Personal Story Time. If that’s not your jam, skip it. No hard feelings.
When little ol’ me became obsessed with True Crime, I was 11 or 12. Which I know, that’s fucking nuts and probably not normal, but I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. So…crime it is, I guess? I don’t know, I just know that’s how it happened in the beginning.
The first true crime case I ever stumbled upon was Jack the Ripper…because I’m basic. I’ll lay it out there. Basic as hell. But, regardless, the case details jumped into my thoughts and wouldn’t let go until I picked up every serial killer novel known to man.
True Crime obviously isn’t always serial killers, that’s a newb mindset, but in my tweens, serial killers were my absolute favorite. Oh. My. God. If You had been around when I was that age?
Joe Goldberg totally crush worthy, forget Edward and sparkly vampires. It would be ON.
But I digress. The reason I fell in love with true crime was because, honestly, true crime soothes my anxiety.
Instead of thinking of all of the horrible things that could happen in my every day life, I’m reading all about it. There’s literally nothing worse. If your kidnapped, murdered, or played with by a depraved individual who wants to play cat and mouse with your vulnerable bits, that’s like worst case scenario.
I know what to expect, I’m facing my fears, and psychologically, come on, it’s fucking fascinating, right?
So, in a weird way, I’m confronting my anxiety and my doomsday thoughts with the knowledge that these are the realities. The absolute worst. Absolutely screwed up bedtime stories. But at least I know what could happen?
Check out these true crime gems if you also feel the need to soothe the darkness in your brain. Or, if you’re normal, and like reading it. Read it, damn it!
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter from the Terrifying Cult Nxivum
I am a mother whose child is being abused and exploited. And I am not alone.
In 2011, former Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg joined her daughter, India, at a leadership seminar for a new organization called NXIVM. Her then twenty-year-old daughter was on the threshold of starting her own professional life and they both thought this program might help her achieve her dream. But quickly, Catherine saw a sinister side to the program that claimed to simply want to help its clients become the best versions of themselves.
Catherine watched in horror as her daughter fell further and further down the rabbit hole, falling under the spell of NXIVM’s hypnotic leader,Keith Raniere. Despite Catherine’s best efforts, India was drawn deeper into the cult, eventually joining an elite “sorority” of women members who were ordered to maintain a restricted diet, recruit other women as “slaves,” and were branded with their leader’s initials.
In Captive, Catherine shares every parent’s worst nightmare, and the lengths that a mother will go to save her child. Catherine’s efforts finally led the FBI to take notice—and the journey is not yet over. A powerful depiction of a mother’s love and determination, and with horrifying insider details never revealed in any news story, Captive will keep you reading until the very last page.
The Search for the Green River Killer
New York Times Bestseller: From the journalists who covered the story, the shocking crimes of Gary Ridgway, America’s most prolific serial murderer.
In the 1980s and 1990s, forty-nine women in the Seattle area were brutally murdered, their bodies dumped along the Green River and Pacific Highway South in Washington State. Despite an exhaustive investigation—even serial killer Ted Bundy was consulted to assist with psychological profiling—the sadistic killer continued to elude authorities for nearly twenty years.
Then, in 2001, after mounting suspicion and with DNA evidence finally in hand, King County police charged a fifty-two-year-old truck painter, Gary Ridgway, with the murders. His confession and the horrific details of his crimes only added fuel to the notoriety of the Green River Killer.
Journalists Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen covered the murders for the Seattle Times from day one, receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their work. They wrote the first edition of this book before the police had their man. Revised after Ridgway’s conviction and featuring chilling photographs from the case, The Search for the Green River Killer is the ultimate authoritative account of the Pacific Northwest killing spree that held a nation spellbound—and continues to horrify and fascinate, spawning dramatizations and documentaries of a demented killer who seemed unstoppable for decades.
A wealthy and well-connected legal ace and the proud owner of a champion show horse, Larry McNabney had every reason to love his life. But when he disappeared in September 2001, his wife, Elisa, claimed he joined a cult.
When Larry’s body was found in a shallow grave three months later, Elisa was already gone. In a red convertible Jaguar, her brown hair dyed blond, Mrs. McNabney was speeding toward a new life in Florida—and a brand new identity.
Who was Elisa McNabney? Beautiful, seductive, and ruthless, she had thirty-eight aliases and a rap sheet a mile long. Carlton Smith, coauthor of the true crime classic The Search for the Green River Killer, reveals one shocking surprise after another in this harrowing tale of broken vows and deadly betrayal.
The Darkest Night
ONE CAR RIDE. TWO SISTERS. A MONSTROUS FATE.
Casper, Wyoming:1973. Eleven-year-old Amy Burridge rides with her eighteen-year-old sister, Becky, to the grocery store. When they finish their shopping, Becky’s car gets a flat tire. Two men politely offer them a ride home. But they were anything but Good Samaritans. The girls would suffer unspeakable crimes at the hands of these men before being thrown from a bridge into the North Platte River. One miraculously survived. The other did not.
Years later, author and journalist Ron Franscell–who lived in Casper at the time of the crime, and was a friend to Amy and Becky–can’t forget Wyoming’s most shocking story of abduction, rape, and murder. Neither could Becky, the surviving sister. The two men who violated her and Amy were sentenced to life in prison, but the demons of her past kept haunting Becky…until she met her fate years later at the same bridge where she’d lost her sister.
Serial Killers Encyclopedia
There is little more terrifying than those who hunt, stalk and snatch their prey under the cloak of darkness. These hunters search not for animals, but for the touch, taste, and empowerment of human flesh. They are cannibals, vampires and monsters, and they walk among us.
These serial killers are not mythical beasts with horns and shaggy hair. They are people living among society, going about their day to day activities until nightfall. They are the Dennis Rader’s, the fathers, husbands, church going members of the community.
This A-Z encyclopedia of 150 serial killers is the ideal reference book. Included are the most famous true crime serial killers, like Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez, and not to mention the women who kill, such as Aileen Wuornos and Martha Rendell. There are also lesser known serial killers, covering many countries around the world, so the range is broad.
Each of the serial killer files includes information on when and how they killed the victims, the background of each killer, or the suspects in some cases such as the Zodiac killer, their trials and punishments. For some there are chilling quotes by the killers themselves. The Big Book of Serial Killers is an easy to follow collection of information on the world’s most heinous murderers.
Discover the classic, behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ twenty-five-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals.
In chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases—and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.
During his twenty-five year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time: the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle’s Green River killer, the case that nearly cost Douglas his life.
As the model for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, Douglas has confronted, interviewed, and studied scores of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ed Gein, who dressed himself in his victims’ peeled skin. Using his uncanny ability to become both predator and prey, Douglas examines each crime scene, reliving both the killer’s and the victim’s actions in his mind, creating their profiles, describing their habits, and predicting their next moves.
Anything by Anne Rule
A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me gives us a unique perspective into the hidden world of Ted Bundy. Rule gives a chilling and intimate description of her time at a crisis hotline alongside her co-worker, the then charming, sensitive and trustworthy Ted Bundy, and the devastating realization that he was a brutal killer hiding in plain sight. After multiple arrests and an escape from jail, Bundy would later confess to the murders of at least thirty-six women and soon after was executed for three cases. Rule, a certified instructor for police training seminars, prosecutors and forensic science organizations, delves into how this savage killer — a man she thought she knew — could have fooled so many, including a professional like herself.
A “necessary and brilliant” (NPR) exploration of our cultural fascination with true crime told through four “enthralling” (The New York Times Book Review) narratives of obsession.
In Savage Appetites,Rachel Monroe links four criminal roles—Detective, Victim, Defender, and Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession. From a frustrated and brilliant heiress crafting crime-scene dollhouses to a young woman who became part of a Manson victim’s family, from a landscape architect in love with a convicted murderer to a Columbine fangirl who planned her own mass shooting, these women are alternately mesmerizing, horrifying, and sympathetic. A revealing study of women’s complicated relationship with true crime and the fear and desire it can inspire, together these stories provide a window into why many women are drawn to crime narratives—even as they also recoil from them.
Monroe uses these four cases to trace the history of American crime through the growth of forensic science, the evolving role of victims, the Satanic Panic, the rise of online detectives, and the long shadow of the Columbine shooting. Combining personal narrative, reportage, and a sociological examination of violence and media in the 20th and 21st centuries, Savage Appetites is a “corrective to the genre it interrogates” (The New Statesman), scrupulously exploring empathy, justice, and the persistent appeal of crime.
Die My Love
The day before Halloween 2004 was the last day on Earth for respected, well-liked college professor Fred Jablin. That morning, a neighbor discovered his body lying in a pool of blood in the driveway of Jablin’s Virginia home. Police immediately turned their attentions to the victim’s ex-wife, Piper, a petite, pretty Texas lawyer who had lost a bitter custody battle and would do anything to get her kids back. But Piper was in Houston, one thousand miles away, at the time of the slaying and couldn’t possibly have been the killer . . . could she?
So began an investigation into one of the most bizarre cases Virginia and Texas law enforcement agencies had ever encountered: a twisted conspiracy of lies, rage, paranoia, manipulation, and savage murder that would ensnare an entire family—including two lethally close look-alike sisters—and reveal the shocking depravities possible when a dangerously disordered mind slips into madness.
Boy, do I fucking love a true crime book. Are you shocked? You should be shocked.
When I’m sick of fiction, can’t stomach a cozy mystery, but still want to curl up in a blanket with my legs to my chest and my mouth open wondering what’s happening to the world–true crime does it for me.
#Iheartserialkillers #murderino #killerwoman #IDchannelismyvibe
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