The Romans sat in the Colosseum and watched the slaughter of slaves for fun. Human nature has forever had a fascination with the macabre, especially when it comes to death and criminal acts. Today, we watch television shows based on true events that reenact murders, kidnappings, and the like. It’s thrilling to see something so gruesome and horrendous happen to others, all the while knowing, “It could be/have been me.”
Many of these are informative for those who might find themselves in the same situation. How to survive, how to break free, and how to incapacitate a captor or would-be assailant. Many depict crimes that are just too sensational and staggeringly taboo not to enlighten the masses. Non-fiction and fiction true crime books are no different. Especially those based on the true events of infamous crimes. Let’s take a look at three True Crime books, both non-fiction and fictionalized, that might cause the reader to think twice about their neighbor.
The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue
by John Glatt
John Glatt brings us the shocking true story of the thirteen Turpin siblings who were raised in a false picture-perfect family of abuse and deceit. Ranging in age from two to twenty-nine, the sons and daughters of Louise and David Turpin spent their lives in constant fear, abuse, and neglect. Despite what the couple posted on social media, the reality was far less Brady Bunch than what it appeared. Everything came to light the day their 17-year-old daughter escaped and borrowed a neighbor’s phone to call the authorities.
There’s nothing more terrifying than thinking you know something only for the truth of their depravities and evil to come to light. That’s the reality for the neighbors, family, and friends of the Turpins. Read this story to understand what those innocent children went through — some of them for almost three decades. Maybe after, you might be more aware, believing social media with a grain of salt and taking note of the subtle hints given by those around you about their hidden natures.
Coffee Shop Read
by Ryan Green
One man’s plea for help and warning should he go missing becomes a tragic reality for the coworker tasked with checking in on him. John Price was murdered the day after warning his coworker of the dangers he feared from his abusive ex-girlfriend. The scene police walked into was like nothing they had ever witnessed. This true crime reveals the evil nature of Australia’s infamous murderer and cannibal, Katherine Knight.
Read this novel as a warning to listen to those around and close to you who reach out for help. It could be the very event that saves them from the depravities of others. Katherine Knight’s victim was just that of her ex-boyfriend but also his children and her intent to force them to eat their father. You might not want to eat your own meal for a while, but the “Help thy neighbor” mentality might just stick with you the next time something seems off.
by Stephanie Kane
Fifty years after the tragedy that ruined the lives of many, Stephanie Kane recounts the events that led to the murder of Betty Frye and the subsequent publication of her fiction novel Quiet Time. In True Crime Redux, Kane describes how her original novel helped to unearth the cold case murder of her ex-mother-in-law decades after the incident.
The sad truth is that there are thousands of unsolved cases sitting in cardboard boxes in the basement of many investigative agency’s buildings. Those boxes represent murders, kidnappings, and missing person cases that may never be solved. Betty Frye is no longer one of those forgotten boxes, all thanks to the publication of Kane’s original fictitious retelling of the events that led to Betty’s murder. A way for her to cope and analyze what happened. I highly recommend reading the fiction and then True Crime Redux to get a well-rounded appreciation for the miracle that was the solving of this case.
Whether you’re enamored by the idea of murderers and serial killers or just curious as to the psychology of the criminally minded, True Crime novels will surely keep your attention captivated.
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