When a new true crime special premieres on Netflix, it can turn into an almost instant phenomenon. But for every case that has gotten the documentary treatment, there are still more stories that need to be heard. Here are 7 true crime stories that deserve Netflix specials, though they don't have them yet. Some of the details of these cases are simply too strange to be believed, while others are too heartbreaking.
Old mysteries can be reinvigorated by the fresh perspectives of Netflix audiences. The Staircase gave rise to heated debates about guilt or innocence; revisiting the crimes of Ted Bundy had audiences reassessing his uneasy legacy as a "charming" serial killer. The Keepers unearthed horrors that were painful to hear, but needed to be shared. Some of the stories on this list hint at similarly serious issues, while others are unusual mysteries that have never been solved. Though a Netflix documentary might not be able to do that, at the very least it could shed a little light on the darkness.
There are no shortage of horrible, fascinating things in this world! Sit in that uneasy feeling as you peruse these 7 true crime stories and imagine what insights Netflix could bring to them.
The Mystery Of Mitrice Richardson
The final night of Mitrice Richardson's life is a series of unanswered questions. According to Newsweek, her behavior was peculiar in the days leading up to her disappearance, which occurred after she was taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She had failed to pay her bill at a restaurant and the hostess suspected she might be on drugs, though Richardson passed a sobriety test when officers arrived. However, alcohol and a small amount of marijuana were found in her car, so she was brought to the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.
Richardson's mother was assured that she would not be released alone at night without a car, but the officers let her go shortly after midnight. Left on her own in the Santa Monica Mountains, Richardson was never seen alive again. Her body was discovered weeks later, partially mummified, with her clothes removed. No one knows what happened to her.
Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?
In 1943 Birmingham, a group of young boys discovered a skull in the hollow of a tree. Further investigation turned up the full skeleton of a 35-year-old woman whose identity has never been uncovered. The evidence was thin: a wedding ring was found with her, as well as a shoe and some bits of cloth in the mouth of the skull. Graffiti soon began to appear all over town that read, "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?"
The sentence is so intrinsically creepy it can't help but send a chill down your spine. Though decades have passed, no one has figured out who this woman was or how a tree became her final resting place, though theories abound. A Netflix special could explore each and every one.
The Disappearance Of The Beaumont Children
Siblings Jane, Arnna, and Grant Beaumont (ages 9, 7, and 4) were accustomed to traveling to Glenelg Beach in the afternoons on their own. But on Jan. 26, 1966, they vanished. They were spotted a few times that day, at least once in the company of an unidentified man, but then never seen again; their remains were never found, and no one knows what happened to them. The vanishing of the Beaumont children is one of Australia's most famous cold cases and interest in the story hasn't waned over the years. As recently as 2018, digs were being performed with the hope of discovering their remains. None were found.
The Bain Family Murders
In 1994, the entire Bain family was killed at their home in Dunedin, New Zealand — all but one. Then-22-year-old David Bain was the only surviving member. He was convicted for the murders of his parents Robin and Margaret and siblings Arawa, Laniet, and Stephen. It may seem like an open and shut case, but David always maintained his innocence and was eventually acquitted in 2009. It's a case that's bound to result in a variety of opinions from audiences, which means it could merit a closer look.
The Unsolved Murder Of Georgia Lee Moses
Georgia Lee Moses was only 12 years old when she vanished from her home in Petaluma, California in 1997. Her body was later found, but her killer wasn't identified or apprehended. According to the Argus Courier, many felt that her case wasn't given the media attention it deserved because Moses was black, especially when compared to the heavy media coverage for another missing Petaluma girl named Polly Klaas. These kinds of questions are still prevalent in the news today, which makes revisiting Moses' murder very timely.
The Escape Of Sharon Kinne
The story of Sharon Kinne almost reads like fiction. After framing her two-year-old daughter for the murder of her husband James and painting it as an accident, Kinne was linked to the murders of Patricia Jones and Francisco Parades Ordoñez. What's even stranger is that Kinne was able to escape from prison in 1969, and she was never heard from again. She could still be at large! According to The Line Up, she's still wanted for her husband's murder, making Kinne the subject of one of the longest outstanding felony warrants in the United States.
What Happened To Joan Risch?
For years, people have puzzled over the evidence left behind when Joan Risch disappeared in 1961. Her kitchen was left in disarray, with blood on the floor and walls, and her two year old son was crying in his crib. Risch was nowhere in sight. Though there were some alleged sightings of Risch, her final fate is unknown. Some think she staged the scene and vanished on purpose, while others believe someone might have harmed her. Those are the kinds of questions a special could explore.
These cases are complicated and sometimes uncomfortable, but their lasting impact means that they could make for some very intriguing Netflix specials.