You Can’t Make This Up

By Netflix

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Join Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On...) as we dig into the real stories behind Netflix Original true crime series and films– how our filmmakers got access, what ended up on the cutting room floor, and even the impact a Netflix show can have on the real lives of its subjects.

Episode Date
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

In 2013, Joe Exotic had two husbands, a dedicated staff of misfits, and over 200 tigers in his private zoo. But Joe also had a rivalry with fellow big cat owner, Carole Baskin. When their feud spun out of control, Joe found himself in a cage of his own. In this episode, host Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On…) will be speaking with co-directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin. There will be spoilers so make sure you’ve watched all 7 episodes! 

A note to listeners, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this episode was not recorded in studios. So there will be a change in audio quality. 

Mar 24, 2020
Lost Girls

Kevin Flynn (Crime Writers On..) talks with director Liz Garbus about her film Lost Girls. Based on the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. The film follows Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan) as she searches for her missing daughter Shannan. Meanwhile, the police uncover four more bodies and suspect a serial killer is on the loose. There will be spoilers, so make sure you've watched the whole film before pressing play.

Mar 18, 2020
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

Host Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On..) talks with director Brian Knappenberger and journalist Garrett Therolf about “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez”. In this episode, they’ll be talking about the various trials of following Gabriel's death, the responsibilities of the social workers involved, and how a child like Gabriel became the victim of a broken system. There will be discussions of child abuse. Please listen at your own discretion. 


Feb 28, 2020
The Pharmacist

In 1999, Dan Schneider was a small-town pharmacist in Louisiana.  But after his son was killed in a drug-related shooting, he becomes obsessed with getting justice. In the Pharmacist, Dan investigates his son's murder, a local pill mill, and the drug crisis sweeping through his community. Host Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On...) speaks with directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason (Time: The Kalief Browder Story and Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story)

Feb 12, 2020
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Kevin Flynn and Rebecca Lavoie (Crime Writers On....) interview sports writer Dan Wetzel and filmmaker Geno McDermott about their docuseries, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez. They'll be talking about Aaron's upbringing, his friendship with criminals like Alexander Bradley, and the murder of Odin Lloyd. This episode will also discuss Aaron's suicide. If you or someone you know needs the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the number is 1-800-273-8255. 


Jan 21, 2020
Don't F**k With Cats

Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, follows a team of armchair detectives searching for an anonymous cat killer before he can escalate to something worse. Crime Writers On… host Rebecca Lavoie talks with director Mark Lewis about the rise of online sleuths, his choice to show segments of the animal abuse videos, and whether the audience should also be complicit in the crimes of  Luka Magnotta. 

Dec 19, 2019
The Confession Killer
We have hosts Kevin Flynn and Rebecca Lavoie (of the Crime Writers On...podcast) to speak directors Robert Kenner (Food Inc.) and Taki Oldham about their new series The Confession Killer. They'll be deep diving the story of Henry Lee Lucas, a man who confessed to hundreds of murders that spanned the country.
Dec 11, 2019
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

This month, we have a documentary film following Bikram Choudhury, the man who popularized yoga in America. Returning hosts Kevin Flynn and Rebecca Lavoie speak with director Eva Orner and lawyer Micki Jafa-Bodden about the rise and fall of a yoga guru who preyed on the very women who trusted him.

Nov 20, 2019
The Laundromat

In Steven Soderbergh's new film, "The Laundromat" he explores the world of offshore banking and the international crises caused by the Panama Papers. Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, and journalist Jake Bernstein sit down with Soderbergh to talk tax evasion, casting Meryl Streep and to look at how they took a real-life scandal and adapted it into a feature film. 

Oct 23, 2019

The original series "Unbelievable" follows two policewomen (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) trying to capture a serial rapist, and one girl (Kaitlyn Dever) who may, or may not, be a victim. It just depends on who you believe. For this episode, we have Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith (hosts of the podcast Believed) speaking with writer/director Susannah Grant and Executive Producer Sarah Templeton about how they adapted the true story into a series, and what steps can be taken to take these crimes more seriously (See "An Epidemic of Disbelief" in The Atlantic).

Sep 18, 2019
Introducing From Where She Stands: The OITNB Podcast

From Where She Stands: The OITNB Podcast is a new show that connects the storylines from Orange Is The New Black with the stories of real women whose lives have been impacted by prison. Hosted by Piper Kerman (author of the book "Orange In The New Black: My Year In A Woman's Prison"), each episode will feature an exclusive interview with a cast member from OITNB and will dive into the real stories from women navigating the prison system in America. Subscribe now so you don't miss an episode.

Sep 11, 2019
The Great Hack

Remember back in 2016 when Cambridge Analytica admited to "hacking" Facebook? In this episode, Aminatou Sow (Call Your Girlfriend) talks with the directors of The Great Hack, Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer. They get into data rights, persuadable social media and how one company used personal information as a means to a political end. 

Aug 28, 2019
The Staircase (Revisited)

One year ago, Netflix released all 13 episodes of The Staircase, a documentary series that follows the trials of Michael Peterson. In this month's episode, we revisit the landmark series. Aaron Lammer (host of the Longform podcast) spoke with director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade to discuss the making of The Staircase and its legacy. 

Jul 17, 2019
Killer Ratings

Killer Ratings follows a Brazilian TV show host accused of ordering assassinations to feature on his program. But was it all a conspiracy, or is he guilty of much worse? Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn (hosts of Crime Writers On...) speak with director Daniel Bogado about this seven-part series.

Jun 26, 2019
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

This month, we bring you a narrative feature. We're getting into Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Aaron Lammer of the Longform podcasts sits down with the film's director Joe Berlinger. Fun fact: Joe also directed the Ted Bundy documentary, Conversations With A Killer, which we discussed in a previous episode. Aaron and Joe dive into both the doc and the film, and how both jobs came to land on Joe. 

May 08, 2019
The Two Killings of Sam Cooke

This month, we’re covering The Two Killings of Sam Cooke. This documentary is a part of Netflix's ReMastered series, and it takes a look at the untold story of the legendary soul singer and civil rights activist, Sam Cooke. 

We have the director Kelly Duane De La Vega speaking with Tracy Clayton, host of the new Netflix original podcast Strong Black Legends. 

Apr 24, 2019
Introducing The Human Algorithm

Netflix has a new podcast called The Human Algorithm, and we think you might like it! On Human Algorithm, we feature different people, from actors and directors to Netflix employees, recommending their latest Netflix obsession. Each episode focuses on a different genre, and this time we're bringing you Crime Docs. Adrienne C. Moore (Orange Is the New Black) is a fan of The Staircase, Triple Frontier's Adria Arjona wants you to watch Abducted in Plain Sight, and OITNB's Taryn Manning recommends the series Evil Genius.Subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast.

Apr 10, 2019
Abducted in Plain Sight

This month, we’re covering Abducted in Plain Sight. This 90-minute documentary follows the unpredictable tale of a girl who gets kidnapped right under family’s nose, not once. But twice.

We have the director Skye Borgman speaking with this month’s interviewers, Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn. You might know Kevin and Rebecca from their podcast Crime Writers On, or from our episode on The Innocent Man. They are here to walk us through this shocking documentary. 

Mar 27, 2019
Introducing I'm Obsessed With This

We thought You Can't Make This Up listeners might enjoy a new podcast from Netflix called I'm Obsessed With This. On IOWT, host Bobby Finger invites guests — fans, critics, friends — to gab about the most-discussed titles of the moment. What are people saying? Why do they love it, hate it, or need to scream about it on Twitter? Ranging from meme-y chatter to in-depth analysis, this is the entire range of popular conversation around the newest Netflix titles distilled into a half hour show. In the episode we're sharing with you, Bobby and friends talk about Russian Doll, Velvet Buzzsaw and true crime film, Abducted In Plain Sight. Subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast.

Feb 20, 2019
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

This week, we’re getting into Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. This four-part docuseries follows the crimes of one of America’s most notorious killers, Ted Bundy. From 1974-1978, Bundy committed a multitude of crimes, including murdering over 30 women in 7 states. 

The series is based on the book of the same name, written by journalist and author Stephen Michaud. Stephen recorded over 100 hours of his interviews with Ted Bundy, which the series features heavily. We brought in journalist Taylor Crumpton, who has written about Ted Bundy for Teen Vogue and covers social justice in publications like Paper Mag and Glamour, to interview Stephen. 

Feb 06, 2019
The Innocent Man

This week, we’re diving into the new Netflix Original, The Innocent Man. This six part docu-series follows the life of Ron Williamson, who sat on Oklahoma's death row for 11 years for a crime he didn't commit. It’s based on John Grisham’s best-selling true crime book of the same name. 

Here to talk about it are the series director Clay Tweel and true crime authors, podcasters and real-life married couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn. They host the popular true crime podcast, Crime Writers On.

Jan 16, 2019
Best Of True Crime - 2018

With 2018 coming to a close, we couldn’t help but think back on what a crazy year it’s been in the world of Netflix True Crime. We brought in two true crime fans to break down their favorite docuseries of 2018. Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara, co-hosts of BuzzFeed’s Unsolved, talk about the most memorable characters, scenes, and plot twists of Evil Genius, Making A Murderer Part Two, and The Staircase.

After that, we get a phone call from Ma Anand Sheela. We met Sheela earlier this year in the hit docuseries, Wild Wild Country. Sheela fills us in on her relationship with the series, her family’s reaction, how she feels about Rajneeshpuram and more.

Dec 26, 2018
They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

This week is a true cinephile’s delight. We’re diving into They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, a new documentary directed by Academy Award Winning filmmaker Morgan Neville. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead chronicles the making of Orson Welles’s previously unfinished final film, The Other Side Of The Wind.

Today on the podcast we have Karina Longworth interviewing director Morgan Neville about all things Orson Welles. Karina hosts the beloved Hollywood history podcast, You Must Remember This, and recently released her first book, Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood. Karina and Morgan talk about the making of They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, Orson Welles' impact and why they went with that title. Spoiler alert: it's a great title! While this interview is not actually spoiler heavy, both films are available on Netflix if you want to watch either before listening.

Nov 14, 2018
Salt Fat Acid Heat

Samin Nosrat is a cook, teacher, author and now star of the new Netflix Original series, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Based on her James Beard Award-Winning New York Times Bestselling cookbook of the same name, each episode dives into one of the four main elements of Samin’s cooking ethos. It's part cooking show, part travel show, and entirely Samin Nosrat.

In Salt, Samin cooks soy-braised short ribs with New York Times Magazine Associate Editor, Jazmine Hughes. So we thought it'd be fun for Jazmine to interview Samin and the series' director, Caroline Suh. They talk about how the show came to be, the parts that didn't make it in, and what it's like to see yourself on a Times Square billboard. 


Oct 31, 2018
Making A Murderer Roundtable Discussion

Now that you've had some time to dive into Part Two of Making A Murderer, we wanted to keep the conversation going! Dan Taberski, host of Missing Richard Simmons and the upcoming Headlong series, leads a roundtable discussion with Criminal host Phoebe Judge and attorney David Rudolf.

If you're a true crime documentary fan, you'll recognize David from the Netflix Original docuseries The Staircase. He represented Michael Peterson and brings the unique perspective of having been in a true crime documentary to this studio table. They talk about what draws them into this story, the power of the true crime genre, what they hope happens next, and more. 

Oct 24, 2018
Making A Murderer

Viewers have been anxiously awaiting the return of Making A Murderer since the first ten episodes came out in 2015. And on Friday, October 19th, Part Two is finally launching on Netflix. In anticipation of the new episodes, we sat down with Making A Murderer creators and directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. They discuss how the series impact Manitowoc County, new developments in Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey's cases, and so much more.  

You Can’t Make This Up will be back next week to continue the conversation (once you’ve had a chance to catch up on Part Two). Dan Taberski, host of Missing Richard Simmons and the upcoming Headlong series, is leading a roundtable discussion with Criminal host Phoebe Judge and attorney David Rudolf. If you're a true crime documentary fan, you'll recognize David from the Netflix Original docu-series The Staircase. He represented Michael Peterson and brings the unique perspective of having been in a true crime documentary to the table. So check back next week for that special discussion all about Making A Murderer Part Two and true crime.

Oct 17, 2018
Follow This | Black Survivalists

Follow This is a new pop doc series from BuzzFeed and Netflix. When you read about doomsday preppers, or watch any films about them, you're most often seeing white survivalists. But BuzzFeed senior culture writer Bim Adewunmi was interested in finding out more about preppers who look like her.

Bim also co-hosts the podcast Thirst Aid Kit with writer and poet Nichole Perkins. So today on the show, we brought in Nichole to interview Bim about her experience reporting this story and how long she thinks she'd last in a post-apocalypse world. 

Oct 03, 2018
The Angel

This week we're discussing the incredible true story behind the new Netflix Original film, The Angel. The Angel is a spy thriller based on the real life of Ashraf Marwan. Ashraf was the son-in-law of Egyptian President Nasser, a special adviser to Anwar Sadat, and one of Israel's most important informants. 

Claudia Puig, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., sits down with director Ariel Vromen to talk about how he brought this story to the screen.

Sep 19, 2018
American Vandal

The second season of American Vandal just launched on Netflix. To celebrate, we have an exclusive interview with documentary wunderkids Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund. In their sophomore year of high school, Peter and Sam followed the aftermath of a massive phallic vandalism at Hanover High in Oceanside, California. The school wrongly accused and expelled senior Dylan Maxwell, but ultimately, Sam and Peter's docu-series brought national attention to the school, and justice for Dylan. 

This season, they're taking their cameras all the way to St, Bernadine High School in Burlington, Washington. Journalist Lauren Lopez sits down with Peter and Sam to discuss the end of season one, what Ming Zhang's been up to, and the new serial vandal, The Turd Burglar. 

Sep 14, 2018
Amanda Knox

This week we're revisiting the Netflix Original documentary film, Amanda Knox. Eric Eddings, co-host of Gimlet's The Nod, chats with Amanda Knox director Brian McGinn about the making of the documentary. 

If you haven't yet seen this film, or aren't familiar with the Amanda Knox story, here's a brief recap. In 2007, Amanda Knox was studying abroad in Italy when she was arrested for the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. She spent almost four years in an Italian prison, while she became a household name across the world. This documentary takes a deeper look into the murder and convictions, the international obsession with the case, and the eventual acquittals, by talking to the people who were directly impacted by it all. 

Sep 05, 2018
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

This week we're talking about the Emmy nominated documentary film, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. (Yes, that is the real full-length title.) The film documents Jim Carrey's transformation into Andy Kaufman by using over 100 hours of behind the scenes footage from the set of Man On The Moon. And here to discuss that transformation and the making of this film are comedian Michael Ian Black and the film's director, Chris Smith. 

Aug 22, 2018
The Bleeding Edge

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the Academy Award nominated team behind The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War, sit down with Joan Lunden to discuss their new Netflix Original documentary film, The Bleeding Edge. As a journalist, author, TV Host, and breast cancer survivor, Joan brings her own experience with, and knowledge of, the medical device and health industry to the conversation.

The Bleeding Edge investigates the medical device industry; from its innovations to its regulation. What you don’t know about the devices doctors use or implant in people every day will shock you, or at least will influence your next doctor’s appointment. It's available to stream on Netflix now.

Aug 08, 2018
Last Chance U

The third season of Emmy nominated docuseries Last Chance U dropped July 20th, and we can't stop thinking about it. So we brought in sports writer Rembert Browne to interview Last Chance U director Greg Whiteley and Coach Jason Brown about filming the season. 

Jul 25, 2018

Max Linsky, co-host of the Longform podcast, interviews director Bryan Fogel about his Academy Award Winning documentary, Icarus. They discuss how the film has changed Byran and Grigory's lives, how it's impacted the world of sports, and the world at large.

In the Netflix Original film, filmmaker Bryan Fogel sets out to make a documentary about how athletes were getting away with doping by doping himself. He gets Grigory Rodchenkov, then director of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory, to help him figure out how. What unfolds, however, is an international doping scandal that shifts the worldwide dialogue for everything from the Olympics to the world cup, and beyond. 

Jul 11, 2018
(More Stuff), Explained

We've got the hosts of Death, Sex & Money, Food 4 Thot, and Call Your Girlfriend on the show to watch and talk about three new episodes of Explained.

Anna Sale wrestles with the ethical issues surrounding Designer DNA. Fran Tirado and Joseph Osmundson dissect Monogamy. And Aminatou Sow tries to figure out Cryptocurrency (so we don't have to). Plus, we brought back Sean Rameswaram to host the episode!

Explained is a new pop doc series from Vox and Netflix. Each episode is a mini 15 minute documentary covering pop culture, tech, science, and beyond. All the pop docs discussed in this episode are out on Netflix now. 

Jun 27, 2018
The Staircase

Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi (Throwing Shade) take us deep down The Staircase rabbit hole. They debate Michael’s innocence, critique sexuality as evidence, put on their best Southern accents for Freda Black's iconic closing arguments, and so much more!

The Staircase comes from Academy-Award winning Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. The docuseries about the mysterious death of North Carolina business executive, Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband Michael, comes to Netflix with 3 never-before-seen episodes. These new episodes bring a conclusion to the story told over 15 plus years. Warning, there are spoilers ahead! But lucky for you, The Staircase is available to watch on Netflix right now.

Jun 13, 2018
K-pop, Explained

Explained is a new pop doc series from Vox and Netflix. Each episode is a mini 15 minute documentary covering pop culture, tech, science, and beyond. So on this week's You Can't Make This Up, we borrowed one of Vox's own to host today's episode. Sean Rameswaram hosts the hit podcast, Today, Explained. He's joined by Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers, the hilarious comedy duo and co-hosts of the pop culture podcast, Las Culturistas. Matt and Bowen watched K-POP, Explained, and are here to discuss the South Korean music phenomenon. There may or may not be singing.

May 30, 2018
Evil Genius

Comedian Matt Bellassai talks with the team behind Evil Genius, Trey Borzillieri, executive producer/co-director, and Barbara Shroeder, writer/co-director. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist is a four part Netflix docuseries about a man who goes to deliver a pizza, but gets a bomb strapped to his neck and sent on a scavenger hunt to rob a bank. Trey and Barbara discuss what it was like to open a cold case, interview conspirators in the crime, and find out details no one else has. Plus, Trey and Barbara reveal what they're watching on Netflix.

May 23, 2018
Prologue | Evil Genius

Comedian Matt Bellassai will be talking with the people behind Evil Genius, executive producer/co-director Trey Borzillieri and writer/co-director Barbara Shroeder. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist is a four part Netflix docuseries about a man who goes to deliver a pizza, and ends up getting a bomb strapped to his neck and sent on a scavenger hunt to rob a bank. 

We were so excited about this new series, we couldn't wait to put out the prologue! Make sure to watch the show, subscribe to this podcast, and join us next Wednesday for the full discussion.

May 18, 2018
The Keepers

It's been a year since The Keepers came out, so we're revisiting the story and catching up with some of the people impacted by it.

NPR's Kelly McEvers interviews The Keepers director Ryan White and Jean Wehner, one of the survivors who bravely shared her story. Plus, self proclaimed grandma Nancy Drew, aka Gemma Hoskins, updates us on the cold case and what her life has been like since the series came out.

You can find more information and resources on how to support survivors at

Gemma Hoskins is also supporting the SURF GoFundMe page to help raise money for Sexual Abuse Survivors of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. You can find out more about that here:

May 16, 2018
Prologue | The Keepers

It's been a year since The Keepers came out, so we wanted to revisit the story and catch up with some of the people impacted by it. 

NPR's Kelly McEvers will be in conversation with The Keepers director Ryan White and Jean Wehner, one of the survivors who bravely shared her story. And we'll hear from Gemma Hoskins, who updates us on the cold case and what her life has been like since the series came out. 

If you haven't seen it yet, or you need a reminder, The Keepers is a seven part docuseries that investigates the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore. Make sure to subscribe for the full length episode next week.

May 09, 2018
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country directors Chapman and Maclain Way sit down with Lindsey Weber, co-host of the podcast Who? Weekly, for an in depth conversation about the series. They talk about constructing the narrative, visiting Antelope now, what it was like interviewing Ma Anand Sheela, and so much more.

May 02, 2018
Prologue | Wild Wild Country

Lindsey Weber from Who? Weekly will be in conversation with the directors of Wild Wild Country next week! But for now, here's a taste of what's to come...

Welcome to the first prologue episode of You Can't Make This Up! In these mini episodes, we reveal which Netflix Original series or film we'll be watching and talking about the following week. 

We're kicking things off with Wild Wild Country. It’s a six part documentary that follows the Rajneeshpuram, a so-called sex cult from India that takes over a small Oregon town. You can watch anytime, it's already out on Netflix.

Stay tuned for the full length episode next week. We've got Lindsey Weber, co-host of the pop culture podcast, Who? Weekly, in conversation with the docuseries directors, Chapman and MaClain Way. Make sure to subscribe to hear the whole interview, plus more fun stuff next week! 

Join the conversation on Twitter @CantMakeThisUp and on Facebook at You Can't Make This Up Netflix.

Apr 25, 2018
Coming soon...

You Can't Make This Up delves into the world of Netflix Original programming that are incredibly true. Each episode features a rotating interviewer in conversation about the real stories in Netflix shows that you just can't believe. We’ll dive into how our filmmakers got access, get the questions you want answered, find out what ended up on the cutting room floor, and even understand the impact a Netflix show can have on the real lives of our subjects. You can keep the conversation going on Twitter @CantMakeThisUp, or find us on Facebook at You Cant Make This Up Netflix. 

Apr 22, 2018