10 True Crime Stories That'll Make You Feel Like A Modern-Day Sherlock Holmes

10 True Crime Stories That'll Make You Feel Like A Modern-Day Sherlock Holmes

Books, podcasts, and shows to make you say "the game is afoot!"


By basic human nature, we are interested in what is a bit eerie, a bit mysterious, and what has just a bit of danger. We also love to hear stories. With that in mind, I consulted Amazon and my true-crime loving friend Abby, and I've compiled a list of a good collection of sources and examples of the best true crime podcasts, shows, and books. I've included links to everything that isn't a Netflix show.

Also keep in mind that I've tried to bring in as many recent examples as possible, though I may have to put in one or two of my personal favorites from a few years back.

Here we go....

1. The Staircase- Netflix

If you have a Netflix subscription, odds are you have heard of this show by now. But, in case you haven't, here's a quick, mini-synopsis that won't give much away. Michael Peterson, an author and father of four, is accused of killing his wife after he calls 911 saying she fell down the stairs. The show mostly centers around him and his family as well as his legal team, and if you're not one for a very scripted looking documentary, this may not be for you.

That being said, I am obsessed. There were 8 episodes, and now there are 13 (and I think that's the end of it, but I'm only on episode 11). I don't know if he did it. I don't know anything anymore.

2. I'll Be Here in the Dark


This book can be found on Amazon.

Admittedly, I have not read this yet, but if Abby's gushing at work has told me anything, it's that this book is MONUMENTAL in the crime world. Michelle Macnamara spent practically her entire career searching for the Golden State Killer (who, we know by the news, has only recently been apprehended). This book details the search up until her death and has since been updated with details from the rest of the case.

The Golden State Killer was elusive during the 1970s and 80s, and this investigation, for a long while, was one of the longest, most expensive investigations this country has ever seen (or so I hear), and hearing the story of how journalism met police work will be incredibly interesting.

3. My Friend Dahmer


The first attention this movie got from me was not because it was about Jeffrey Dahmer, but more so because Ross Lynch, formerly of Disney Channel, was going to be playing a serial killer. I would normally be a little bit alarmed about that, but this seemed like a mature role for him.

The movie tells the teenage years of Dahmer and his slow spiral into what would later make him a serial killer. Without giving too much away, those of you who know the signs of psychopathic tendencies, as well as those of you who just know what is right and wrong will have your spine tingling most of the movie. It's CREEPY, and not just because it puts a lot into perspective.

The movie recently came out, so attaining it might not be the easiest feat, though if you're really eager for the story, the 2012 graphic novel of the same name is available on Amazon and was written by Dahmer's high school friend.

4. The Devil in the White City


This novel has a little bit of everything- history, mystery, and of course, murder. For the most part, this book centers around the later murders of H.H. Holmes, who the world has regarded as the original serial killer. Case reports have written that Holmes did a lot of his work during the World's Fair, where many flocked to see the new inventions of the 20th century.

Along with a supporting cast of inventors and historical figures like Einstein, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and Susan B. Anthony, this novel pulls together the tale of the fair that changed America and the murderer who ran rampant.

(PS. This novel is available from Amazon, but I'll be stealing it from Abby's desk when she is done with it.)

5. Serial Killers


I did not think I was much of a podcast person, but this one has pretty much changed my perspective. Partially because it feels more real than someone just telling a story, and partially because its scripted format makes me feel like I'm in a murder mystery for my ears only, Serial Killers tells the stories of many (and I think they're up to 35 or so killers with 2 episodes per killer) of the sickest minds with the most strange stories. From H.H Holmes to Aileen Wuornos to many killers I hadn't heard of (like the Werewolf of Wysteria and the Giggling Granny), hosts Greg and Vanessa take a psychological approach to talk about what happened in killings going back as far as the 18th century and as far forward (at least where I've gotten to) as 2009.

I will admit that the advertisements in the middle of the podcast are a bit annoying, but you are able to skip forward 15 seconds on Spotify, where I listen to the podcast, and it is mainly available through their website, Parcast, though it is available through most podcast directories.

6. The Confession Tapes

For anyone wondering how people can admit to things they did not do, this show is for you. The Netflix show goes into detail about 7 cases (and there are more seasons coming) of people confessing to crimes they did not commit. It's terrifying to watch sometimes because some of the cases have no evidence that the suspect has committed the crime except their confession, yet they are imprisoned. TERRIFYING. I had to watch all of it in two sittings, so maybe it wasn't a complete Netflix binge, but even so, this show is insane.

7. Hunt a Killer


Okay, so this is the only thing on the list that isn't something you can just get immediately. This is kind of like if a serial killer was delivering a box on your doorstep every month. That is, it has clues and case files on a fictional case that you get to solve. There are even forums and chats and exclusive, secret videos made for the people who are working on the case- everyone gets the same clues every month, so you're able to communicate with people around the world about it.

It is a paid service, as most "delivered to your door every month" services are, and it is exclusive. They only let about 300 new people subscribe per month.

The website is here, in case you want more info.

8. My Favorite Murder


This podcast is not for the light of heart....or the light to laugh. The hosts couple talking about important murder cases (not just serial killers) with the enthusiasm of two high school girls gossiping at a sleepover. it's funny sometimes, serious others, and their advertisements are short and at the beginning, so you don't miss a second of the action. I've found that when things start getting more intense, they bring their cat over and start talking about her.

If you want a complete story told smoothly, probably not the podcast for you, but even so, this is a good one to at least listen to the first episode to get a feel for it.

I listen to My Favorite Murder on Spotify, but it is available on most other podcast directories and here for a more direct link.

9. The Stranger Beside Me


This is another intriguing way of looking at the Ted Bundy case, besides the traditional biographies and case reports, and yes, the episodes of Serial Killers devoted to him. This story is told by Ann Rule, a friend of Bundy's who worked with him on a suicide hotline. It is interesting to read an account of Bundy from someone who really was not involved in the case, and who knew Ted outside of his murder spree. Many people would recall that Bundy was attractive, intelligent, and kind. The judge ruling over his case even said that it was a "waste" that he had turned his talents to murder instead of being a lawyer or a doctor. He had the world at his feet, and Ann Rule knew it.

I've only started reading this book, but even within the first 20 pages, it is riveting, and it can be found on Amazon.

10. Mindhunter

Another interesting perspective comes from this Netflix show, which goes inside the heads of FBI investigators as they interview serial killers to start building a profile of what makes a killer. It's creepy, but even more than that, it really does start to look like the investigators are going to use their information to catch someone we only see snippets of at the beginning of each episode. I won't say who it is, but for those who know a bit about criminal history, this is HUGE.

I mainly started watching because one of my favorite actors, Jonathon Groff, is in it, but once I started watching, I watched all ten episodes in one sitting.

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My Predictions Of The Top Five Acts Of 'America's Got Talent'

Only one act can win which one will it be?

"America's Got Talent," is one the greatest shows ever created. People come from all over the world proving they are the act to win one million dollars, some of the acts are inspiring while others are well..unique. Every act believes they deserve the million dollars, their problem is they need to convince you they are.

All of the acts do have one thing in common though, if you believe in yourself and give it all you got you will go far (in your self confidence and realizing you are talented even if the judges do not agree. you do not have to win the show to prove your talented, you have to leave impression to be remembered those are who the real winners are.

In fact, the acts you remember start to influence your opinion on them, eventually you start to become one of judges, watching their every moment to witness their mistakes or greatness.

Since only one act can win I have started to narrow down to my top five acts I feel will win. Imagine one morning you were just an ordinary person, then decide to audition, end up on the show, make it to the live show, and win. Your life will never be the same.

America does have talent in performing, what I want to know is do we have talent in judging accurately.

Top five acts:

Only 14 years old and she has a voice of a professional. Impacting back story, very poised and makes you smile. I just cannot imagine how someone so young can be so mature and have this voice that really pulls your heart strings.

A magician and an NFL player? I already think this guy is extremely talented, and I'm sure his team is rooting for him too, and did you see the way he made Simon Cowell not only smile, but laugh a long time, he was practically in awe. I think he already proved significantly he is talented.

A magnificent voice, and impressively covering a beautiful song. Once you watch his backstory you will understanding the meaning. This guy truly knows the meaning of performance. He leaves an impression on every in the audience, and has a standing ovation.

This act is bringing the fire out of everyone, perfect timing of movement, song choice, and the intensity that makes you want to scream maybe not quite like Mel B, but you cannot contain yourself. Plus how does it make your heart feel seeing how happy they were with the golden buzzer from George Lopez?

The final act is best for last. Not only are they an acapella group, they prove the true meaning of "do not judge a book by its cover" never assume someone cannot do something, based on their appearance and these guys proved stereotypes have nothing on them. Oh, by the way Simon Cowell said they are his favorite. That alone proves they are the real winners.

What did you think of these acts? Do you have a favorite act that was not listed? Let's all hope our favorite act will win. Until then America will keep us on the edge of our seats until they reveal the true talent.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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6 Reasons Sydney White Is An Inaccurate Representation Of College Life

Sydney White and the seven dorks take over college?


If you haven't noticed, "Sydney White" ('07) has been added to Netflix.

When I saw it, I watched it and was reminded of how much I loved this movie back when it came out.

Seriously, if you haven't seen it, you need to, and if you have seen it, it's a great movie to watch again and live in the nostalgia of the days before Amanda Bynes went crazy.

It wasn't until I watched it a few days later with my friends who had never seen it before (who remind me of my own group of dorks) did I realize just how wrong and stereotypical this movie is about life in college.

1. The Sorority

The biggest inaccuracy in this movie is probably the Kappa Phi Nu Sorority.

Yes, there may always be a Rachel Witchburn wherever we turn, but there aren't entire sororities made of them. Actually, from the friends I've made at the College of Charleston who are in a sorority, none of them are anything like Rachel and her clique, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

I myself may not be in a sorority, but I know you're not given a bid based on how pretty you are.

I also know that once you are given a bid, as a pledge, you are not hazed. It doesn't matter what they call it, Sydney and the other pledges were definitely hazed and that wouldn't fly.

Especially the close examination of their faces, judging the pledges and dictating what they are and are not allowed to eat. That's just straight up bullying.

Also, I don't think pledges sleep on the floor of the floor of the sorority house and give up their dorm rooms to live in the house.

2. "The Greeks" rule the school

No institution would ever allow "the Greeks" to have that much power in important campus-wide decision making.

The movie plays it up as Rachel Witchburn and Tyler Prince's (of Beta Omega Rho) families being the biggest patrons, but even then, they wouldn't have that much power.

I don't believe the Student Council can have that much power to say "knock down this to build that."

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what the school's Student Council does (sorry), but I know it's not that influential.

3. The Vortex

As George (Dopey) put it, "it's called the Vortex because it sucks losers in." It's not so much the seven dorks who live in the Vortex that bother me, it's the building itself.

Seriously, how can the university just ignore the fact that this place is a literal death trap? Unsafe living conditions, bad plumbing, probably poor AC/heat as well.

And do the Dorks pay to live there?

You have to pay housing to live in a dorm and you have to pay fees to live in a sorority/fraternity house.

So, is the Vortex just so neglected that the school doesn't care either way if people live in it or not?

4. The stereotypes

Speaking of stereotypes, some of the ones presented in this movie were just straight up offensive to some communities.

Obviously, one is the greeks and how sororities are full of blonde, fake bitches who will ruin your lives and that the fraternities just have sex all of the time.

Although Tyler debunked that when he revealed to the Dorks that the guys at Beta also spend most of their time playing video games.

But, when Sydney and the Dorks start appealing to the other school clubs and organizations for the Freedom to the 7th Power campaign, we see a lot of these groups depicted as their stereotypes, in what is supposed to be shown as a montage of diversity, but instead, is just casual prejudice.

The Jewish Student Union, to start with, only showed Hasidic Jews with the Payot, dark clothing, various headdresses and Tallits. Obviously, they really focused in on one sect of Judaism and stuck with it, not showing that the Jewish community itself is also very diverse.

The part that really bothered the hell out of my one friend is when Sydney and the Dorks attended the Open Mic night with the LGBTQ+ Alliance.

But, they seem to have associated a Trans-person with a Drag Queen, which is absolutely wrong and also very offensive. I get that this movie came out in 2007, and there was an aura of ignorance when it came to the LGBTQ+ community, but still.

Not to mention the other organizations she visited that were completely stereotypes and I'm sure, in return, offended the people who belong to those groups, but that whole montage had so much going on, I couldn't even tell.

5. The Hot-or-Not List

This would never ever happen on a college campus!

Maybe in high school, where you know at least the majority of the people that go there (small school vs. large school), but not on a campus with 10,000+ students.

The school featured in the movie, Southern Atlantic University, seems like a huge university.

Yes, Rachel WItchburn may have been super popular, but there's no way the entire school kept voting for her to be #1 for years!

Plus, who the hell would care about something like that in college vs. high school?

Well, Rachel Witchburn, I guess.

6. Everything just seemed too perfect

I wish Move-In Day was as organized, stress-free and happy as they show in the movie.

SAU must have a lot of parking spaces because they depict it as the entire school moving in at once. And everyone just looks so happy about lugging these boxes!

Sydney literally only moves in with 3 bags: a duffle bag filled with clothes, a backpack, which I hope have her toiletries in and a huge ass briefcase just for her comic books!

Where is the stuff for her room like sheets? Is that sleeping bag her own or did Kappa lend her it?

Then there's the library scene! When Tyler and his Beta Boys come in singing Accapella to Sydney to get her to go out on a date with him. This would never happen, or maybe it would, but he'd be banned from the library or something. They were so loud and these poor students were just trying to do their work and study.

Nobody ever even comes up to him and tells him to shut up — the Greeks can't have so much power they're immune!

While this movie may be completely inaccurate and horribly offensive, it teaches that you should not judge a book by its cover and you should band together to stand up to your oppressors. It teaches that we can find friendship in the strangest of circumstances.

If this movie was made today, half the stuff in it would not fly, but we can watch it for nostalgic purposes and enjoy it for what it is.

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