At Any Cost by Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar

Even the most tragically familiar stories can devolve into shocking and unbelievable true crime cases. Part true crime narrative and part courtroom drama, At Any Cost: A Father’s Betrayal, A Wife’s Murder, and a Ten-Year War for Justice by Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar (2021 St. Martin’s Press), recounts the worst results of domestic violence …

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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

My favorite nonfiction texts are those that place narratives about individuals in larger sociological contexts, because they draw the reader in on a human level and allow them to connect with larger-than-life stories. Not only does no other work of true crime do that better than The Devil in The White City: Murder, Magic, and …

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Autopsy of a Crime Lab by Brandon L. Garrett

Brandon L. Garrett’s monograph Autopsy of a Crime Lab: Exposing the Flaws in Forensics (University of California Press, 2021) is a brutally honest look at the inadequacies of forensic science, its practitioners, and a legal system that legitimizes aspects of the field that seemingly have no genuine scientific basis. In this carefully and expertly researched book, Garrett, …

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We Own This City by Justin Fenton

Pulitzer-Prize nominated reporter Justin Fenton seriously delivers with his organized crime thriller We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption (Penguin Random House Canada, 2021), to be published this month. Fenton’s book tells the story of Baltimore Police Department and the 2015 scandal that led to eight of their officers being charged with …

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The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke

Angela Bourke’s The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (1999) chronicles the far from ordinary murder case of Bridget Cleary in rural County Tipperary, Ireland in March 1895. Gruesomely murdered by immolation on her own hearth by her husband, Michael Cleary, who, along with many of Bridget’s relatives and friends were present when she …

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The Babysitter by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan

Liza Rodman’s and Jennifer Jordan’s book The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer (Atria Books, 2021) chronicles Rodman’s 1960s childhood in Provincetown, MA. The book also chronicles Rodman’s interactions with Tony Costa, otherwise known as the “Cape Cod Ripper”. Costa killed at least three women in the 1960s; he buried their bodies in the woods after …

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Serial Killers at the Movies by Christopher Berry-Dee

The degree to which crime stories saturate our cultural (re)productions, especially in North America, is alternately fascinating and troubling. As writers and directors adapt from real-life tragedy, what do their films lose or gain in eliciting fear and revulsion in their viewers? What are the ethics of this complex process? Christopher Berry-Dee’s Serial Killers at …

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