Share 12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

History buffs know that the past is filled to the brim with tales of dastardly deeds, shocking crimes, and felons who flaunted breaking the law. Below, however, are 12 lesser-known true-crime tales, proving once again that real life is stranger—and often darker—than fiction.


The Rescue Artist
by Edward Dolnick

When Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" was effortlessly stolen from the National Gallery in Oslo, the Norwegian police were humiliated. Enter Charley Hill, a brilliant and colorful Scotland Yard investigator who uncovers this larger-than-life heist and takes readers on a fascinating and rollicking ride through the art underworld.

The Rescue Artist
Edward Dolnick

When Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" was effortlessly stolen from the National Gallery in Oslo, the Norwegian police were humiliated. Enter Charley Hill, a brilliant and colorful Scotland Yard investigator who uncovers this larger-than-life heist and takes readers on a fascinating and rollicking ride through the art underworld.

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12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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Manhunt
by James L. Swanson

With breathless pacing and intense suspense, MANHUNT is as gripping as your favorite fictional thrillers. Discover the little-known story of the painful days after Lincoln’s assassination when John Wilkes Booth made a fraught journey into the Confederacy with a broken leg and the Union cavalry on his heels.

Manhunt
James L. Swanson

With breathless pacing and intense suspense, MANHUNT is as gripping as your favorite fictional thrillers. Discover the little-known story of the painful days after Lincoln’s assassination when John Wilkes Booth made a fraught journey into the Confederacy with a broken leg and the Union cavalry on his heels.

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12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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Under the Banner of Heaven
by Jon Krakauer
A gripping dual narrative of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a violent double murder committed in the name of God by two Mormon brothers. Jon Krakauer explores the tense relationship between violence and fundamentalism in this provocative narrative.
Under the Banner of Heaven
Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer, author of Into The Wild and Into Thin Air, has staked his literary reputation on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extreme physical adventure to the extremes of religious belief within America’s own borders, taking readers inside an isolated community of Mormon fundamentalists who insist they received a command from God to kill an innocent woman and her baby girl. Krakauer’s multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of polygamy and unyielding faith raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

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Midnight in Peking
by Paul French
In 1937 colonial Peking, China, amid the fear of invasion and rampant superstitions, the body of a British schoolgirl was discovered. Panic spread as rumors of secret societies and sex rings flew. In MIDNIGHT IN PEKING, China expert Paul French posits a solution to this unsolved mystery that’s as engrossing as those of Agatha Christie.
Midnight in Peking
Paul French

In 1937, Peking was thick with tension. A heady mix of privilege and opulence—Japanese troops had occupied nearby Manchuria and were encircling the ancient city walls, One night, the mutilated body of Pamela Werner, the daughter of a former British consul to China, is discovered, and even as the Japanese tighten their noose around the city, her murder transfixes Peking. Based on seven years of research, historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial China.

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I Am Murdered
by Bruce Chadwick

I AM MURDERED depicts the scandalous case of the suspected poisoning of Declaration of Independence signer and beloved public figure George Wythe. Who committed this dastardly crime, and what did the subsequent trial reveal about class and racial tensions, justice, and slavery in the Virginia of the nineteenth century?

I Am Murdered
Bruce Chadwick

I AM MURDERED depicts the scandalous case of the suspected poisoning of Declaration of Independence signer and beloved public figure George Wythe. Who committed this dastardly crime, and what did the subsequent trial reveal about class and racial tensions, justice, and slavery in the Virginia of the nineteenth century?

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

Close

Under the Black Flag
by David Cordingly

Pirates have long been romanticized by Hollywood and revered as folk heroes. So it’s easy to forget that these swashbucklers were dangerous criminals. In this authoritative text, David Cordingly analyzes the truths behind the myths and investigates the realities of infamous pirates like Sir Francis Drake and Captain Kidd.

Under the Black Flag
David Cordingly

Pirates have long been romanticized by Hollywood and revered as folk heroes. So it’s easy to forget that these swashbucklers were dangerous criminals. In this authoritative text, David Cordingly analyzes the truths behind the myths and investigates the realities of infamous pirates like Sir Francis Drake and Captain Kidd.

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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The Maul and the Pear Tree
by P. D. James and T. A. Critchley

From a master mystery writer comes a startling investigation into a brutal series of murders committed within two weeks in 1811 England. Explore the dark alleys of Regency-era London and attempt to determine just who bludgeoned two seemingly random families to death.

The Maul and the Pear Tree
P. D. James and T. A. Critchley

From a master mystery writer comes a startling investigation into a brutal series of murders committed within two weeks in 1811 England. Explore the dark alleys of Regency-era London and attempt to determine just who bludgeoned two seemingly random families to death.

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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The Last Witch of Langenburg
by Thomas Robisheaux

Travel to a tiny hamlet in 1600s Germany, where a local woman was accused of murder—and witchcraft. In the ensuing investigation, panic, paranoia, and superstition reigned supreme. In vivid detail, Thomas Robisheaux uses contemporary records and correspondence to craft a horrifying tale of witchery.

The Last Witch of Langenburg
Thomas Robisheaux

Travel to a tiny hamlet in 1600s Germany, where a local woman was accused of murder—and witchcraft. In the ensuing investigation, panic, paranoia, and superstition reigned supreme. In vivid detail, Thomas Robisheaux uses contemporary records and correspondence to craft a horrifying tale of witchery.

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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Starvation Heights
by Gregg Olsen

An engrossing tale of quackery and greed, STARVATION HEIGHTS is a crime tale unlike any other. In the woods of the Pacific Northwest, Linda Hazzard promoted her miracle “fasting treatment” to lose weight. Her victims did not know that her sanatorium was a front for her to isolate, rob, and eventually dispose of them.

Starvation Heights
Gregg Olsen

An engrossing tale of quackery and greed, STARVATION HEIGHTS is a crime tale unlike any other. In the woods of the Pacific Northwest, Linda Hazzard promoted her miracle “fasting treatment” to lose weight. Her victims did not know that her sanatorium was a front for her to isolate, rob, and eventually dispose of them.

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

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Go Down Together
by Jeff Guinn
Few criminals have captured the public’s romantic imagination like Bonnie and Clyde. Yet most of what we know comes from legends and Hollywood. GO DOWN TOGETHER provides an exhaustive, accurate, and thrilling exploration of the deadly couple who desired fame even more than they did money.
Go Down Together
Jeff Guinn

Bestselling author Jeff Guinn combines exhaustive research with surprising, newly discovered material to tell the real tale of two kids from a filthy Dallas slum who fell in love and then willingly traded their lives for a brief interlude of excitement and, more important, fame. Go Down Together has it all—true romance, rebellion against authority, bullets flying, cars crashing, and, in the end, a dramatic death at the hands of a celebrity lawman. This is the real story of Bonnie and Clyde and their troubled times, delivered with cinematic sweep by a masterful storyteller.

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The Murder of the Century
by Paul Collins
When severed body parts are discovered throughout Gilded Age New York City, the citizens and media moguls—including William Randolph Hearst—are electrified. With clear-eyed and engaging writing, Collins fully analyzes this stunning crime and how its effects on media are still felt today.
The Murder of the Century
Paul Collins

In 1897, a human torso was discovered in the Lower East Side. In Harlem, neatly severed limbs were found in an overgrown ditch. Clues turned up all over New York, but with no witnesses, no motives, and no suspects. This horrifying and baffling murder mystery of the Gilded Age is the perfect follow-up for fans of The Devil in the White City.

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Arc of Justice
by Kevin Boyle

Behind the jazz and speakeasies of 1920s Detroit, racial tensions boiled. When a black doctor moved into a white neighborhood, a mob arrived on his doorstep, and a shooting and panic ensued. What follows is a controversial courtroom drama that includes the famous Clarence Darrow and one man struggling to overcome racism.

Arc of Justice
Kevin Boyle

Behind the jazz and speakeasies of 1920s Detroit, racial tensions boiled. When a black doctor moved into a white neighborhood, a mob arrived on his doorstep, and a shooting and panic ensued. What follows is a controversial courtroom drama that includes the famous Clarence Darrow and one man struggling to overcome racism.

MENTIONED IN:

12 of the Most Fascinating True Crimes You’ve Never Heard Of

By Kerry Fiallo | November 10, 2016

Close

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