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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Dear Freeform, Stop Canceling ALL Of Your Good Shows, PLEASE

Freeform/ABC Family has canceled so many shows that were more accurate and true to life than any other channel, or at least it feels that way.

Ah, good ol' Freeform or ABC Family as most millennials know it as. The change was supposedly made to reflect its edgier content, but quite frankly, I don't care about if the name represents the channel. What I care about are ALL OF THE CANCELLED SHOWS!

Freeform/ABC Family has canceled so many shows that were more accurate and true to life than any other channel, or at least it feels that way. Here are just a few shows that were canceled way before they should have been.

1. "Recovery Road"

"Recovery Road" was actually my favorite tv show from ABC Family/Freeform ever. It followed Maddie Graham, a teenager who is sent to a sober living facility to combat her alcohol addiction. She had to learn how to navigate sober living while also trying to be a normal teenager at school. She even falls in love with another one of her housemates, Wes, during the show's one season run.

The series showed the ins and outs of those struggling to stay sober and it felt like a relatable show for those who may have been in the same situation as the characters or have watched those close to them fight these same battles. It also featured Daniel Franzese — AKA the guy who played Damian in "Mean Girls" and Kyla Pratt who voiced Penny Proud in "The Proud Family." For those who have seen this show, you know what I'm talking about when I say the last episode of the season had the biggest cliffhanger ever. Thanks, Freeform, guess I'll never know what happens.

2. "Huge"

For once, there was a show that didn't center around stick-thin model like actors and actresses. This show narrated the lives of six teens who were at a weight loss camp for the summer. Considering more than one-third of adults struggle with obesity in America, this show showed what it was like to wake up and, at times, hate yourself because of your weight as well as the struggles people go through when they see themselves that way.

The show saw a lot of success in its one season, and one of the lead actresses, Nikki Blonksy, was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for her role in the show. In an interview, Blonksky even admits that she was blindsided by the choice to cancel the show and said, "We were the first plus-size cast, I think, ever, in Hollywood history. I just think it’s kind of sad that TV stations are a little scared of having such a different show with such different people."

3. "Jane By Design"

Admittedly, this show wasn't quite as serious as the above two shows, but it was a great show, nonetheless! This show followed Jane, who is mistaken for a 20-something-year-old young professional who is working in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, this only lasted one season. Instead of renewing a fun show about a young girl finding herself, they renewed "The Secret Life Of The American Teenager," which, yes, I did in fact watch, but, nonetheless, it was basically a teen soap opera that ran for like four too many seasons.

4. "Chasing Life"

This show, like number one and number two, was more serious — following the life of aspiring journalist, April Carver. In the first episode, it is revealed that April is diagnosed with cancer and it follows her as she struggles to tell her loved ones about her diagnosis, goes through treatment and attempts to live a normal life as long as possible. While this show at least lasted two seasons before being canceled, it was still canceled way too soon. There aren't many shows that feature a main character who is on the edge of life or death in such a realistic way. There's even a major plot twist with one of April's love interests that leaves a huge hole in the viewers' hearts.

5. "10 Things I Hate About You"

This show was based on the movie of the same name. Following the lives of Kate and Biana, aka the epitome of polar opposite sisters, was a lot of fun. Plus, Lindsey Shaw played one of the sisters. She is well-known for playing Moze in "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide!" The show, like many other greats, was canceled after one season and with that cancelation, holds a whole slew of cliffhangers.

6. "Bunheads"

While I was almost turned off from this show because of its title, I'm glad I gave it a shot! This follows Michelle as she starts working at a dance school. Michelle meets a few of the school's dancers who all have their individual struggles and they all benefit from her knowledge and look to her for advice. It was a great coming of age type story with a strong mentor-based role! This show was also canceled after one season. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is infamous for the show "Gilmore Girls" as well as featured Kelly Bishop from "Gilmore Girls."

Thanks, Freeform/ABC Family — I guess I'll sit around continuing to wonder what happened to my favorite characters.

Cover Image Credit: Freeform / YouTube

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Looking Back, Each Of 'Sex And The City's' Leading Ladies Taught Us Something Different

Charlotte holds her ground when peer-pressured to step outside of her comfort zone. She shows that it's okay to be modest and less adventurous compared to your friends.


If you've never watched "Sex And The City," you might be quick to judge it as just another superficial chick flick series centered around boy-crazy women, excessive shopping, and unnecessary drama. While these characteristics are present in some aspects of the show, they don't establish the central theme of the story. The series is about four New York women discovering professional success, love, and most importantly, themselves. Thus, here are the lessons that each of the characters has to offer.

1. Charlotte

Often portrayed as the high-maintenance princess of the friend group, Charlotte differs from the other girls as the least promiscuous character on the show. Despite her more conservative views on both physical and emotional relationships, Charlotte holds her ground when peer-pressured to step outside of her comfort zone. She shows that it's okay to be modest and less adventurous compared to your friends and that you shouldn't let the opinions of others affect your own moral beliefs. And by being extremely picky when it comes to men, she reminds me that if I'm not willing to hold myself to a high standard, no one else will, either.

2. Miranda

A Harvard graduate and reputable lawyer, Miranda embodies the essence of a working woman. Throughout the series, Miranda discovers the importance of balancing work with personal relationships, demonstrating that prioritizing your job differs from letting it take over all other aspects of your life. Her reluctance to accept true love because of her professional goals reveals that no amount of success will be meaningful if you don't have the people you care about to share it with. Moreover, Miranda reminds me that it's okay to enjoy yourself once in a while and that your professional life shouldn't be the only thing that brings meaning to your personhood.

3. Samantha

Samantha is without a doubt the fiercest character on the show. Taking confident charge of both her personal and professional lives, she proves that women are capable of being just as, if not more, powerful than men. She constantly challenges social taboos by speaking overtly about sex and sexist stereotypes, displaying an admirably unapologetic personality. Overall, Samantha taught me that it's okay to be a little selfish and that the most important relationship in your life shouldn't be the one with any man or woman, but the one with yourself.

4. Carrie

Perhaps the most relatable character on the show, Carrie journeys to find direction in life and confidence in herself. Caught in a seemingly endless cycle of falling in love and getting her heart broken, she struggles to define what it means to have the perfect relationship. Some of the decisions she makes on her way to discovering true love are questionable. However, she shows that although the mistakes you make in life can cause you to feel lost and incompetent, they ultimately strengthen your ability to pick yourself back up and move on to better days.

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