30 of the best true crime documentaries to unleash your inner detective

These true crime documentaries are stranger than fiction

The Lady and the Dale (HBO, 2021)

30 of the best true crime documentaries to unleash your inner detective 1

Featuring a nice balance of historical footage, candid interviews, and animation, The Lady and the Dale centers on Liz Carmichael, an American automobile executive who promoted a prototype for a low-cost fuel-efficient car during the 1970s energy crisis via Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation, but fled with the investor money. She was captured in 1989 and served 18 months on fraud charges.

To effectively tell the wild and surprisingly affecting story of Carmichael, the four-episode documentary interviews her children Candi Michael and Michael Michael; grandchild Jeri Buchard; brother-in-law Charles Richard Barrett; and former employees of Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation, among many others. While a few angles of the case aren’t fully pursued, The Lady and the Dale gives viewers a clear notion of why some people opt to live a life rooted in one long con after another.