Directed by Selvamani Selvaraj, The Hunt For Veerappan is a true crime docuseries that premiered on August 4, 2023. This Netflix docudrama is centred around an Indian bandit, Veerappan, who terrorized Kerala for decades. It explores the life story of a man hailed as a hero by many and perceived as a villain by the government. This four-part series delves into the dark corners of Veerappan’s life, from his reign to his downfall. Throughout his regime, Veerappan, renowned as the Robin Hood of India, terrorized the entire police force. He ruled with an iron fist and kept his people sheltered but engaged in criminal activities. Eventually, it was his ego that became the catalyst for catastrophe.
If you are already a fan, or seeking to elaborate your watch list with shows like The Hunt For Veerappan, you’re at the right place. Here is a list of 8 shows like The Hunt For Veerappan that will cripple you!
8. How To Become A Cult Leader
A spin-off of Netflix’s How To Become A Tyrant, How To Become A Cult Leader is a docuseries centred around numerous criminals. Through the story of these cult leaders, the narrator, Peter Dinklage, walks the audience through the effective strategies for becoming a cult leader. True to its name and the genre, the docudrama is soaked in violence, tricks and historical stories. It portrays tragic events without emphasizing the impact they left. Rather, this six-part Netflix series stresses the backstory and journey of six notorious cult leaders who wreaked havoc in their reign.
The four-time Emmy winner, Peter, instils an aura of lightheartedness into the series that works like a charm. He preaches to the audience to inculcate the qualities of these leaders in his signature satirical tone. Though not conceptually similar to The Hunt For Veerappan, How To Become A Cult Leader still runs parallel to the former. It offers six insightful tales to satiate the crime drama connoisseur in you.
7. Waco: American Apocalypse
1993 still remains a dreaded year for America even though 30 years have passed since the siege that shook the country. Directed by Titler Russell, Waco: American Apocalypse delves into the life of David Koresh, one of the most deranged cult leaders history has ever witnessed. It premiered on Netflix on March 22, 2023, coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of the American apocalypse that rendered everyone speechless. This three-part docuseries portrays the 51-day-long struggle between the FBI and Koresh’s cult, Branch Davidians.
Waco: American Apocalypse is drastically similar to The Hunt For Veerappan as it portrays the entire ordeal of capturing an atrocious criminal. Both series have found a home on Netflix and delve dive deep into the lives of cult leaders who didn’t shy away from using the members of their cult as a shield and a weapon.
6. The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst
The recipient of Emmy and TCA awards, The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst is a 2015 HBO documentary directed by Andrew Jarecki. Helmed by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier along with Jarecki, The Jinx takes a nosedive into the life of a real-estate mogul, Robert Durst. After Jarecki released a fictional film centred around Durst, All Good Things, he was instantly enamoured. But even more, than him, Durst was captivated by the film and broke his record of not speaking to anyone regarding his crimes. This six-part series was born as a byproduct of the conversation initiated by Durst.
Durst was a real-estate mogul, who dismembered three people close to him in a fit of rage. The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst draws similarities from The Hunt For Veerappan on several parameters. While the latter follows the struggle of police to capture Veerappan, The Jinx portrays the trial and arrest of Durst. The two criminals might arrive from different backgrounds but their actions coincide with each other drastically.
5. Wild Wild Country
Directed by Maclain Way and Chapman Way, Wild Wild Country boasts two Emmy accolades. It has been nominated for five Emmy awards including several others for being a pioneer in the documentary genre. This crime thriller follows an Indian monk, Bhagwan “Osho” Shree Rajneesh. In the late 1960s, Osho began preaching to people and invited them to follow spirituality and meditation. He invoked a sense of devotion among his followers initially but due to the unstable political dynamics had to migrate to America. Osho then amassed an extensive following and wandered to unethical practices before resorting to criminal activities.
Similar to Veerappan, Osho, under the false notion of protecting his followers, has orchestrated a crime-oriented cult. This six-part documentary first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before being released on Netflix.
4. Leaving Neverland
Michael Jackson, the godfather of Moonwalk, renowned for his exceptional dancing and singing skills, is a man concealed beneath multiple layers. He has camouflaged his atrocious intentions carefully beneath the loud timbre of his voice and stuffed them into the ground with his lethargic legs. Leaving Neverland, a goosebump-inducing documentary by Dan Reed, moonwalks into Jackson’s perverted history of abusing children. He didn’t only torment innocent children but tarnished their childhood to the point of no retreat.
In this harrowing documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck narrate the cruelty they went through. Both Robson and Safechuck endured Michael’s predatory nature and suffered through abuse for years at the hands of their mentor. Though Leaving Neverland is miles away from being on the same benchmark as The Hunt For Veerappan, it still remains a tale of unveiling a villain disguised as a hero.
3. Dancing On The Grave
Despite an unusual name for a documentary, Dancing On The Grave remains a gruelling four-part docudrama. It revolves around the granddaughter of the Dewan of Mysore, Shakerah, who was brutally murdered by her own husband, Murali Manohar Mishra. She was buried alive in a casket in the backyard of her mansion. Mishra, who operated under the name, Swami Shraddhananda, and worked as a preacher. He inculcated morals into his followers but did not abide by his theories and beliefs. In 1992, after murdering Shakerah, Shraddhananda hid his crime by narrating imaginary stories regarding her whereabouts.
2 years later, he was convicted of first-degree murder. It was due to his immense greed that he resorted to such a heinous crime. Though Dancing On The Grave doesn’t draw any notable resemblance to The Hunt For Veerappan, the underlying cruelty remains the same. It is still a remarkable documentary with an equally noteworthy story to narrate.
2. Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator
Veerappan gained notoriety due to camouflaging his crimes behind a mask of authoritative leadership and overprotectiveness. He trod the line between being a bandit and a butcher. But, despite being a terror-inducing personality, Veerappan owned his actions to the point of boasting about them. He was a criminal but Umesh Reddy, a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) officer, crossed the realm of humanity. He victimized a dozen and a half women out of which most were either single or widowed. The atrocity depicted by Reddy remains salvage to its core.
This 2022 Netflix documentary, Beast Of Bangalore: Indian Predator is directed by Ashwin Rai Shetty, who has hand-picked an under-popular predator’s tale. Not exactly similar to Veerappan’s modus operandi, Umesh’s tactics are equally terrifying.
1. Indian Predator: The Diary Of A Serial Killer
The second instalment in Netflix’s The Predator series, Indian Predator: The Diary Of A Serial Killer is a 2022 true crime docuseries centred around the notorious Raja Kolander. The man is responsible for slaughtering over a dozen people and using their corpses as a ladder to achieve social, political and cultural recognition. He hid his shenanigans well but not well enough to go unnoticed by journalists and federal officers. Raja butchered a journalist, Dhirendra Singh, in 2000. Since then, he has maintained a streak of mutilating fourteen more prickly thorns in his pathway.
A part of the Indian Predator franchise that boasts two more harrowing tales, this three-part docudrama follows the trial and the arrest of Kolander. But unlike The Hunt For Veerappan, it features a one-on-one interview with the eponymous criminal and offers a tour of his wicked mind. The man who invoked dread by supposedly eating human brains is now confined behind bars; The King is now a mere peasant.
8 Shows Like The Hunt For Veerappan: FAQs
It is a true crime documentary centred around an Indian bandit, Veerappan, who raised havoc in Kerala, India.
Indian Predator: The Diary Of A Serial Killer and Beast Of Bangalore: Indian Predator are most similar to The Hunt For Veerappan.
It is a documentary centred around the murder case of Shakerah, the granddaughter of the Dewan of Mysore.
No, it is not an Indian documentary.
Yes, he is present in the documentary.
Leaving Neverland premiered on January 25, 2019, at the Sundance Festival. It was released worldwide in March 2019.