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HBO doccies and more true crime

Some crimes grab the headlines and shake a nation – or the whole world. These true crime documentaries get to the heart of cases that you’ll never forget. 

Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

In October 2011, in Potsdam, New York, 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was found strangled to death in his home. The investigation into his murder quickly finds a suspect in Nick Hillary, Garrett’s mother Tandy’s ex-boyfriend. Here’s an important detail: Nick is black, and Potsdam is a predominantly white town.

This two-part HBO documentary by Liz Garbus features interviews with Nick, with Garrett’s family members, with Tandy’s friends, members of the various legal teams involved in the case, two district attorneys, and the journalists that followed the investigation from the very beginning.

It’s as much a look into a horrific crime that shook a community as it is into the flaws in a criminal justice system that wants to put a suspect behind bars, whether they’re guilty or not, more than it wants to solve a murder. Watch on Showmax now.

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs Michelle Carter 

On 13 July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide by gassing himself in his pickup truck. Months later, his self-styled girlfriend, Michelle Carter (17 at the time of the incident), was arrested for encouraging him to take his own life through hundreds of texts sent in the months before he died.

The pair met on holiday, and had communicated almost entirely via text and social media. As police combed through their communication, a chilling picture emerged – she had repeatedly tried to convince Conrad to go through with his plans to commit suicide. What clinched her conviction, however, was the fact that Michelle admitted to telling Conrad to get back in his truck when he wavered, an instruction that resulted in his death.

This HBO documentary is brand new, and the case is still ongoing. She recently announced she’s taking her appeal to the Supreme Court. Her lawyers argue that her text messages constitute free speech, protected by the Constitution. Watch now on Showmax.

The film is directed by Erin Lee Carr, who was also behind HBO’s Mommy Dead and Dearest. That documentary followed the story of Gypsy Blanchard, a teen who instructed her online lover to murder her mother after years of abuse.

Murder Comes to Town S1

Murder is always a shocking crime, but when it happens in a close-knit community, it’s even tougher to deal with. Each hour-long episode of Murder Comes to Town focuses on the murders that have rocked small-town America, interviewing those closest to the victim, the investigators, police and the townspeople. Watch episodes at DStv Now, available to watch online or on Catch Up until 30 September.

Stealing Sunflowers

Two years ago, on 20 April 2017, two white men allegedly caught 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu stealing sunflowers on a farm. They claimed he jumped off the back of their bakkie and broke his neck on the way to the police station, but an eye witness says Matlhomola was pushed. On that day, everything in the small town of Coligny, South Africa changed. This is the harrowing story of this tragedy. Watch now on Showmax.

The Perfect Murder S2

True crime afficianados love a good mystery, and The Perfect Murder explore plot twists within plot twists. Take the real-life story of the Orlando mother who went missing 15 years after her husband left her. Is it possible that he came back to take revenge OR has she pulled a disappearing act after claiming his social security payouts all these years. None of these cases are as cut and dried as they seem! Watch episodes at DStv Now, available to watch online until 30 September.

How to get DStv Now 

DStv subscribers can sign up for DStv Now at no extra cost. Go to to register and start streaming.

How to get Showmax

Sign up for a 14-day free trial at Thereafter, access to a tonne of local and international series, movies and documentaries costs just R99 per month. 

DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax at no extra cost – just go to the website to sign up. DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers can add Showmax to their subscription for just R49pm.

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HBO doccies and more true crime