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By Nitya Chablani
Vogue - Culture & Living

Think horror stories are scary? These real life, cold blooded crime cases may just be worse. If you're up for a few sleepless nights, add these to your must-watch list:

Everyone you walk past on the street has a story, but some have a past you'd never be able to guess. Based on the number of crimes that go unsolved around the world each year, it's safe to say that every human on the planet has, at some point in their life, unknowingly encountered a killer, if not several. Over the years, the world has seen some shocking crimes, which often prove that truth really can be stranger than fiction.

As someone who's recently discovered an undeniable love for true crime documentaries, I'd have to argue that real life horror can be much more thrilling than supernatural stories. I love cheery rom-coms, artistic period dramas and stand-up comedy, but every couple of days, I find myself rushing home from work to find a fresh crime docu-series to dive into. What keeps me (and most others) coming back is the fact that these nightmarish crimes aren't committed by creepy clowns or wicked witches. Often, they're carried out by people who seem perfectly ordinary on the surface: the friendly neighbour, the handsome stranger you couldn't help but smile at, the charismatic colleague you share lunch with. Have I got your attention? Good. Grab a blanket, a bowl of popcorn, and start working through these much-talked-about real life specials. Warning: you may need to sleep with your lights on for a while once you get started.

Excerpt: Between 2007 and 2009, the residents of a small neighbourhood in Cleveland found themselves struggling to find the source of a terrible smell that was slowly taking over their streets. During the same period, a series of women in the area went missing. It took close to three years for the police to begin investigations, and when they did, they found a serial killer like no other. Unseen tells the story of Anthony Sowell's gut-wrenching crimes, and the eleven women who suffered at his hands.