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True Stories that are Truly Frightening

Apr 06, 2020

What is true crime? 

True crime is a genre of non-fiction that began with books, but that has rapidly spread to other media, including documentary films, television shows, websites and podcasts. In this genre, authors examine a real crime and the actions of the people involved. This genre is fascinating for many reasons; we love solving mysteries, we look for ways to empathize, and we’re fascinated, often despite ourselves, by people who do terrible things, to name just a few.

Intrigued? OPL has some true crime ebooks for you! 

Fascinated by history? Check out The Devil in the White City, which interweaves the story of the 1893 World’s Fair with that of serial killer H.H. Holmes. Medieval history buffs will be fascinated by Blood Royal, the story of the 1407 murder of Louis of Orléans. In addition to murder, true crime literature also frequently examines other types of criminal activity – such as false conviction, theft, or the mafia. If the latter topic is of interest, consider Scarface and the Untouchable, the story of FBI agent Eliot Ness and notorious mobster Al Capone. If you’re interested in some recent true crime stories, check out Chase Darkness With Me or I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. If you want to find more titles in this genre, check out the recommendations listed for each title, or do a catalogue search for “true crime.” 

Looking for some podcast recommendations? 

True Crime podcasts have become very popular in recent years. Serial, an investigative journalism podcast, is one of best-known in this genre. The first two seasons explore potential wrongful convictions, and the third examines the American justice system. If you have a dark sense of humor, you’ll enjoy My Favorite Murder which is hosted by Karen and Georgia, two best friends who use humor to cope with the worst humanity has to offer. Comedy and true crime pair well together but be advised that the jokes can be a little blue and the language gets a bit vulgar. If you are looking for Canadian content, Someone Knows Something is a CBC podcast that examines criminal cold cases. 

The true crime genre delves into truly awful aspects of the human condition, but also highlights the people working to fight these injustices. While you’re at home, take some to explore some tales so twisted that they could only be true. Please note: Audiences with heightened sensitivities to discussions of violence, abuse or sexual assault should take extra care when reading or listening.

Blog post contributed by Andréa from our Elmvale Acres branch.