I have always loved a good mystery. I think that’s why I’ve started getting into true crime. I don’t enjoy the “ripped from the headlines” type – it’s just too exploitative IMO. What I like are the crimes set in the past so we can see how the murderer was caught, what forensic science was like at the time, how the justice system has changed. With that in mind, here’s my list of 10 true crime stories worth checking out.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen. I’m going to start with my favorite. If you haven’t heard of serial killer H H Holmes, it will blow your mind that this guy was real.
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr. It’s a close second, definitely recommended if you’re a fan of the show Bones.
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale. This one is a great, easy read.
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. I’m a big fan of this author, and this was his first book that I read.
Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale. It became a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. More lighthearted than the other books on here because no one died.
Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest by Gregg Olson. I thought the legal process in this one was fascinating.
The Black Hand: An Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History by Stephen Talty. I heard DiCaprio was going to star in the film version, but no details on when.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. This one is different because the crime was committed by a whole company, not one person. Really good, but infuriating.
Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist. The author did a great job getting the feel of the city in this one. Previously reviewed here.
Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. So many details about John Wilkes Booth that I never knew.
Right, that should give you plenty of good choices at the library! Let me know in the comments of you read true crime!