Mini Reviews: Two New True Crime Anthologies

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde, by Mark Bowden (Amazon) Unspeakable Acts, edited by Sarah Weinman (Amazon) Two new books of long-form true crime nonfiction are out this month, and they're both pretty good. Let's get into it. First up is gifted narrative nonfiction author Mark Bowden's The Case of the Vanishing Blonde. My introduction... Continue Reading →

Four Women and their Crime “Obsessions”

Book review: Savage Appetites, by Rachel Monroe (Amazon / Book Depository) For the past few years, as the US murder rate has approached historic lows, stories about murder have become culturally ascendant...whether our tastes tended toward high-end HBO documentaries interrogating the justice system or something more like Investigation Discovery's Swamp Murders. (Or, as was often... Continue Reading →

Lawrence Wright’s Look at the Satanic Panic

Book review: Remembering Satan, by Lawrence Wright (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lawrence Wright is one of my favorite nonsense-busters. It just doesn't get past him. And his books are so well-written that even when they're dealing with the eye-rolling (but also very sad) "Satanic Panic" of the late 80s/90s, they're meticulous and brilliantly laid... Continue Reading →

A Memoir of Violence and Complicated Memory

Book review: The Other Side, by Lacy M. Johnson (Amazon / Book Depository) The short version: Lacy Johnson was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend and held prisoner in a soundproofed basement he'd constructed solely for the purpose of raping and brutally killing her. He didn't succeed in killing her. This book is about that event, how it... Continue Reading →

Another Side of a Much-Discussed Story

Book review: Avery, by Ken Kratz Grim and plain - that was the nature of these truths. They may not be as exciting as conspiracy theories, but they do have the virtue of being supported by facts. Former Wisconsin special prosecutor Ken Kratz is kind of a sleazebag and he knows it. In 2010, his professional and... Continue Reading →

Victims of South Central

Book review: The Grim Sleeper, by Christine Pelisek I noticed Christine Pelisek while watching episodes of true crime series People Magazine Investigates. Formerly a reporter for LA Weekly, she now covers crime for People magazine (and looks like a non-terrifying version of weird fashion goblin Rachel Zoe, which is why I always notice her on the show.) I remembered this case both from the... Continue Reading →

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