Whether it’s binging the latest season of “American Crime Story” or catching up on an episode of “My Favorite Murder,” most of us can’t get enough of true crime. And if you’re anything like the team at Oxygen, your nightstand is probably littered with dog-eared copies of true crime classics like “In Cold Blood” and “The Devil In The White City.” Thankfully for the true crime-obsessed, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a shortage of gripping new releases this season. From slow-burning human interest stories that beg for self-reflection to haunting retellings of high-profile investigations, these are some of the most anticipated true crime books of spring 2018:
1. The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (April 10)
[Photo: St. Martins Press]
Criminal law researcher and lecturer Sarah Krasnostein first met professional trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst at a conference for forensic support services, where she picked up a brochure for Pankhurst’s business. Wanting to learn more, Krasnostein called Pankhurst. The relationship that unfolded over the next few years culminated in “The Trauma Cleaner,” a compelling and fascinating account of Pankhurst’s life story.
2. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (April 24)
[Photo: Viking Press]
In 2009, Edwin Rist stole almost 300 rare bird skins from the British Museum of Natural History. Two years later, novelist Kirk Wallace Johnson heard about the bizarre heist. Enthralled by the case, Johnson embarked on an international investigation that lasted for years. The result is a fascinating narrative that expertly blends obscure history and captivating true crime.
3. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth (June 5)
[Photo: Flatiron Books]
“Black Klansman” is the extraordinary true story of Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan with the help of his white partner, Chuck. During the months-long undercover operation, Stallworth sabotaged cross burnings, revealed white supremacists in the military and later gained the trust of the KKK Grand Wizard himself, David Duke. It hasn't been published yet, but it's already on its way to becoming a movie directed by Spike Lee and producer Jordan Peele. Stallworth’s narrative — both lived and written — is an unbelievable achievement.
4. The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Mortality, and Murder by Nikki Meredith (March 27)
[Photo: Citadel Press]
In the summer of 1969, two “bright, promising” girls carried out some of history’s most horrific murders on the orders of cult leader Charles Manson. During their incarceration, journalist and psychotherapist Nikki Meredith began visiting Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel to find out what compelled these seemingly normal women to commit such unspeakable crimes. Through her relationship with Van Houten and Krenwinkel, Meredith weaves together a chilling memoir of the Manson Family murders.
5. The Trigger: Narratives of the American Shooter by Daniel J. Patinkin (June 5)
[Photo: Arcade Publishing]
A moving exploration of gun violence, “The Trigger” presents six disturbing profiles of gunmen from small-scale shootings in the United States. From California to South Carolina, author and educator Daniel J. Patinkin interviewed each shooter to understand what made them use a firearm against another person. With a distressing and challenging set of narratives, Patinkin gives a rare account of the perpetrator's perspective.
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