There is much more to true crime than meets the eye. The growing popularity of true crime television and online series is merely the most recent iteration of a genre that has always been interested in more than the morbid details and murder scene photos. True crime engages readers and listeners to consider how we, as a society, both contribute to and learn from the most shocking acts of our age. DPL has a great true crime collection - find below a selection of new and recent titles to put on your reading list.
Cartel Wives: A True Story of Deadly Decisions, Steadfast Love, and Bringing Down El Chapo by Mia Flores is a love story, a "Married to the Mob" story, an insider's look into the terrifying but high-flying empire of the new world of drugs, and, finally, the story of a major DEA and FBI operation. An astonishing and redemptive memoir from two women who escaped the international drug trade, with never-before-revealed details about El Chapo, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the dangerous world of illicit drugs.
With train robberies, murder, equally bloodthirsty criminals and vigilantes, and a cameo by Abe Lincoln, The Notorious Reno Gang: The Wild Story of the West's First Brotherhood of Thieves, Assassins, and Train Robbers by Rachel Dickinson is both an entertaining and revealing book - and it’s all true! The Reno brothers were the original bad boys of the new West, taking an entire town hostage and invoking the wrath of the Pinkerton Agency. Spoiler alert - it doesn't end well for the gang ...
Roanoke Times journalist Beth Macy reconstructs the folkloric yet true story of brothers George and Willie Muse, who, in 1899, at ages 9 and 6, toiled on a sweltering tobacco farm in Virginia. As black albinos bearing golden dreadlocks, the boys were considered "genetic anomalies" yet visually ideal when spied by Candy Shelton, a white bounty hunter scouring the area for "freaks" to enslave in circus sideshow acts. Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South recounts their experience, and their mother's struggle to bring her sons back home.
For over a year, from May, 1918 to October, 1919, the city of New Orleans was in a frenzied panic over a roaming serial killer dubbed the "Axeman." The first to succumb to the sharp blade of the Axeman were an Italian grocer named Joseph Maggio and his wife, Catherine on May 23, 1918. Miriam C. Davis brings this slice of historical crime fiction alive in her book The Axeman of New Orleans. Though the attacker was never caught, there is still much speculation on his actual identity. This is a fascinating look at how the city was gripped in fear and horror until the killings stopped.
The Other Side by Lacy Johnson tells the story of the author's kidnapping in 2000 by her former boyfriend. He held her captive, raped her and threatened her with death. Though she eventually escaped, it took years to free herself from the emotional and psychological damage she suffered. Written in an urgent first-person, present-tense voice, the narrative takes readers through the fear and rage as the writer lived it.
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