7 Books to Pair With Your Favorite True Crime PodcastsBy Jessica Ferri February 7, 2017
Are you home by 10 P.M. every Friday night to watch Dateline? Do you triple check your downloads to ensure all your true crime podcasts are in place before boarding a long flight? Well, we’ve got the list for you. Pair these seven books with your favorite podcasts and you’ll always get your true crime fix. In fact, many of the book and podcast pairings below examine the same fascinating case, providing you with hours of investigative pleasure.
Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor, by Marti Rulli and Dennis Davern + Generation Why
If you can’t get enough of Aaron and Justin’s theories about America’s most notorious unsolved murders on their podcast Generation Why, then Marti Rulli and Dennis Davern’s book on the mysterious death of Natalie Wood is right up your alley. Hollywood star Natalie Wood was on a yacht with her husband Robert Wagner and friend Christopher Walken when she fell into the ocean and drowned. Wood had a lifelong fear of water—so suspicions were raised as to whether her death was simply a tragic accident, or cold, calculated murder.
Wasted, by Linda Wolfe + Real Crime Profile
Criminal profilers Jim Clemente, Laura Richards, and Lisa Zambetti get inside the twisted minds of some of the world’s most infamous criminals with their podcast Real Crime Profile. They’d have a field day with Robert Chambers, otherwise known as the “Preppie Killer,” who lured Jennifer Levin from a Manhattan bar in 1986 and killed her—leaving her body in Central Park. The case has everything for those who are fascinated by criminal behavior: Chambers was attractive, charming, successful, and a total sociopath. Learn more about the crime (and the criminal) that ignited a media firestorm in the late 1980s.
Love Me to Death, by Linda Wolfe + The Trail that Went Cold
On his podcast The Trail that Went Cold, Robin Warder reexamines long-lost cold cases in hopes that someone will come forward with new leads. Warder might want to take a look at the 1983 murder of Jacqui Bernard, the subject of Linda Wolfe’s book Love Me to Death. Jacqui was Linda’s close friend and, being a crime writer, Linda set out to prove that she had been the victim of accused serial killer Ricardo Caputo—the target of an FBI manhunt.
A Death in Canaan, by Joan Barthel + Undisclosed
Run in part by Rabia Chaudry, a friend of Adnan Syed, Undisclosed takes a look at wrongful convictions from start to finish. If the rotating wheels of the criminal justice system are what interest you, you’ll find Joan Barthel’s A Death in Canaan totally fascinating. In the small town of Canaan, Connecticut, Barbara Gibbons was found murdered by her 17-year-old son, Peter. Though he had allegedly confessed to the crime, his neighbors refused to believe that Peter was capable of such a heinous crime, and thus began to look closer at the circumstances surrounding his conviction.
Adnan’s Story, by Rabia Chaudry + Serial
If you’re still yearning for the days when there was a new episode of the first season of Serial to consume, Adnan’s story still rages on through the new book by his friend Rabia Chaudry. Thanks to Serial, Adnan’s case finally received the attention his family had hoped for. In this new book, Chaudry goes even further than the podcast, presenting new evidence—including a new suspect and details about Hae’s murder—and allegations that the state suppressed evidence that would have freed Adnan. With the added bonus of a behind-the-scenes look at Adnan’s life in prison, Adnan’s Story is a vibrant and personal plea for his innocence.
After Etan, by Lisa R. Cohen + Thin Air
As every true crime addict knows, sometimes people do just vanish into thin air. On the Thin Air podcast, this horrifying phenomenon is told through the lens of heartbreaking personal stories about loved ones who have simply vanished—never to be seen or heard from again. The1979 disappearance of Etan Patz in New York City has haunted the city for decades. Though a man named Pedro Hernandez implicated himself in Patz’s disappearance in 2012, the boy’s remains have never been found, and many have their doubts as to whether Hernandez is telling the truth. Lisa Cohen’s book After Etan gets to the heart of the case that changed Gotham, and America, forever.
Manson, by Jeff Guinn + You Must Remember This
Karina Longworth’s immensely popular podcast You Must Remember This, on Hollywood’s first century, frequently veers into the world of true crime. But last May, the popular podcast went straight into the mind of Charles Manson and his experience in Hollywood. If you just couldn’t get enough of old Charlie, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more thorough and totally compelling biography than Jeff Guinn’s Manson. Speaking to Manson’s blood relatives (who had never agreed to be interviewed before) Guinn sets up a complete portrait of this psychopath from cradle to San Quentin.
This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Lineup to continue publishing the true crime and creepy stories you love.
Want more true crime books? Sign up for The Lineup’s newsletter, and get our recommended reads delivered straight to your inbox.