As streaming services continue to claim a day of the week as their own — Netflix has Fridays, Disney+ Wednesdays, and so on — Peacock is staking its claim with True-Crime Tuesdays. Since March, Peacock has released a steady stream of true-crime series and documentaries on Tuesdays, including Sins of the Amish and Dateline: The Last Days. These titles dropped sporadically over the spring and summer, but in recent weeks, Peacock’s push has intensified with the back-to-back-to-back premieres of A Friend of the Family: True Evil — a companion documentary to the streamer’s scripted take on the Jan Broberg story — Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats., and Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies, in which Anthony sits down for her first on-camera interview since the death of her daughter, Caylee, in 2008.
Whether you’re just dipping a toe in or are already a seasoned veteran, consider this your guide to the best of Peacock’s True-Crime Tuesdays:
Premiered March 8
Peacock’s first official True-Crime Tuesday title plays like a real-life episode of Black Mirror. In 2019, gamer Menhaz Zaman shocked his online friends when he claimed to have killed his mother — and uploaded a photo of a dead woman as proof. When he revealed plans to murder the rest of his family, Menhaz’s gamer pals set out to discover his identity and his location in a desperate attempt to put an end to his killing spree.
In Perfect World: A Deadly Game (the title is a reference to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game where the group met), the gamers tell their story for the first time as they detail their online relationship with Menhaz and recount their 18-hour manhunt.
Premiered April 26
A decade after cult leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting children, Peacock attempted to chart his dramatic rise to power and eventual fall from grace in a four-episode series. As the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous denomination of the LDS movement, Jeffs had many wives, and Preaching Evil is told primarily through the lens of these women, particularly Naomie Jessop, who served as Jeffs’ personal scribe. The series also features interviews with some of Jeffs’ children and members of law enforcement who conducted the 2008 raid on his Texas ranch.
Notably, Preaching Evil wasn’t the only Warren Jeffs documentary released in 2022. In early June, Netflix countered with its own four-part series, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which was one of the service’s most-watched documentaries of the year.
Premiered May 24
Two-part documentary Sins of the Amish wastes no time setting the stage for the disturbing scandal at its center. “To the outside world, the Amish seem like a kind, loving, generous, hardworking community who basically wouldn’t hurt a fly,” a woman says. “But that whole picture is pretty much a lie.”
Filmmakers Daniel Sivan and Mor Loushy, who most recently collaborated on HBO Max’s Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty, pull back the curtain on the plague of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse within the Amish community and the corrupt system that failed to protect its victims. The documentary is told from the perspective of several women seeking justice for the abuse they suffered: After years of being silenced, they are finally able to speak out about their harrowing experiences and their decision to leave the insular Plain Community.
But unlike other true-crime stories that end with a moment of closure, Sins of the Amish acknowledges how far we still have to go to protect survivors and punish abusers, even within the secular system.
Premiered June 14
The only shocking thing about Dateline: The Last Day was that it took two years for NBC to bring its iconic TV newsmagazine to streaming. In June, Peacock expanded upon the once-dominant program with this eight-episode series that returns to cases previously featured on Dateline, including the disappearance of University of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the murder of U.S. airman Nathan Paet. While investigators attempt to piece together what happened in each victim’s final hours, NBC News correspondents Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Stephanie Gosk, and Andrea Canning offer commentary and do some sleuthing of their own as they reflect on why every murder investigation begins with the end.
Premiered August 2
There’s been no shortage of films and TV shows about the Hillside Stranglers produced over the years — Dennis Farina and Billy Zane famously played the serial killers in NBC’s 1989 TV movie — but Peacock’s The Hillside Strangler: Devil in Disguise puts a docuseries spin on the case. Over the course of four months in 1977 to 1978, cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono Jr. kidnapped, raped, tortured, and killed 10 young women and girls, leaving their bodies to be found in the hillsides of East Los Angeles.
Beyond exploring how Bianchi and Buono Jr. impersonated off-duty police officers to lure unsuspecting victims to their death, the true-crime series delves into Bianchi’s mental state and his claim that he has dissociative identity disorder and a different personality committed the murders. This kind of psychoanalysis is also present in the first Devil in Disguise docuseries about John Wayne Gacy, which premiered on Peacock in March 2021.
Premiered November 15
Jan Broberg first spoke out about her traumatic experience in Netflix’s Abducted in Plain Sight, but this fall, she transitioned over to Peacock with scripted drama A Friend of the Family, starring Jake Lacy as Broberg’s abuser Robert “B” Berchtold. Just a few days after the limited series concluded, the streamer released a companion documentary, True Evil, featuring new interviews with Broberg as she revisits the scenes of the crime and discusses her family’s role in what transpired. In a moment that carries more emotional weight than most of its scripted counterpart, Broberg meets another survivor of Berchtold’s abuse who shares her story for the first time. The encounter unites the women, who embark upon a journey of healing as they navigate their complicated feelings.
Premiered November 22
Joe vs. Carole may have been a flop, but Peacock isn’t done mining Tiger King for gold quite yet. It’s impossible to ignore the echoes of Tiger King in Dangerous Breed, a true-crime series about Canadian filmmaker Frederick Kroetsch’s decade-long attempt to make a reality show about independent wrestler and Persian cat breeder Teddy Hart. After multiple women come forward with disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct, Teddy’s protege and ex-girlfriend Samantha Fiddler goes missing, prompting Kroetsch to reexamine the footage and confront Hart about his potential involvement.
Between Hart’s controversial wrestling reputation, his side hustle as a cat breeder, and the varied accusations made against him, Dangerous Breed delivers twist after twist that you have to see to believe.
Premiered November 29
If there’s one True-Crime Tuesday docuseries that’s poised to become a breakout hit for Peacock, it’s Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies. The three-part series is historic in its own right: For the first time since the death of her daughter Caylee and her headline-making trial, Casey Anthony sits down on-camera to tell her side of the story. From the beginning, director Alexandra Dean (This Is Paris) makes it clear that Anthony has no creative control over the documentary, which, as Dean explains, attempts to “get closer to the unbiased truth by hearing all sides of the story.”
Whether Where The Truth Lies achieves that aim is in the eye of the beholder, but it undeniably succeeds as a psychological portrait of a woman working through decades of trauma. Even those confident in Anthony’s guilt are likely to come away with questions about how the case was handled by investigators and the media, and as interview subjects begin to reassess their long-held opinions about Anthony, viewers are encouraged to do the same.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.
TOPICS: Peacock, Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats., Dateline: The Last Day, A Friend of the Family: True Evil, Hillside Stranger: The Devil in Disguise, A Perfect World: A Deadly Game, Preaching Evil: A Wife on the Run with Warren Jeffs, Sins of the Amish, Jan Broberg, True Crime