Crime Documentaries Like 'Making a Murderer' Are Picking Up Where Newspapers Left Off

TV's new hits take a page from print

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently bragged in a letter to shareholders about two things: his booming business, which hit 75 million subscribers in 2015, and his very hot content. "In late December, we debuted a 10-part documentary series, Making a Murderer, which has enthralled audiences and critics alike and triggered a national conversation on fairness of the American criminal justice system," the executive wrote.

The docuseries—which chronicles Steven Avery's rape conviction and exoneration after 18 years in a Wisconsin prison, followed by a murder charge two years later—even inspired a rebuttal podcast and a special on the cable net Investigation Discovery.

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