Beyond the Book: True Crime Edition

Hey, readers! We’d like to invite you to look beyond the book into some true crime cases that have been haunting us. Check out these reads to jump-start your deep dive into these harrowing cases.

Zenith Man by McCracken Poston, Jr.

Like a nonfiction John Grisham thriller with echoes of Rainman, Just Mercy, and a captivating small-town Southern setting, this is the fascinating true story of an idealistic young lawyer determined to free an innocent neurodivergent man accused of murdering the wife no one knew he had.

Watch: Forensic Files Season 5, Episode 8 “Killigraphy”

We Thought We Knew You by M. William Phelps

New York Times bestselling author, television personality, and podcast host* M. William Phelps takes readers deep into the murder of Mary Yoder, a popular wife, mother, and healer in Upstate New York—telling a gripping tale of a family drama, a determined investigation, and a killer with the face of an angel.

Listen: True Crime with Kendall Rae podcast episode “Poisoned by Her Son’s Ex-Girlfriend or Someone Else? The Suspicious Death of Mary Yoder”

*Listen now on Apple Podcasts! Crossing the Line & Paper Ghosts

Monster by Steve Jackson

In the 25th anniversary of this true crime masterpiece, acclaimed author Steve Jackson recounts the intriguing pursuit and long-awaited conviction of a charismatic, monstrous psychopath.

Listen: Crimelines True Crime podcast episode “Cher Elder: The Destruction of Tom Luther”

Killer Clown by Terry Sullivan and Peter T. Maiken

The definitive book on John Wayne Gacy, written by the prosecutor who spearheaded the investigation, arrest, and conviction of one of America’s most horrific serial killers.

Watch: Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes

Little, Crazy Children by James Renner

Come along with acclaimed author and podcast creator/host* James Renner as he explores the unsolved murder of 16-year-old Lisa Pruett in the real-life town of the bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere for a painstakingly researched account of a senseless and heartbreaking tragedy and the people who were pulled into its aftermath.

Listen: The Ohio Mysteries podcast episode “Who Killed Lisa Pruett?”

*Listen now on Spotify! True Crime This Week & The Philosophy of Crime

Gone at Midnight by Jake Anderson

Investigative journalist Jake Anderson explores the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student who was found dead in the water tank of a hotel with a sordid history of suicides, unexplained deaths, and even ghosts.

Watch: Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Bone Deep by Charles Bosworth and Joel Schwartz

The explosive, first-ever insider’s account of the case that’s captivated millions—the murder of Betsy Faria and the wrongful conviction of her husband—told by Joel J. Schwartz, the defense attorney who fought for justice on behalf of Russel Faria, and New York Times bestselling author Charles Bosworth Jr.

Listen: NBC’s The Thing About Pam podcast

A Tangled Web by Leslie Rule

In the tradition of her acclaimed mother, Ann Rule, bestselling author Leslie Rule delivers a riveting true story for our time as she exposes the trail of a sadistic sociopath, identity thief, and killer at the dark heart of a real-life fatal attraction.

Watch: ABC’s “‘A Tangled Web’ | 20/20 Event Special”