True Crime - Real Life Horrors

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Sometimes, truth can be even stranger or more terrifying than fiction. Discover the thrill of true crime novels with these patron favorites. 


Sebastian Junger
Description: In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues. On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo-- the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes-- is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide-- and ultimately are destroyed-- in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.
Call Number: 364.1523 Jun
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Errol Morris
Description: Documentary filmmaker and former private detective Errol Morris examines the nature of evidence and proof in the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. In 1979 MacDonald was convicted of the brutal 1970 murder of his wife and two children, and remains in prison today. Morris, who has been investigating the case for nearly two decades, reveals that almost everything we know about it is flawed, and an innocent man may be behind bars. Morris looks behind the haze of myth, and drawing on court transcripts, lab reports, and original interviews brings a forty-year history back to life and allows the reader to explore the case as a detective might by confronting the evidence as if for the first time.--Excerpted from publisher description.
Call Number: 364.1523 Mor
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Rabia Chaudry
Description: In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan's story. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating that after Hae was killed her body was kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that refutes the cell phone evidence--among many other points. And she shows how fans of Serial joined an amazing crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also gives a sense of Adnan's life in prison and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice has yet to be achieved in this much-examined case.
Call Number: 364.1523 Cha
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Jeffrey Toobin
Description: On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. The sensational story took the first of many twists when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre "Tania." The turns of the tale are astonishing--the bank security cameras capturing "Tania" wielding a machine gun during a robbery; a cast of characters including everyone from basketball star Bill Walton to the Black Panthers to Ronald Reagan to F. Lee Bailey; the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event to be broadcast live on television across the country; Patty's year on the lam; and her circus-like trial, after which the term "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon. The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Toobin recounts the craziness of the times, portraying the lunacy of the half-baked radicals and the toxic mix of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst. He examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors' crusade. Or did she?
Call Number: 322.42 Too
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
David Cullen
Description: Ten years in the making and a masterpiece of reportage, "Columbine" is an award-winning journalist's definitive account of one of the most shocking massacres in American history.
Call Number: 373.1782 Cul
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Michael Fleeman
Description: "A typical morning in the Atlanta suburbs: Businessman Rusty Sneiderman drops his beloved son off at the Dunwoody Prep nursery. In the parking lot, a minivan pulls up next to his car. The driver pulls out a gun--and shoots Rusty four times in the chest. Sneiderman's devoted wife, Andrea, is devastated by the crime. Who could have done this? She is shocked when police trace the shooting to a man named Hemy Neuman--who happens to be Andrea's adoring boss. The prosecution accuses Andrea and Hemy of having a "forbidden relationship," and of conspiring to collect $2 million in her husband's life insurance. But Andrea swears she never intended to kill Rusty--and that it is Hemy who's "delusional" and obsessed. With the charges against her dropped, and the insurance money frozen, Andrea remains a mysterious character. Only one other person--the man who pulled the trigger--knows the truth about what really happened..."-- From back cover.
Call Number: 364.1523 Fle
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Mara Leveritt
Call Number: 364.1523 Lev
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
William Swanson
Call Number: 364.1523 Swa
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Ann Rule
Description: Rule chronicles fateful encounters with the hidden predators among us in this riveting collection. Uncover cases of unfortunate victims who made one tragic mistake: trusting the wrong person-- even someone they'd know intimately, or thought they knew.
Call Number: 364.1523 Rul
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Sam Quinones
Description: Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin-- the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, 2 to 3 times purer than its white powder cousin-- to the veins of people across the United States.
Call Number: 362.293 Qui
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
James Patterson, John Connolly, Tim Malloy (Journalist)
Description: "Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins to the rarefied heights of New York City's financial elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers--and for people--Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. And that unceasing desire--especially a taste for young girls--resulted in his stunning fall from grace. From Epstein himself, to the girls he employed as masseuses at his home, to the cops investigating the appalling charges against him, Filthy Rich examines all sides of a case that scandalized one of America's richest communities."--Amazon.com.
Call Number: LP 364.153 Pat
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
John Safran
Description: An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a literary true crime story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 364.1523 Saf
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Robert M. Dudley
Description: When eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted by a stranger on October 22, 1989, the Central Minnesota county and the state were turned upside down. No longer were the small towns in the Midwest considered immune to the horrors of the exploitation of children. Dudley chronicles Jacob's case from investigative and historical perspectives, to tell the complex story and perhaps trigger someone's memory of that one bit of information that could help solve the case.--Excerpted from Author's note.
Call Number: 364.154 Dud
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Ann Rule, Donada Peters
Description: An absorbing portrayal of true-crime lovers who kill and the men and women who are their victims.
Call Number: 364.1523 Rul
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Robert Kolker
Description: "A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five "Craigslist" prostitutes, whose bodies were found on the same Long Island beach in 2010. Based on the New York Magazine cover story"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 364.1523 Kol
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 20, 2015
Walter N. Trenerry
Call Number: 364 Tre
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Ethan Brown
Description: Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered around the town of Jennings, in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. They had all engaged in sex work as a means of survival, and they came to be called the Jeff Davis 8. The investigations into their deaths, originally searching for a serial killer, raised questions about police misconduct and corruption.
Call Number: 364.1523 Bro
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Bill James
Description: "James takes readers on a... journey from Lizzie Borden to the Lindbergh baby, from the Black Dahlia to O.J. Simpson, explaining how crimes have been committed, investigated, prosecuted and written about, and how that has profoundly influenced our culture over the last few centuries"--Bk. jacket flap.
Call Number: LP 364.1 Jam
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Patricia Daniels Cornwell
Call Number: 364.15 Cor
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Kathryn Casey
Description: The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston's hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could've prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood, an older man lying dead on the floor, and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its 5-1/2-inch heel. With her stunning looks, magnetic personality, and erratic behavior, Ana Trujillo had a notorious reputation on the downtown Houston scene. She spoke often of occult powers, though few knew how deeply she believed such boasts. Stefan Anderson was a gentle soul, a Swedish transplant with a good career and trusted friends, who was desperate to find someone special. Theirs is a story of obsession, madness and tragedy.
Call Number: 364.1523 Cas
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
David Grann
Description: Whether he's reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a con artist in Europe, or riding with a scientist hunting the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that explore the nature of obsession. Each of the stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world, pivoting around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world's foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes, found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the dangerous job of building New York City's water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann's accounts display the power--and often the willful perversity--of the human spirit, a mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly.--From publisher description.
Call Number: 364.1 Gra
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
John Grisham, Craig Wasson
Description: Presents the real-life case of Ron Williamson, a mentally ill former baseball player who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for the 1982 murder of a 21-year-old woman in his Oklahoma hometown.
Call Number: 345.7302 Gri
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Skip Hollandsworth, Clint Jordan
Description: A sweeping narrative history of a terrifying serial killer who stalked Austin, Texas in 1885. The true story of murder, chaos, political scandal, and the desperate hunt for America's first serial killer.
Call Number: 364.1523 Hol
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Douglas J Preston, Mario Spezi, Dennis Boutsikaris
Description: New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston teams up with Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to present a gripping account of crime and punishment in the lush hills surrounding Florence, Italy. The Monster of Florence is a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide--and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi are caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.--From publisher description.
Call Number: 364.1523 Pre
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Susan Orlean
Call Number: 635.9344 Orl
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
Description: The true-life account of the FBI's hunt for the ingenious traitor Brian Regan--known as The Spy Who Couldn't Spell. Before Edward Snowden's infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee reveals how the FBI unraveled Regan's strange web of codes to build a case against a man who nearly collapsed America's military security-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 364.131 Bha
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Kate Summerscale
Description: A Shocking Murder And The Undoing Of A Great Victorian Detective
Call Number: 364.1523 Sum
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Kate Summerscale
Description: In East London in the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age thirteen) and his brother Nattie (age twelve) were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey. Robert confessed to having stabbed his mother, but his lawyers argued that he was insane. The judge sentenced him to detention in Broadmoor, the most infamous criminal lunatic asylum in the land. Shockingly, Broadmoor turned out to be the beginning of a new life for Robert. At a time of great tumult and uncertainty, Robert Coombes's case crystallized contemporary anxieties about the education of the working classes, the dangers of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of criminality, childhood, and insanity. With riveting detail and rich atmosphere, Summerscale re-creates this terrible crime and its aftermath, uncovering an extraordinary story of man's capacity to overcome the past.--Adapted from book jacket.
Call Number: 364.1523 Sum
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Harold Schechter
Call Number: 364.15 Tru
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Beth Macy
Description: Beth Macy, chronicler of life in the South, combines research, interviews and sources, and attention to detail in this American story about race, greed, and a mother's love. George and Willie Muse from Truevine, Virginia were two little boys born in a brutal time, sharecropping a field in the segregated South, stolen away by a white man offering candy, and set on a path of events that would forever change their lives--and their family's destiny. -- From statement adapted from dust jacket.
Call Number: 364.154 Mac
Format: Book
Date Added: Mar 1, 2017
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: True Crime - Real Life Horrors
A Death In Belmont
Sebastian Junger
364.1523 Jun
Murder In Minnesota : A Collection Of True Cases
Walter N. Trenerry
364 Tre
A Wilderness Of Error : The Trials Of Jeffrey Macdonald
Errol Morris
364.1523 Mor
Murder In The Bayou : Who Killed The Women Known As The Jeff Davis 8?
Ethan Brown
364.1523 Bro
Adnan's Story : The Search For Truth And Justice After Serial [Audiobook]
Rabia Chaudry
364.1523 Cha
Popular Crime : Reflections On The Celebration Of Violence [Large Print]
Bill James
LP 364.1 Jam
American Heiress : The Wild Saga Of The Kidnapping, Crimes And Trial Of Patty Hearst
Jeffrey Toobin
322.42 Too
Portrait Of A Killer : Jack The Ripper, Case Closed
Patricia Daniels Cornwell
364.15 Cor
Columbine
David Cullen
373.1782 Cul
Possessed : The Infamous Texas Stiletto Murder
Kathryn Casey
364.1523 Cas
Crazy For You : The True Story Of A Family Man's Murder, A Wife's Secret, And A Deadly Obsession
Michael Fleeman
364.1523 Fle
The Devil And Sherlock Holmes : Tales Of Murder, Madness, And Obsession
David Grann
364.1 Gra
Devil's Knot : The True Story Of The West Memphis Three
Mara Leveritt
364.1523 Lev
The Innocent Man : Murder And Injustice In A Small Town [Audiobook]
John Grisham, Craig Wasson
345.7302 Gri
Dial M : The Murder Of Carol Thompson
William Swanson
364.1523 Swa
The Midnight Assassin [Audiobook]
Skip Hollandsworth, Clint Jordan
364.1523 Hol
Don't Look Behind You : And Other True Cases
Ann Rule
364.1523 Rul
The Monster Of Florence [Audiobook]
Douglas J Preston, Mario Spezi, Dennis Boutsikaris
364.1523 Pre
Dreamland : The True Tale Of America's Opiate Epidemic
Sam Quinones
362.293 Qui
The Orchid Thief
Susan Orlean
635.9344 Orl
Filthy Rich [Large Print]
James Patterson, John Connolly, Tim Malloy (Journalist)
LP 364.153 Pat
The Spy Who Couldn't Spell : A Dyslexic Traitor, An Unbreakable Code, And The FBI's Hunt For America's Stolen Secrets
Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
364.131 Bha
God'll Cut You Down : The Tangled Tale Of A White Supremacist, A Black Hustler, A Murder, And How I Lost A Year In Mississippi
John Safran
364.1523 Saf
The Suspicions Of Mr. Whicher
Kate Summerscale
364.1523 Sum
It Can't Happen Here : The Search For Jacob Wetterling
Robert M. Dudley
364.154 Dud
The Wicked Boy : The Mystery Of A Victorian Child Murderer
Kate Summerscale
364.1523 Sum
Kiss Me, Kill Me [Audiobook]
Ann Rule, Donada Peters
364.1523 Rul
True Crime : An American Anthology
Harold Schechter
364.15 Tru
Lost Girls : An Unsolved American Mystery
Robert Kolker
364.1523 Kol
Truevine : Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, And A Mother's Quest : A True Story Of The Jim Crow South
Beth Macy
364.154 Mac