

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Are you looking forward to the Channel 4 show?

Inventing Anna - Netflix, Date TBC

The synopsis of this true-crime show from Shondaland reads: "In Inventing Anna, a journalist with a lot to prove investigates the case of Anna Delvey, the Instagram-legendary German heiress who stole the hearts of New York’s social scene – and stole their money as well.  

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Julia Garner will play Anna

"But is Anna New York’s biggest con woman or is she simply the new portrait of the American dream? Anna and the reporter form a dark, funny love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and our reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey?  The series is inspired by the New York Magazine article How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People by Jessica Pressler." 

Dr Death, Peacock (in US), Date TBC

Based on a podcast of the same name, Dr Death sees Joshua Jackson star as Christopher Duntsch, a neurosurgeon who was thought to have killed and maimed 33 patients during his career. The show has yet to confirm a UK distributor, and is set to air on the streaming service Peacock in the US. 

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Joshua Jackson is set to star

American Crime Story: Impeachment, Netflix, Date TBC

Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein is set to star as Monica Lewinsky in season three of the anthology show, which will look at the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Based on A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President by Jeffrey Toobin, the show will also see Sarah Paulson play Linda Tripp, while Clive Owen will star as President Clinton. 

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Beanie will play Monica Lewinsky

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Netflix, Date TBC

Ryan Murphy is the mastermind behind the upcoming true-crime drama based on Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered17 men and boys over a period spanning from the last 1970s to early 1990s. The series will look into the criticised police investigation into the murders, and how he was ultimately apprehended. 

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