Trending topics: True crime

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

With HBO’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark premiering this Sunday, we’ve got true crime on the brain. A wide genre of nonfiction, true crime encompasses everything from the gangsters of the 20s to the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff to serial killers. The selections on this list include cheats, thieves, murderers, and white supremacists. Some of these stories were kept quiet for years while others became national news almost immediately. What unites all of them is their lasting impact on American culture.

You can find all of the title suggestions below available in your digital library through Media on Demand and Libby and/or Hoopla.

True crime titles


The Queen by Josh Levin

Why you should try it: This award winning true crime biography reveals the hidden depths of the infamous “welfare queen,” as well as the impact of racism and deception on the American consciousness.

Description: An editor for Slate provides an account of the life of one of America’s most notorious welfare cheats, who also committed much darker crimes.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Diamond Doris by Doris Payne

Why you should try it: At the grand age of 87, Doris Payne is a master jewelry thief and prison escapee. Most active in the 70s, she was most recently caught after a diamond heist in Monte Carlo.

Description: The culprit and larger-than-life personality behind jewel heists that remained unsolved for years shares her story, describing how a young black woman from West Virginia pulled off diamond robberies and used nuns to break out of prison.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook and digital audiobook)

Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

Why you should try it: Despite combining two things that very much do not go together, a black man and the KKK, the result is satisfying.

Description: Relates how African American detective Ron Stallworth went undercover to investigate the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs in 1978, describing how he disrupted Klan activities and exposed white supremacists in the military during the months-long investigation.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Why you should try it: Before her death, Michelle McNamara doggedly pursued the Golden State Killer. Though this book was published posthumously by her husband, she is credited with keeping up public awareness of the unsolved crimes.

Description: An account of the unsolved Golden State Killer case traces the rapes and murders of dozens of victims and the author’s determined efforts to help identify the killer and bring him to justice.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook and digital audiobook)

Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

About Dontaná

Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.  

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