Unseen and Long Shot revealed as most popular crime documentaries in the UK

UK’s favourite true crime documentaries revealed in new study.

Online searches for the world’s top true crime documentaries have more than doubled in the UK over the past year with Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries seeing a 696% increase in online interest in the last year.

Unseen and Long Shot has been revealed to be the UK’s two favourite crime documentaries across IMDb and Netflix, a study has found.

The UK’s morbid fascination with true crime documentaries has more than doubled over the last year due to the effects of the national lockdown, with a 114% rise in online searches for the world’s top crime documentaries.

True Crime Mania analysed search data for Netflix and IMDb’s top shows to reveal which cases have kept the world most captivated, the top-performing documentaries/series in each country and which unsolved crimes retain the interest of the public..  

The study found that searches for the world’s top five true crime shows – including Abducted in Plain Sight and Making a Murderer have seen a 114% rise collectively over the last six months.

However in the UK, Long Shot – a 2017 short documentary about Juan Catalan – was the Netflix crime documentary that was most searched for in 2020, with 48% more online searches for the documentary than Unsolved Mysteries, which is second on the list ahead of Dope, Making a Murderer and Amanda Knox.

Of all the most popular UK documentaries, it is Unsolved Mysteries that rates with the highest average on Netflix with a score of 7.4/10.

The most popular IMDb title is Unseen – the 2016 documentary in which Cleveland police discovered the bodies of 11 women on Anthony Sowell’s property – ahead of Dream/Killer and Out of Thin Air, with 33% more searches while The Fear of 13, The Scheme and LA 92 are also very popular in the UK.

Here is how the most popular crime documentaries vary across Netflix and the IMDb database




Long Shot



Unsolved Mysteries




Out of Thin Air


Making a Murderer

The Fear of 13


Amanda Knox

The Scheme


The Staircase

LA 92


Wild Wild Country



The Devil Next Door

Beware the Slenderman


Abducted in Plain Sight

Cocaine Cowboys


The Keepers

Soaked in Bleach

But some of us are watching true crime docs with no preference for case, as it’s Netflix’s 2020 iteration of the popular Unsolved Mysteries series that is the most-streamed show globally, with Season 1 Episode 3 House of Terror considered the best of the bunch.

When it comes to where shows the most interest in true crime shows, it’s the US that takes the top spot, followed by Sweden, the UK and Canada. But while the US favours Unsolved Mysteries, Sweden prefers Making a Murderer and the UK goes for The Thin Blue Line. 

Other standout findings show that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains the most captivating unsolved crime globally.

More details on the best documentaries for each unsolved crime and any other trends and spikes in interest can be found at True Crime Mania.

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