The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews is the latest compelling true crime series to air on Channel 5 – but what other unmissable true crime documentaries can you watch on My5?
If you like playing armchair detective, there are dozens of real life crime docs available on the catch-up channel.
Here’s our pick of the best.
True crime documentaries: Shannon Matthews: The Mother’s Story
If you find the Shannon Matthews case as fascinating as we do, there’s this one-off documentary.
Shannon Matthews: The Mother’s Story reveals the true character of Karen Matthews.
Karen, we now know, was behind the kidnapping of her own daughter, Shannon.
True crime documentaries: The Family who Vanished
This true crime documentary looks into the fate of the Chohan family.
Criminals lured Mr Chohan into a trap and murdered him, along with his wife, two sons and mother-in-law.
Also known as the Stonehenge Killers, the crime involves fraud, abduction, torture and murder.
The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh
This true crime documentary about Suzy Lamplugh‘s disappearance aired last year.
It retells the story of the police’s investigation in 1986.
Susannah Jane Lamplugh, 25, walked away from work and was never seen again.
Her parents reported her missing on July 28.
Police declared her dead, presumed murdered, eight years later in 1994.
Fritzl: What Happened Next
A documentary looking into the case of Josef Fritzl, now 85.
The Austrian kept his own daughter Elisabeth locked in a basement cell for 24 years.
He fathered seven children with his daughter after years of abuse – until she was able to escape.
On March 19 2009, the depraved rapist was sentenced to life imprisonment.
True crime documentaries: The McCanns and the Conman
This one-off doc looks at a private investigation set up by ‘security consultant’ Kevin Halligen in 2008 to find missing child Madeleine McCann.
The private detective was accused of siphoning off money that had been donated to try to find Madeleine McCann – a charge he denied.
Madeleine went missing in Portugal in May 2007.
Kevin subsequently spent time in jail in the US over an unrelated fraud.
Left for Dead by the Yorkshire Ripper
Tracy Browne describes how she survived an attack by Peter Sutcliffe.
She walked home to her farm house one evening and had a near-fatal encounter with the man described as The Yorkshire Ripper.
Peter attacked the 14-year-old with a hammer, until he was disturbed by a passing car.
Luckily Tracy survived the ordeal.
James Bulger: The New Revelations
Viewers heard comments from and about Robert Thompson and Jon Venables – the perpetrators of the horrific James Bulger murder.
For the first time, the public heard what was said at the time of the trial, during their incarceration and parole pleas.
James Bulger was a two-year-old boy from Kirkby, Merseyside, who was abducted, tortured and killed by the two 10-year-old boys in 1993.
The Clues that Caught the Killer – Rhys Jones
This true crime doc examines the investigation into the murder of Rhys Jones in 2007.
Detectives recall how Sean Mercer was convicted for Rhys’ murder, despite little evidence.
Rhys was murdered in Liverpool at the age of 11 when he was shot in the neck.
Sean Mercer, aged 16 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of his murder.
He is currently in jail after being sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison.
5 Mistakes That Caught A Killer: Sarah Payne
Detectives and forensic experts reveal the mistakes made by Sarah Payne’s killer which eventually led to his capture.
Sarah Payne was the victim of a high-profile abduction and murder in England in July 2000.
Convicted paedophile Roy Whiting murdered Sarah when she was just eight years old.
Harold Shipman, Levi Bellfield, Mick Philpott also feature in the series.
The Philpott Fire: 5 Years On
Filmmakers look at the horrific fire that killed six innocent children in May 2012.
Michael Philpott was later found guilty of causing the deaths of six of his children by arson.
The one-off doc features new interviews with Mick Philpott’s son, close family, friends and neighbours.
April Jones: The Interrogation Tapes
A forensic psychologist reviews the tapes made during the interrogation of Mark Bridger.
Mark murdered five-year-old April Jones from Powys, Wales.
A jury found local man Mark guilty of April’s abduction and murder, and he is currently serving a life sentence.
True crime documentaries: The Soham Murders
On August 4 2002, Ian Huntley murdered 10-year-old friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
This was a crime of senseless savagery that shook the nation.
The documentary re-examines the crimes, for which Ian Huntley is currently serving a life sentence in jail.
Other true crime documentaries worth checking out!
Teens Who Kill is a five-part series looking into crimes committed by adolescents.
These include Santre Gayle, who gunned down Gulistan Subasi at a flat in Hackney in 2010.
Steven Miles was 17 years old when he brutally murdered his girlfriend Elizabeth Thomas.
Meanwhile, Vincent Parker killed his parents after growing sick of their routine punishments, and two brothers and their friend murdered a homeless man for a dare.
In When Dad Kills: Murderer in the Family, Maya Jama meets people who grew up with a violent father.
She finds out what impact this has had on their lives, and asks why some have chosen to maintain contact.
Vanished: The Surrey Schoolgirl looks into the disappearance of Ruth Wilson in 1995.
Two decades later, an ex-counter-terrorist cop and a journalist start to investigate.
Stalked: Murder in Slow Motion examines the murder of university student Molly McLaren.
Her friends reveal how her Mr Right turned into her brutal killer.
My Dad the Paedophile, My Mother the Monster and Pet Poisoners are also worth a watch on 5OD.
The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews concludes on Channel 5 at 9pm on Thursday February 11 2021.
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