Last week I attended a dinner party where I ended up chatting with a lovely woman named Caitlin. She’s also watched the Tonya Harding documentary, and I confessed, “I love a creepy true crime story.” Caitlin’s face lit up. “Me too!” And from that point on, the dinner party was a delight for Caitlin and me.
Following up, I sent Caitlin an email with some of my creepiest true crime recommendations, and if I may say so myself, these are good recommendations. SO good, in fact, I wanted to share them with you in case Caitlin and I have more kindred spirits out there.
Quick aside, I recently wrote a post on another website about visiting murder sites and there was definitely feedback that ghoulish curiosity was somehow disrespectful to victims of real crime. I just want to state clearly that in no way do I intend to disrespect anyone, ever. But this stuff is interesting to me, there is a ton of amazing true crime work out there, and if you’re not into it, don’t read it.
OKAY! Here goes, with my list of really fantastically done true crime. I’ve picked a book, a documentary, and a website. If a conversation gets going (I know Eve is in), we can make this a weekly thing.
“People Who Eat Darkness” by Richard Parry is a true crime book that should be right up there with “In Cold Blood” and “Devil In The White City.” This is the true story of a British woman who went missing in Tokyo. You will not be able to put it down. GRIPPING, I tell you! If you’re saying to yourself, “Duh, Beth. Tell me something I don’t know,” have you read “Popular Crime” by Bill James? His history of crime in America is so well written, I found myself quoting Bill James’ thoughts on Lizzie Borden to anyone nearby.
“Dear Zachary” is a SHOCKING documentary about the murder of a doctor (originally from the South Bay), and the twist in this one threw me for weeks. The film was recommended to me in the comments section of a similar post I did years ago, the documentary shot straight into my Top 5, and that commenter and I are now good friends IRL. Anyway, you can see the whole thing for free on YouTube, although it’s also on Netflix on Demand. In the world of true crime documentaries, “Dear Zachary” is easily one of the best I’ve ever, ever seen.
Finally, check out this Wikipedia page of an incredibly comprehensive list of people who disappeared mysteriously. This link also emerged out of reader comments, and is a complete time-suck. I mean, they’re broken down by decade, complete with links to many of the disappeared. I’ve been visiting this page for years and still haven’t read and researched every single one (to my satisfaction.)
I’ve got TONS more where this came from. Please leave your recommendations for great true crime reading/viewing in the comments. And welcome to our creepy crime club!