Are You A Fan Of True Crime? My Favorite Books and Podcasts

Ever since I discovered books by Ann Rule about twenty years ago, I’ve been interested in these chilling stories. It was sad for the true crime community when Ann Rule passed away, her detailed and well-written books were always best sellers and she had a way of writing that pulled you in and didn’t let go.

If you are a fan of this genre like I am, check out some of my favorite true crime books and podcasts.

BOOKS:

 

 

Very good book, highly rated and such a shame that the author died before the Golden State Killer was caught. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara is the story of the search for a famous killer by a woman who wanted to uncover the identity of this psychopath.

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.

 

 

This was a long and detailed look at Jim Jones life, this book was totally captivating. I read it while on vacation and had terrible dreams after I finished reading! The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Gunn was a very good book and a must-read for those who love true crime stories.

In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially mixed, and he was a leader in the early civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California, where he got involved in electoral politics and became a prominent Bay Area leader. But underneath the surface lurked a terrible darkness.

In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his early days as an idealistic minister to a secret life of extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing, before the fateful decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.

Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones’s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones’s orders. The Road to Jonestown is “the most complete picture to date of this tragic saga, and of the man who engineered it…The result is a disturbing portrait of evil—and a compassionate memorial to those taken in by Jones’s malign charisma”

 

 

The Man In The Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal was one of my favorite true crime books EVER. I was glued to the pages of this one! There was also a Lifetime movie about this man but as always, the book was better.

“Forget fiction. Pop this jaw-dropper in your beach bag.” —USA Today 

This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wealthy scion of a great American family, who kidnapped his own daughter and vanished. The police and FBI were baffled. Tips poured in, but every lead was a dead end … because “Clark Rockefeller” did not exist. In a gripping work of investigative journalism, Mark Seal reveals how German native Christian Gerhartsreiter came to the United States, where he stepped in and out of identities for decades, eventually posing as a Rockefeller for twelve years, married to a wealthy woman who had no idea who he really was. Fast-paced, hypnotic, and now updated with more stunning details, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit chillingly reveals the audacity and cunning of a shape-shifting con man.

 

 

You can’t go wrong with any of the books that Ann Rule has written over the years but one of her most popular was this book, about the time Ann worked alongside the serial killer Ted Bundy. The Stranger Beside Me is her account of becoming a friend to one of the worst criminals in US history.

Meeting in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, Ann Rule and Ted Bundy developed a friendship and correspondence that would span the rest of his life. Rule had no idea that when they went their separate ways, their paths would cross again under shocking circumstances.

The Stranger Beside Me is Rule’s compelling firsthand account of not just her relationship with Bundy, but also his life—from his complicated childhood to the media circus of his trials. Astonishing in its intimacy and with Rule’s clear-eyed prose, you can’t help but share in her growing horror at discovering that her friend was one of the most notorious American serial killers.

An unforgettable and haunting work of research, journalism, and personal memories, The Stranger Beside Me is “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight” (The New York Times).

PODCASTS:

I’m trying to find some good true crime podcasts to listen to, I like podcasts that have new stories each week. I have heard people rave about Dirty John, I watched the BRAVO miniseries which was really good.

Here are a couple that I have been listening to:

 

 

I like My Favorite Murder thanks to the super funny hosts Karen and Georgia. Each week they talk about different true crime stories and inject a ton of humor. I admit I have dreams of hosting a podcast with them and discussing true crime.

Lifelong fans of true crime stories Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite tales of murder and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans.

My Favorite Murder is the hit true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Since its inception in early 2016, the show has broken download records and sparked an enthusiastic, interactive “Murderino” fan base who came out in droves this spring for the sold-out nationwide tour.

A top 10 regular on iTunes’ comedy podcast chart, My Favorite Murder has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, Nylon and Rolling Stone magazine.

Aside from being avid true crime enthusiasts, Karen Kilgariff is a stand-up comedian and television writer and Georgia Hardstark is a writer and host for the Cooking Channel.

Crime Junkie Podcast features a new case each week and is a little more serious but equally as interesting as My Favorite Murder.

Every Monday, Indianapolis-based hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat examine a new case, often one that’s unsolved or underreported. The women’s rapport — they’ve been close friends since childhood — helps make the show a reliably good listen, as does their refusal to waste time veering into distracting side conversations. They keep each episode tightly focused on the matter at hand: a compelling crime story.

 

 

I’ve listened to a couple of True Crime Obsessed podcasts and they are very funny, be sure to listen to their recap of the documentary of the Fyre Festival. The hosts discuss true crime documentaries with humor.

The true crime / comedy podcast YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE. We recap your favorite true crime documentaries with humor, sass, and a well timed garbage bell. 

 

If you have true crime books and podcast to recommend, let me know!

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