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12 of the Absolute Best True Crime Books

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I'm taking time off from researching and writing for a bit but wanted to share some of my favorite true crime books, podcasts, tv shows and documentaries. I'm compiling a list of new unsolved cases to cover and will back to our normal posts soon. There is a true crime renaissance going on right now. Podcasts and investigators turn to crowdsourcing to find new leads in cold cases. Webslueths and Reddit have created an army of Keyboard Detectives. While there are tons of web pages with endless information, here are the absolute best true crime books out there. In the genre, there are authors that are very well known for true crime, like Ann Rule, and others who are lesser-known. Sometimes that one-off book by an investigative journalist is better than a book by a seasoned author. I hope you find a new case to look in to with the list below! The Books 1. Little Lost Angel by Michael Quinlan  is the book that started it all for me. This case happened 30 minutes from my childhood

The Murders of Lyric Morrisey and Elizabeth Collins

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July 3, 2012 was a day that forever changed the lives of the Morrisey and Collins families. This was the day that 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10 year-old cousin, Lyric Morrisey disappeared. Lyric Morrisey was a very active young lady. She was being raised in Evansdale, Iowa most of the time by her grandmother, Wylma, and her aunts. While Lyric had as much of a normal childhood as she could, it was entangled with her parents being in and out of the picture due to their drug addictions. Despite these challenges, Lyric was still a kid doing her best. She loved the band, One Direction, and the outdoors.  Elizabeth Collins was the younger of the two girls. She was said to be shy with a few exceptions. She was rambunctious when playing hockey, softball and around her friends. That is when this shy girl talked... a lot. Elizabeth also had great love for animals.  July 3, 2012 Around noon that summer day, the girls got on their bikes and told their grandma Wylma goodbye. The girls wer

The Disappearance of Judith Hyams/Judy Carole Himes

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On September 14, 1965, 22 year old Judith Carole Himes was last seen in Coral Gables, Florida. At this time, being pregnant and not being married was a huge no-no. And this is the situation that she found herself in. Even as a divorcee, this would have been so frowned upon in the 1960s especially since she came from a wealthy family. It would have been brought shame and scandal to all of them.  Judy was a medical technician who lived with her parents. The morning of September 14th was the same as most mornings. She left for work after breakfast but instead of going to work, she withdrew $300 from her bank account, rented a car and headed to a location that only a few new about. She did call a friend and say that she was leaving work early. During this time before Roe v Wade, abortions were illegal yet she made an appointment in an illegal clinic for one. She was heading to this clinic that was ran by a Hungarian immigrant, George Hadju. Three weeks later, her rental car was found in At

The Murder of Fiona Yu

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In 1997, Arizona University student, Fiona Yu, was sexually assaulted and murdered. Over 20 years later and such little information is out there about this unsolved case.  Fiona was a 21 year old student who was studying accounting and was in her senior year. She was renting an apartment in Tempe, Arizona with her roommate. Around 4:30 pm on August 7, 1997, a neighbor saw Fiona riding on her bicycle around the neighborhood. That was the last time she was seen alive.  Approximately 90 minutes later, her roommate returned home to discover Fiona on the second floor clinging to life. She had been strangled and later died from her injuries. Police were able to collect DNA from the scene.  20 years later and that DNA was able to rule out a few suspects but ultimately no solid leads have ever developed. That is when police, who had never given up on the case, turned to a newly developed DNA technology. Parabon NanoLabs was able to use the DNA evidence with Snapshot DNA Phenotyping. This provi

The Disappearance of Pearl Pinson

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May 26, 2016 was a normal morning for 15 year old, Pearl Pinson, as she left home in Vallejo, California around 7am to walk to school . However, that would be the last time her family would see her. Not far from her home, witnesses saw a Hispanic male with a gun dragging a bloody Pearl across the overpass on Interstate 780 near Taylor Avenue. Witnesses called 911 and reported hearing a gunshot as she was dragged to the 1997 gold Saturn. A witness was able to identify her abductor as 19 year old Fernando Castro. However, by the time police arrived, all that was left on the overpass was a spot of blood and Pearl's cell phone.  Pearl Pinson was a happy girl with dreams of becoming a veterinarian or firefighter. She is described as fiesty, having a big heart, and smart. Unfortunately, as far as we know these are still only dreams. Who is Fernando Castro? Initially, it was thought that Fernando and Pearl had known one another and possibly dated. However this had been disproved by police

The Murder of Nanette Krentel

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July 14, 2017 seemed to be just another day. Nanette Krentel and her husband, Steve, woke up and went throughout their usual morning routine. Steve Krentel was the fire chief a the St. Tammany Fire Protection District Number 12. However, this day would not end as it normally did for the couple living in Lacombe, Louisiana.  Nanette Krentel was a retired teacher. The 49 year old left home that morning to run a few errands with her beloved dog. She was seen on camera at a McDonald's in Slidell. Both her cell phone and credit card records back up this sighting at the fast food chain. She was then seen again driving by a home near her own on security camera just after 9 am. She called in a prescription refill later that morning and then a placed a call from her cell phone around 1:30pm. A call to 911 was placed around 2:30 pm. The first 2 units on scene were from the St. Tammany Parish Sherriff's Office. Their camera footage shows that Steve's unit was the first from the fire d

The Disappearance of Athena Curry

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On May 27, 2011, 20 year old Athena Curry walked out of her boyfriend's home in Atlanta, Georgia after an argument and has never been seen again. Where is Athena? Athena Curry was a young mother of a baby boy, King. She grew up the youngest of 5 kids in Oregon. Athena had dreams of becoming a pediatrician. In order to persue in state tuition in Georgia, she moved in with her sister, Aisha, in Duluth.  She had had a tumultuous relationship with her son's father, Yusif Mujahid including his arrest after hitting her. This is why her family was shocked when she announced that she was going to be moving in with him so they could raise their son together. She took public transportation from where she lived with her sister in Duluth to Atlanta that Friday. Neither Athena or Yusif had a car. Aisha, Athena's sister, spoke with her just after midnight the day she disappeared. This was the last time she spoke with her sister. When Athena and King did not return home on Monday, Aisha c

The Murder of Rosenda Strong

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Rosenda Strong was last seen leaving her sister's home to go to a local casino with a friend. Who killed this mother of four? Rosenda Strong was a young mother of four children who unfortunately has become another Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman . The statistics are heartbreaking which is why we need to focus on all cases across the board.  She was preparing for a night out with friend at the Yakama Nation Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington on October 2, 2018. Rosenda is a member of the Confederate Tribes of Unatilla and is descended from the Yakama Nation. Both federal and tribal authorities were involved in the search for Rosenda after she disappeared that fall night.  It was not until July 4, 2019 that the body of Rosenda Strong was discovered in a freezer by two homeless people off of Highway 97. Police have release little information other than she was identified using dental records.  She is one of 23 Native women/girls who have disappeared, been murdered or died m

The Murder of Chelsea Johnson

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April 15, 2012 was the last time Chelsea Johnson was seen alive in Fairfield, Ohio. Who killed this 15 year old girl? 24 hours after she last saw her daughter, Vicky Fible, reported her daughter missing. She last saw Chelsea leaving their home to go to a local store. She had not seen or heard from her daughter since 11:30 am that morning. Although she was concerned that her daughter had not returned home, she believed that she had to wait 24 hours to report her missing. Which is a false assumption that many people have. Her parents had no idea what had happened to their happy, bubbly daughter.  The day after she went missing a neighbor stated that she had said something about going to the creek to fish. This neighbor was the last person to see Chelsea alive. Once her step father heard this information, he headed to a local creek to search for her. That is the area where her step father and a family friend discovered her body. Chelsea Johnson had been stabbed to death. In the days leadi

The Murder of Adam Campbell

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Adam Campbell had recently moved back to his hometown of Escanaba, Michigan before he was found in a burning car. Who killed Adam? Adam Campbell was a 26 year old father of one boy. He had fought through addiction like so many others but was getting back on his feet. Many describe him as a caring person who was always willing to help others. He also enjoyed spending time with friends, going out and enjoying life.  On the night of April 8, 2011, Adam met up with some friends to hang out in a local bar. While there, he got a call from an unknown number. On the other end, a woman was asking him to meet her at another bar, Barron's Bar. Despite not knowing her, Adam and his friends headed that way. However, this mystery woman never showed up. Finally, around 2am, he decided it was time to go home. Adam didn't drive. He didn't even have a drivers license. So, he took off on foor and was seen on the bar's security camera walking away from the bar. This is the last time he wou

The Disappearance of Scott and Amy Fandel

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Siblings Scott and Amy Fandel disappeared from their cabin near Sterling, Alaska on September 4, 1978. The two children have never been seen since.  The Night They Disappeared The night that 13 year old Scott and 8 year old Amy Fandel went missing, they had been with their aunt and mother at Good Time Charlie's, a bar/restaurant. The kids were taken back to their home by Margaret (mom) and Cathy (aunt). Then, their mom and aunt returned to the bar.  Scott and Amy decided to head to their neighbors house to play with the kids there. After a while the kids returned home. Around 11:45 pm, a passing car saw the lights on at the 2 bedroom cabin.  When Margaret and Cathy returned home between 2-3 am, the lights were off but a pot of water was boiling on the stove. Scott was known to make a snack out of tomatoes and macaroni and cheese before bed. They assumed the kids were asleep at the neighbors house so Margaret and Cathy went to bed.  Where Did They Go? Margaret had to be at work at 8