I don’t read true crime. I watch it. Devour it.
I have spent many hours in front of my screen, binge watching true crime documentaries in glassy eyed silence, engrossed in stories of gruesome murders and senseless killings. I find human nature equally fascinating and horrifying.
“No other genre is a more apt testament that our evil, primal, fearful selves linger just beneath our calm, civilised exteriors, that life goes on even after the worst has happened, and that all catastrophe, central or marginal, has to be understood and confronted before a future becomes possible.” Rafia Zakaria
Is true crime a guilty pleasure? Perhaps. According to some studies, women are more afraid of crime than men. They call this the gender-fear-paradox, since statistics show that men are the ones who actually become crime victims more often. So, I’d say all those ladies watching all those true crime documentaries and reading the books are on the right track, because apparently most of them do so because they think it would increase their chances of survival in case they encounter a dangerous situation.
So, let’s take a look at our
serial killer survival material true crime selection for this prompt.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
I Will Find You by Joe Kenda
I’m a die-hard Kenda fan, and watched all the episodes of his series, Homicide Hunter. This book is a collection of some of his yet unreleased cases.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
The story of the Osage Indian murders in the 1920s that became one of the FBI’s first major murder investigation.
Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
Robert Graysmith was on staff at the The San Francisco Chronicle in 1968 when Zodiac first struck, triggering in the resolute reporter an unrelenting obsession with seeing the hooded killer brought to justice.
I have seen the movie version, and I still get the chills just thinking about it.
Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt
The story of the West Memphis Three, three teenagers who were tried and convicted of killing three boys during a Satanistic ritual in 1993. This story also have a movie version, starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.
Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale & Stan Redding
Frank W Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams and Ringo Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious career, Abagnale donned a pilot’s uniform and co-piloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as a member of hospital management, practised law without a licence, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks all before he was twenty-one.
I’d say inspiring, but I guess I shouldn’t…
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
A good, old fashioned Victorian whodunnit for those who like their murder mysteries in vintage fashion.
Have you read any of these?
Do you have any true crime recommendations for this prompt?