The 1990s were a decade consumed with documentaries about serial killers and movies ripped from newspaper headlines, as our list of the 10 best true crime movies of the '90s indicates. Each of these movies started as a real life story. After all, truth is stranger than fiction. As you read through these best true crime movies of the '90s, ask yourself how many you heard on the news first.

  1. "A Killing in a Small Town," 1990 Inspired by true events in Texas in 1980, this movie tells the tale of a woman brutally hacked to death with an ax by her neighbor with at unknown split personality. Staring Barbara Hershey and Brian Dennehy, this entry for the best true crime movies of the '90s kicked off an entire generation of made-for-TV and silver screen docu-dramas.

  2. "Reversal of Fortune," 1990 Ever heard the name Claus Von Bulow? He was twice convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny. Did he poison her with insulin or did she attempt suicide? Rather than focusing on the crime, this Oscar award-winning movie focused on how Dershowitz punched holes in the prosecution’s case to win an acquittal.

  3. "JFK," 1991 "JFK" sought to present a different view of what could have happened that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. As one of the best true crime movies of the '90s, Kevin Costner illustrates how Louisiana DA Jim Garrison nearly destroyed his professional life searching for the truth. The movie sparked controversy and debates for months in 1991.

  4. "A Woman Scorned," 1992 When her high-powered legal eagle husband left her for a younger woman, Betty Broderick got even. She killed her husband and his new wife, stood trial twice and was convicted both times. As one of the best true crime movies of the '90s, Meredith Baxter, a '90s iconic TV mom, plays a very different role.

  5. "Heavenly Creatures," 1994 This entry for best true crime movies of the '90s was Kate Winslet’s debut performance. Masterfully told, the movie portrays how a fantasy life leads to a mother’s death at the hands of her own daughter and a friend.

  6. "Charles Manson, Journey into Evil," 1995 This A&E documentary gave viewers a truly intimate look at the most famous serial killers in modern America. For the first time, viewers heard accounts from Manson and his girls about what really happened during the summer of 1969 during the infamous Tate and LaBianca murders.

  7. "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills," 1996 To make the best true crime movies of the '90s list, a movie has to have plot twists and real drama. Which is more terrifying, that three teenage boys killed three young children in a satanic ritual or that they didn’t and were convicted anyway?

  8. "Ghosts of Mississippi," 1996 Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg help tell the tale of Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist brutally murdered by Byron De La Beckwith in the 1960s. While many '90s movies sought to right the wrongs of '60s era bigotries, this is one of the best true crime movies of the '90s in that it showed justice is important, even 30 years later.

  9. "Donnie Brasco," 1997 Johnny Depp brings to life a real FBI agent who goes deep undercover in the mob. Drama, suspense, organized crime and it’s all true. Not only is it one of the best true crime movies of the '90s, it’s also one of the best mob movies ever produced.

  10. "Boys Don’t Cry," 1999 Teena Brandon was a girl with problems. As Brandon Teena, he/she became the poster child for acceptance of those living alternative lifestyles. Teena's brutal rape and murder in 1993 opened the dialog for transsexual, transgender and homosexual tolerance and understanding.