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‘Dateline NBC’ is known for drama. Check out our rankings of the show’s most shocking episodes.

Stranger than fiction: The 10 most salacious episodes of NBC ‘Dateline’

NBC’s Dateline has the kind of longevity other news magazine shows dream of. The first Dateline episodes began in 1992, and journalistic icons like Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw, and Jane Pauley have all anchored the show.

Dateline NBC has really served as the standard to measure our true crime shows. Viewers can expect an unexpected twist, and it’s just one of those shows we can’t turn away from. Not to mention, the soothing voice of correspondent Keith Morrison makes us feel like we’re being read a true-crime bedtime story.

Without giving away all the twists, here are 10 of our messiest, most salacious Dateline episodes. 

Stranger Than Fiction

Correspondent: Keith Morrison

A married mother’s husband comes home from a game night to find her brutally stabbed. As always, her husband is the number one suspect. Meanwhile, the victim’s best friend, who is the last person to see the victim alive, counts her insurance payout money and makes the legal system look like this is their first rodeo.

A Villainous Plan

Correspondent: Dennis Murphy

A criminal crew uses social media to target then terrorize bank employees in multiple states, kidnapping and terrorizing their families and forcing them to rob their own banks. This story can terrify just about anybody into closing their Insta account, as the criminal team uses posted events to gain access to people’s lives.

Deliberate Evil

Correspondent: Josh Mankiewicz

A woman is found murdered in her car outside of her apartment. Years go by without a clue as to who killed her, until there’s another mysterious death: her boyfriend’s twin brother. The links in the chains of this story based in a family feud and honor killings had our blood running cold.


Correspondent: Josh Mankiewicz

A beautiful Florida housewife with two young daughters is kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and held for $50,000 ransom. But was she really a victim? This favorite of ours had our jaws scraping the floor as the investigators begin untangling this story. If you have some hate you need to channel, we have someone to direct it towards.

Over the Edge

Correspondent: Andrea Canning

A woman falls from a cliff while hiking with her husband in Rocky Mountain National Park. Park Rangers question if her death was truly an accident. This case may have ruined hiking forever for us. Every overlook somehow becomes an opportunity to be murdered.

Noises in the Night

Correspondent: Andrea Canning

A popular high school student is found murdered in her bed, shaking her tight-knit community. Two students help the police to find her killer. It’s hard to compare with the stupidity of teens sometimes. This case reminded us we were lucky to get out alive.


Correspondent: Keith Morrison

A couple begins a fun, uncommitted relationship. They soon find themselves in a love triangle that leads to years of stalking, destruction of property, threats, and murder. It’s hard to top the level of crazy in this one. Perhaps it should be required viewing for anyone who needs a reminder of how being hung up on an ex can ruin your life.

The Halloween Party

Correspondent: Keith Morrison

A young woman disappears from a Halloween party. Six months later, her body is found dead and naked in dense woods. While this whole story is horrifying, we couldn’t get over the break in girl code. This one will leave you wanting to hug your friends for watching out for you at a party.

Something Wicked

Correspondent: Andrea Canning

A high-schooler goes missing in the middle of the night in rural West Virginia. Were her friends’ secrets the reason for her death? The only thing that could have made this story worse was if they blamed the Slenderman. 

Plot Twist

Correspondent: Josh Mankiewicz

Life imitates art when a young college student is killed. Police believe they knew who was responsible, but this mystery has a twist no one saw coming. This story made national news as a “former Disney princess” was involved, but we were more shocked by how little money the killers stood to make from their crimes. Seriously dude, just get a job at Starbucks for a couple of weeks next time.

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