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

These true crime documentaries are stranger than fiction

The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park (SundanceTV, 2019)

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

Featuring exclusive interviews and never-before-seen archival material, The Preppy Murder is a five-part docuseries that reexamines the infamous 1986 murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in New York City’s Central Park. Robert Emmet Chambers Jr., Levin’s boyfriend, was originally charged with second-degree murder for Levin’s death. Though Chambers initially claimed that Levin’s passing was the accidental result of him pushing her off of him when she caused him pain as she sexually assaulted him, he ultimately pleaded to manslaughter before his trial could go to a jury.

Directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, The Preppy Murder is sharply told and often riveting. While it centers on Levin’s death, it does an admirable job communicating who Levin was when she’s still alive, what her personality was, her energy, and her spirit. The documentary also showcases aspects of the case that the media didn’t cover back in the ‘80s.

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