10 Best TV Shows About Serial Killers

By Louie Fecou
Published: March 10, 2023 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)

We discuss the 10 Best TV Shows About Serial Killers you must watch. Add these recommendations to your watchlist. 

The rise in interest in crime drama has just been growing bigger and bigger. Whether it is a true crime or fictional drama, streaming audiences can’t seem to get enough. As to why this is the case, it is hard to say. Perhaps these types of shows allow people an insight into the often deranged minds of the featured protagonist, and let’s face it, since cinema, people have always had an interest in horror and thrillers.

One of the most popular niche genres under the crime drama umbrella is serial killers. Here are the ten best TV shows about serial killers. Brace yourself.

10 Best TV Shows About Serial Killers

Wire in the Blood (2002)

Surprisingly, we started our list with a show from the United Kingdom. This long-running series stars  UK ex-fire fighting crooner Robson Green as a psychologist that aids the police in tracking down serial killers. Using his particular style, he gets inside the minds of the killers, and their victims, to help solve what often seems like unsolvable crimes. This is a dark, gritty, and violent series created by Scottish writer Val McDermid, and if you have missed this show, we urge you to check it out.

Hannibal (2013)

You will automatically recognize the name of this series which is a testament to the impact the character of Hannibal Lecter has had on popular culture. Spinning out of the blockbuster movie The Silence of the Lambs, this show concentrates on the early years of the cannibal killer, with a young psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter working with a young FBI agent. Their mesmerizing relationship is the show’s crux, and the gore and violence led to some scenes being cut by some US Networks. Mesmerizing and hypnotic, it’s hard to watch but impossible to turn away.

Mindhunter (2017)

This is another show set in the past, the nineteen seventies, featuring two FBI agents with the unenviable job of interviewing serial killers in the hope of solving cold cases. The two leads are up against it, though, as they feel the current method of investigating such cases is outdated. They have an upward battle to try and move things forward and to help solve some terrible crimes. The interview scenes in Mindhunter were also based on real-life discussions with serial killers, with the dialogue almost line for line taken from real transcripts making this show even more unsettling and one of the best crime series with serial killers.

The Fall (2013)

Post X-Files Clarise clone Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan lead the cast in this psychological masterpiece that finds detective Stella Gibson, played by Anderson, in a cat-and-mouse manhunt with Dornan’s Paul Spector. This dark, disturbing, slow-burning edge-of-seat thriller would be so successful that it would be recommissioned, although fans would say that the first season is the best.

The Following (2013) 

Footloose mobile phone vendor Kevin Bacon plays an FBI agent in this subversive show that follows a charismatic psychopathic serial killer, Ryan Hardy, played superbly by James Purefoy. Hardy has been imprisoned and hasn’t wasted his time there. He has been manipulating other inmates into becoming a cult. He has the insane idea of assembling all the active serial killers he can and organizing them into the titular following. Hardy has escaped prison and is calling on his followers, and Kevin Bacon wants him back, leading to an intense series of interactions with deadly consequences and making this one of the top serial killer series out there.

Millennium (1996) 

Created by Chris Carter, of X-Files fame, this dark and often supernatural series stars map faced android Lance Henricksen as Frank Black, a former FBI profiler with a special ability. Black has the power to see inside the killer’s mind, making him an invaluable asset in his chosen profession. Now he works for the mysterious Millennium Group, a secret organization investigating serial killers preoccupied with the occult and the world’s end. Darker and more grounded than the X-Files, the show would eventually run out of steam before concluding its overarching storyline. It would receive a bit of a rushed conclusion as an episode of the X-Files, disappointing hardcore fans.

Ragdoll (2021)

A team of detectives is on the trail of a gruesome serial killer who seems inspired by another killer. The ragdoll of the title refers to the dismembered bodies of six victims that have been rearranged into the ragdoll. The killer taunts the authorities, announcing he is preparing to do the same again, the team is desperate to stop him, but a dark secret in the past of one of the detectives rears its head.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

There was a point when it seemed everyone was discussing this controversial show from Netflix. Following the insane story of Dahmer, played creepily by Evan Peters, the show focuses on the apparent incompetence of the authorities, that seemed to have plenty of chances at nailing this serial killer but kept just letting him go. The clean cut all, American image of Dahmer seemed to help him evade being captured, and his horrific spree would make for captivating viewing in this series. The show also garnered a lot of pushback and criticism, but on its release, it certainly managed to get Netflix many new subscriptions.

Slasher (2016)

I thought we would throw this one in the mix if it flew under your TV radar. This anthology series features a different serial killer in each season. The tales twist and turn and have more substance than you would imagine, despite the simple premise. Season one has a copycat killer on the loose, and season two has a Friday The 13th vibe. Still, with a killer twist, season three has a revenge going wrong story, and season four has a wealthy family vying for an inheritance but being stalked by a killer. Ideal if you love your serial killers in various guises.

Dexter (2006)

This hugely popular and long-running series followed Dexter, a forensic analyst specializing in blood spatter analysis that harbors a dark secret. At night he goes out and murders evil people, like some crazed psychopathic Batman. Traumatized at a young age, witnessing the horrific murder of his mother, Dexter would grow up with sociopathic tendencies that he would channel into murdering the guilty. Morally complex but incredibly entertaining, Dexter would slowly grow a vast audience and become one of the best TV series about serial killers ever.

And that completes our Best TV Shows About Serial Killers list. Have you got a favorite? Comment below.

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