In 2018, we as a species are no strangers to crime. We usually just chalk it up to “shit happens every day” and we move on. But every so often there comes a case that shocks an entire country. Human beings are capable of unspeakable acts, and you may never know who the next person to kill over twenty people might be.
But although these tragedies are to be taken seriously, there are many authors who are inspired by some of the most grisly crimes in our history. With their stories, they not only pay their respects to the victims but also attempt to depict a similar scenario with differing points of view or otherwise uncommon takes on each case. Here are five books that were inspired by gruesome crimes.
1. The Girls by Emma Cline
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Evie Boyd never really felt like she belonged. Somewhat of a drifter and loner, she just never really felt like a good fit. However, when a group of girls takes her in, things begin to take an odd turn. Evie unknowingly begins to hang out with the group and their male leader; starting to remind you of something?
Yep, she accidentally joins a cult. Emma Cline takes a fresh story about murders and a malicious, malevolent cult and gives it her own unique twists in The Girls. Cline’s book was heavily inspired by the Manson murders and her cult-leader character takes many traits known by the infamous and most certainly depraved and evil Charles Manson.
2. Room by Emma Donaghue
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Room introduces a new approach in its narration. The book is told from the point of view of a captive six-year-old, Jack, as he chronicles the day to day life with his mother in a closed off room. Jack is the product of a man referred to mostly only as “Old Nick” (which is actually an old nickname for the devil) and his mom; Old Nick abducted, raped, and imprisoned Jack’s mother. Room is truly a heartwarming story, which has even gotten its own amazing adaptation; two things you definitely need to check out.
Room is inspired by the Fritzl case, in which a father did the same and worse to his own daughter. Sadly, in the real world case the victim was imprisoned for more than twenty-four-years, sexually abused since she was eleven, and gave birth to many children via rape and incest. The Fritzl case is both parts crazy as it is a total tragedy.
3. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
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Emma Flints’s Little Deaths revolves around a heinous case of possible filicide. Ruth Malone is pulled into an investigation as a primary suspect after her two children’s bodies are discovered. The corpses show the tell-tale signs of grotesque brutality, and Ruth is accused on the basis of her known promiscuity; the people claiming that she simply wanted to get rid of her two responsibilities. What follows is a plot with twists and turns and an ending that will surely shock you!
Emma Flint’s book draws heavily from different scattered crimes of filicide. But one of her more prominent inspiring cases comes from the case of Alice Crimmins. Crimmins had called police on July 14th 1965, stating that her two children were missing. On the very same day, they found her daughter’s body; and five days later so was her son’s. The Crimmins case has often been related to the somewhat-recent Casey Anthony case.
4. Blue Light Yokohama by Nicholas Obregon
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Obregon’s books is an incredible, detective-noir ride. Blue Light Yokohama revolves around a family’s brutal murder at the hands of an unknown assailant. Tasked with uncovering the identity of the killer, detectives Iwata and Sakai follow up on as many leads as they can to catch the ‘Black Sun Killer’; given his moniker because of his drawings found at the crime scenes.
The Miyazawa Family murders was a truly peculiar case. The entire family was discovered dead by the elderly grandmother upon arriving at the house. The killer or killers stayed at the house after the slaughter; they went on the family computer, used the bathrooms, and even ate the deceased’s ice cream. Even a taxi driver claimed he gave three men a ride around the time of the murders and said they left blood in his car. Somehow, even to today the killer or killers remain elusive. This is one of the most baffling cold cases ever!
5. The Search by Howard Linskey
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As a child goes missing in 1976, the surrounding police seem to try everything in order to find her. However, they turn out unsuccessful in their search. Instead, a convicted child serial killer is suspected of having committed the act. After many loose ends, possible leads, and various eye-witness accounts, the case goes cold only to be reopened in 1996.
Linskey’s The Search draws loos inspiration from the infamous Moors murders. In this real-world case, Ian Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley killed and sexualized a total of five victims; all in brutal and humiliating ways. For each murder, both of their stories seem to differ: Myra maintained her innocence and would often describe her side of the events as waiting in the car while Brady did the dirty work. Whether or not that is true, it can be safely said that these two poor excuses for human beings became monsters and devils with their heinous acts.
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