Let’s face it…smart people are naturally drawn to the intrigue of true crime, right? There’s strategy, psychology, and it’s just plain challenging. By the end, we’re privy to a secret that took law enforcement weeks, months, or years to uncover. Here are five of my favorite true crime books, starting with, (and there is no shame on my part here!) my own “Gitchie Girl” that hit #1 bestseller within 2 days on Amazon’s Fresh New Releases for True Crime/Murder and Mayhem.
Gitchie Girl– by Phil Hamman and Sandy Hamman (164 pages)
The lone survivor of this 1973 massacre broke a 40-year silence to bring you this long awaited inside story! “Who are you? What do you want?” one of the teenagers yelled into the darkness. The sound of snapping twigs closed in on the five teenagers enjoying an evening around a glowing campfire at Gitchie Manitou State Park. The night of music and laughter had taken a dark turn. Evil loomed just beyond the tree line, and before the night was over, one of the Midwest’s most horrific mass murders had left its bloodstains spewed across the campsite. One managed to survive and would come to be known as the “Gitchie Girl.” Harrowing memories of the terrifying crime sent her spiraling out of control, and she grasped at every avenue to rebuild her life. Can one man, a rescue dog, and a glimmer of faith salvage a broken soul? This true story will touch your heart and leave you cheering that good can prevail over the depravity of mankind.
Phil Hamman is the author of two fast-paced, inspirational memoirs as well as the author of this blog “5 True Crime Books you can Read in an Afternoon.”
The Alcohol Murders: The True Story of Serial Killer Gilbert Paul Jordan (Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation) (Volume 10)- by Harriet Fox (142 pages)
View the collection at: CrimesCanada.com Preying on middle-aged Native women in Vancouver’s Skid Row district, Gilbert Paul Jordan’s insatiable taste for drunken sex led to at least ten cold blooded killings.
Unlike any others in the known history of serial homicide, Jordan used alcohol to murder his victims. All of these young women were found dead with blood-levels many times over the safe range. The driving force behind Jordan’s evil was his egocentric desires that led him on a fifty year criminal record path causing havoc along the way. Delving into Jordan’s crimes, alcoholism and mental illnesses, his life tells a story all his own, and it is no wonder why, Gilbert Paul Jordan became one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers.
This is volume 10 in the monthly issue of Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation.
The Crime Museum Uncovered – by Jackie Keily and Julia Hoffbrand, Curator of Social History at the Museum of London. (144 pages)
The book summary says it all! This October―for the first time ever―never-before-seen-objects from the London Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum will go on public display in a major new exhibition opening at the Museum of London. Since its establishment by serving officers in 1875, the Crime Museum has previously only been open to police professionals and invited guests. Using original evidence from this extraordinary collection, The Crime Museum Uncovered will unlock real-life case files to take the reader on an uneasy journey through some of the UK’s most notorious crimes from Dr Crippen to the Krays, the Great Train Robbery to the Millennium Dome diamond heist.
“You won’t look at everyday objects in the same way again after thumbing through this superb collection of crime memorabilia… provides a riveting overview not only of the variety of cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police, but also of how crime has evolved over the last 40 years’”- The Daily Mail
Milwaukee Mayhem: Murder and Mystery in the Cream City’s First Century – by Matthew Prigge (225 pages)
These were not simpler times! From murder and matchstick men to all-consuming fires, painted women, and Great Lakes disasters–and the wide-eyed public who could not help but gawk at it all–“Milwaukee Mayhem” uncovers the little-remembered and rarely told history of the underbelly of a Midwestern metropolis. “Milwaukee Mayhem” offers a new perspective on Milwaukee’s early years, forgoing the major historical signposts found in traditional histories and focusing instead on the strange and brutal tales of mystery, vice, murder, and disaster that were born of the city’s transformation from lakeside settlement to American metropolis. Author Matthew J. Prigge presents these stories as they were recounted to the public in the newspapers of the era, using the vivid and often grim language of the times to create an engaging and occasionally chilling narrative of a forgotten Milwaukee.
Admirably Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio– by Jane Ann Turzillo (128 pages)
Turzillo was a national winner in the nonfiction book category of the 2015 National Federation of Press Women for her book Ohio Train Disasters.
Cold case files litter the desks of authorities all across Northeast Ohio. Louise Wolf and Mabel Foote, Parma teachers, were on their way to school one winter morning when a maniac sprang from the bushes and bludgeoned them to death. When young Melvin Horst went missing on his way home from playing with friends in 1928, many thought he was kidnapped or accidentally killed by a bootlegger’s car. Charles Collins’s death looked like suicide but was proved otherwise by two preeminent surgeons and has remained a mystery for more than one hundred years. Author Jane Ann Turzillo recounts eight unsolved murders and two chilling disappearances in Northeast Ohio’s history.
Turzillo is the author of several books and and is a former owner of the weekly West Side Leader newspaper.