Category Archives: True Crime Books

The Assassination of Gianni Versace is a disturbing and constantly shifting true-crime thriller

“It was a political murder. It absolutely was. This was a person who targeted people specifically to shame them and to out them and to have a form of payback for a life that he felt he could not live.”

That’s Ryan Murphy, executive producer of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (starts Wednesday, FX Canada, 10 p.m.). The nine-part series, which follows on Murphy’s extraordinary and award-winning The People v. O.J. Simpson, is a true-crime thriller of outstanding suppleness in storytelling.

In his remark about “political murder,” Murphy was responding to a quibble about the title. See, the series is really about Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), who killed Versace and four other men. Much of it is about Cunanan scheming and lying his way into people’s lives and then murdering them. Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez) was just the famous one. It’s also about the hunt to

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The story of the Irish ‘murderess’ behind ‘Alias Grace’

The Netflix adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel Alias Grace has been praised for its suspenseful script and hard-hitting social commentary – but some viewers have admitted to being discombobulated by its refusal to supply all the answers and tie up all the loose ends. In this, however, the series is staying faithful not just to the book, but also to the Canadian true-crime drama on which it’s based.

On July 23rd, 1843, a wealthy Ontario farmer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, were murdered in a village 16 miles outside Toronto. A stable hand, James McDermott, and 16-year-old maid, Grace Marks – both Irish immigrants who had been working at Kinnear’s country mansion for just a few weeks – were arrested, charged with murder and convicted. McDermott was hanged: Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment.

As all true-crime podcast devotees will know, however, it’s only when

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Victims of serial killer ‘need justice,’ author tells Scituate audience …

SCITUATE – Crime-novel enthusiasts got an idea of what real police work is like from author Maureen Boyle, whose book, “Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Killer,” tells the true story of an unsolved string of 1988 murders.

Boyle, a former investigative journalist and now director of the journalism program at Stonehill College in North Easton, gave a talk about her book and the case to about 20 people Sunday at the Scituate Town Library.

The book, which was published in September, describes how 11 women disappeared from New Bedford in the spring and summer of 1988. Nine of the women’s bodies were found along highways in neighboring towns.

All of the women were drug addicts, and many had turned to prostitution. Because of how they lived, many were reported missing much later than they were killed, and some were

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Blood on the Page by Thomas Harding review – the first British murder trial held in secret

Writing a true-crime book while the legal process is still unfolding is a high-stakes business. There’s no assurance of a neat outcome, or really any outcome at all. The goodies might turn out to be baddies, and all that righteous anger about a possible miscarriage of justice could leave you looking foolish. Trial dates slip, which means you’re deprived of a cracking finale in which grateful relatives embrace you on the courtroom steps while the police stand by looking sheepish. You could end up, in other words, with a sort of fretful trailing off …

All of which happens in Blood on the Page. Despite the title, which promises a “body in the library” plot from the golden age of detective fiction, Thomas Harding has written a real-life procedural about an uncharismatic crime involving unattractive people, which might, nonetheless, have important implications for us all. Or there again, it

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New season of hit show Killing Fields could solve grisly murder featured in true crime book

Jan. 12, 2018 / PRZen / SEATTLE — Discovery Channel’s “Killing Fields” is a hit true-crime series that explores sprawling places across America hiding stories of gruesome murders. This season’s focus is on the murder of Carrie Singer, a 28-year-old who was found half naked and brutally bludgeoned to death in Isle of Wight, Virginia.

Residents of the tight-knit community where Carrie’s remains were discovered are still haunted by the unsolved murder. But investigator Randy Patrick’s efforts to capture Carrie’s killer reignites hope the case will finally be solved.

Carrie’s mother, Patty Lord, shared her daughter’s story in Grief Diaries: Project Cold Case, published in November 2016 by AlyBlue Media. The book is the 18th in the popular Grief Diaries series created by Lynda Cheldelin Fell, an award-winning author and grief educator who partnered with Ryan Backmann of the national nonprofit organization Project Cold Case, to

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10 shows on our watch list for winter 2018

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” FX, Jan. 17

Ricky Martin. Penélope Cruz. Another ’90s-era, true crime drama involving celebrity tragedy. There’s no downside here. The FX drama, out Jan. 17, explores the 1997 murder of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. It’s the second installment of Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story” anthology, a series that kicked off with 2016’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” Like that award-winning drama, this nine-part series looks at the role culture and class played in the rise of Versace, and explores how discriminatory attitudes toward the gay community hindered the investigation. Based on Maureen Orth’s book “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History,” it promises to be another high-end, celebrity-studded addition to the true crime genre. (Lorraine Ali)

“The Alienist” TNT, Jan. 22

This series combines two of the most enduring genres on television —

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Bunch murder, arson case featured in new book

GREENSBURG – The story of a former Decatur County woman jailed for nearly two decades in connection with the home fire that killed her young son is featured in the recently-published third edition of a true crime anthology.

Kristine Bunch’s saga to overturn her 1996 arson and murder conviction is detailed in Andrew E. Stoner’s Notorious 92, a new book that delves into “the most infamous murders from each of Indiana’s 92 counties.”

Locally, there are perhaps few similar cases that garnered as much attention as that of Bunch’s.

After a fire destroyed her Lake McCoy trailer home and killed her 3-year-old son, Tony, in June 1995, Bunch was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the boy’s death.

The prosecution built its case on evidence from fire investigators who claimed accelerants were used to start to the blaze, and the presence of such materials indicated the fire had been set intentionally. The

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The Book Michelle McNamara Wrote Before She Died Includes ‘Letter To The Golden State Killer’

McNamara, who for years immersed herself in true crime, dedicated several years to cracking the unsolved case. She’d interviewed detectives and survivors, visited crime scenes and wrangled with “the cold brutal facts,” Oswalt told People magazine.

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The Book Michelle McNamara Wrote Before She Died Includes …

McNamara, who for years immersed herself in true crime, dedicated several years to cracking the unsolved case. She’d interviewed detectives and survivors, visited crime scenes and wrangled with “the cold brutal facts,” Oswalt told People magazine.

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Mysteries and fairy worlds explored in this week’s YA roundup

“Truly Devious” by Maureen Johnson, Katherine Tegan, 432 pages, $17.99, ages 14 and up

Agatha Christie meets “Riverdale” in Maureen Johnson’s latest, which offers two gripping mysteries rolled into one. The first mystery is what compels aspiring detective Stephanie, aka Stevie, to enroll at Ellingham Academy, a progressive Vermont boarding school with an infamous past. In 1936, the wife and daughter of the school’s billionaire founder, Albert Ellingham, were kidnapped for a ransom paid to no avail; the wife was eventually found dead — as was an Ellingham student believed to have crossed paths with the kidnapper — and the daughter never reappeared. Someone confessed, but true crime fanatics still devote blogs and books and podcasts to theorizing about what really happened. Stevie, in a school-sanctioned project, plans to solve the case once and for all. But before she can really get going, a classmate dies under suspicious circumstances, causing her

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