For the last few years, interest in true crime stories has been growing. From television series like the Netflix hits Making a Murderer and Mindhunter to an ever-growing selection of podcasts to a dizzying variety of true crime books, one thing is certain: we can’t seem to get enough. But why, exactly?
When you read or watch true crime books or shows, you get to experience a little jolt of adrenaline from fear while being safe at home. Maybe you like to be an armchair detective and see if you can solve the mystery before investigators do, or perhaps it’s interesting to take just a tiny peek into the dark mind of a criminal to see what makes them tick.
Whether you’re a true crime fanatic or your obsession is just beginning, we have some suggestions from our catalog for you. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself checking your doors and windows at night!
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
A serial rapist and murderer terrorized California between 1976 and 1986, but eluded police and was never caught. Author Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist and owner of the website True Crime Diary, became obsessed with the case of whom she dubbed the Golden State Killer and wondered if modern technology could bring them to justice. McNamara meticulously and obsessively researched the case up until her death in 2016, but the information she gathered shows that she may have been very close to unmasking a killer.
Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas
John Douglas was an FBI agent for 25 years and spent most of that time working with the Behavioral Science unit. His case histories include serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and John Wayne Gacy, and his career was the inspiration for the character of Special Agent Jack Crawford in the film The Silence of the Lambs. Mindhunter details Douglas’s criminal profiling experiences and is the basis for the Netflix series of the same name.
Foreign Faction : Who Really Kidnapped JonBenét? by A. James Kolar
In December 1996, the entire country was horrified by the murder of JonBenét Ramsay, but after twenty years, a long investigation and conflicting theories, the case remains unsolved. Author A. James Kolar was the lead investigator for the Boulder District Attorney’s office between 2005 and 2006; in Foreign Faction, he reveals previously undisclosed evidence and disproves long-held theories.
Death by Cyanide: The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein by Paula Reed Ward
Dr. Autumn Klein was a rising star in the field of neurology, but in 2013, she collapsed on her kitchen floor and died three days later. Circumstantial evidence led police to arrest her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, for murder by cyanide poisoning. This book covers Autumn Klein’s collapse, the desperate measures of the hospital staff to save her life, and the investigation and trial of Dr. Ferrante.
Are you a fan of true crime? Join us on Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m. for an Author Visit featuring Paula Reed Ward, author of Death by Cyanide and a reporter with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This program is open to adults and mature teens. Click here to register or call the library at 412-921-9292.