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True crime shows worth watching right now

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Dawn M. Burkes, Guidelive.com

Law & Order finally joined the party that other true-crime series have been hosting for years.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders continues the franchise's long tradition of ripping from the headlines. Except this time, it's a detailed, blow-by-blow retelling of a crime almost 30 years old. And it stars Edie Falco as all-star defense attorney Leslie Abramson.

It's more like "ripped from the case files."

In 1989, brothers Lyle, 21, and Erik Menendez, 18, stand accused of murdering their parents. Most people think the motive is money; the brothers went on a spending spree in the weeks following the deaths of their parents. Lyle Menendez maintained in a recent interview that he had been abused by his father but says he regrets it.

This isn't the first time this saga has made it onscreen. The TV movie Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills, starring Edward James Olmos and Beverly D'Angelo, was made a few years after the murders.

Lyle and Erik Menendez, both now married, currently are serving life sentences in two different prisons.

The Menendez Murders airs Tuesdays on NBC at 9 p.m. Viewers can start from the beginning on Hulu.

'Snapped'

The first thing you notice is that award-winning narrator Sharon Martin, who is also a producer, can sound judgmental. But that's just one of the addictive qualities of this series that details horrible crimes — including sometimes gruesome crime-scene photos — from conception to trial, and more than a few of them in North Texas. 

See if you can spot the clues as to whether a supposed killer was found guilty or not. Also, see if you recognize any of the talking heads that include journalists, detectives and psychologists that worked on cases. Snapped can keep you guessing until the end. See also: Snapped: Killer Couples. Snapped airs on Oxygen. All. The. Time. (This is not a complaint.) Sundays at 5 and 8 p.m. and whenever the network needs a marathon.

Also see: Martinis & Murder

'For My Man'

Live PD
Left to right: Dan Abrams, Kevin Jackson, Rich Emberlin
ABC s Dan Abrams, alongside Dallas Police Department Detectives Rich Emberlin and Kevin Jackson will guide viewers through the night, giving insight to what audiences are seeing in real time, bouncing minute-by-minute between the featured police departments and offering an inside look at each live incident. 
Photo by Scott Gries
Copyright 2016Scott Gries
Live PD Left to right: Dan Abrams, Kevin Jackson, Rich Emberlin ABC s Dan Abrams, alongside Dallas Police Department Detectives Rich Emberlin and Kevin Jackson will guide viewers through the night, giving insight to what audiences are seeing in real time, bouncing minute-by-minute between the featured police departments and offering an inside look at each live incident. Photo by Scott Gries Copyright 2016
Scott Gries

Ah, the re-enactments. This show sometimes takes the concept of the ride-or-die as close to its natural conclusion as possible. The woman on this show get caught up in the criminal enterprises of their men, and it lands them in all the wrong places. That is all. The network has a cottage industry of these shows, including For My Woman, Fatal Attraction and #Murder and winner of Best Name for a True Crime Show Ever, Thou Shalt Not. For My Man is new on Mondays at 8 p.m. TV One


'Live PD'

A&E shines the light a little brighter on the actions of police officers with Live PD. Dan Abrams hosts the show that allows viewers to ride along with police officers on the night shift via camera footage. In-studio analysts, which included Dallas police Detectives Rich Emberlin and Kevin Jackson in the first season, break the footage down as if they're calling a game. 

Except no one's playing games here; this show is an attempt to give viewers an inside look at day-to-night police work. As if that's not enough, A&E has a "Real Crime Blog" to complement the series. The second season of Live PD just started on Oct. 6; the show airs Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. on A&E.

'I (Almost) Got Away With It'

"You gotta be quicker than that." The title says it all for this true-crime series on On ID: Investigation Discovery. Criminals 'fess up to their crimes and how they, well, almost got away with them. The series includes dramatizations of the crimes and the accused's subsequent attempts to avoid jail time. The talking heads here are sometimes apologetic for their actions, but mostly rue missed opportunities. Full episodes are also available on the ID website at investigationdiscovery.com.

Also see: Fear Thy Neighbor, the runner-up for Best Name for True Crime Show Ever, and Deadly Women. In fact, just watch the whole lineup.

FEATURED IMAGE:  Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, Episode 103. Pictured (l-r): Miles Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez, Gus Halper as Eric Menendez, Edie Falco as Leslie Abramson. Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC.