9 True Crime Audiobooks You Need to Hear
These must-hear true crime audiobooks by bestselling authors and award-winning journalists will keep you listening long into the night.
By Brandon Miller
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York
By Elon Green, narrated by David Pittu. 8 hours, 11 minutes
Set in New York City at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Elon Green’s highly anticipated Last Call tracks Richard Rogers, a lesser-known serial killer who targeted gay men in the 1980s and 1990s. Listeners can expect an unflinching investigation into this nearly-forgotten murder case as well as a vibrant portrait of a queer community in peril.
Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
By Robert Kolker, narrated by Sean Pratt. 11 hours and 10 minutes
Written by Robert Kolker and narrated here by Sean Pratt, Lost Girls is a New York Times bestseller that examines the crimes of the Long Island Serial Killer and the killer’s multiple victims, many of whom were sex workers. The book was recently adapted into a Netflix film starring Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, and Gabriel Byrne. Kolker’s narrative is powerful and unsettling, especially given the fact that the killer remains at large.
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
By Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gabra Zackman. 10 hours and 7 minutes
Michelle McNamara tragically died while writing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Thankfully, McNamara’s husband, actor Patton Oswalt, made sure her narrative was published — after which, it became a #1 New York Times bestseller and an HBO documentary series. Narrated by Gabra Zackman, this audiobook traces the crimes of the serial rapist-turned-murderer known as the Golden State Killer. When McNamara wrote I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the identity of the Golden State Killer was unknown. Roughly two months after I’ll Be Gone was released, however, authorities finally apprehended their man: a 72-year-old ex-cop named Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
By David Grann, narrated by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, and Danny Campbell. 9 hours and 4 minutes.
Killers of the Flower Moon, written by New Yorker staff writer David Grann, takes us back to the 1920s when multiple Osage Indian Nation members were murdered one by one in Oklahoma. As one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations, this case is also notorious for the way it was mismanaged and the fact that many of the murders were never prosecuted.
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
By Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, narrated by the author. 10 hours and 38 minutes.
The Fact of a Body is unique in that it’s the only memoir on this list. Written from the perspective of Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, the book traces the author’s experience as an employee at a law firm, where a murder case causes them to dig deep into concepts of justice and identity. In doing so, they unearth some haunting personal truths.
American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
By Maureen Callahan, narrated by Amy Landon. 9 hours and 3 minutes.
This New York Times bestseller is a chilling account of the crimes of Israel Keyes — a little-known serial killer whose crimes spanned over a decade. In American Predator, journalist Maureen Callahan explains how Keyes buried “kill kits” in remote locations around the country, how he captured victims from their own homes in broad daylight, and how he lived a double life as a devoted father and worker in Alaska.
Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three
By Mara Leveritt, narrated by Lorna Raver. 15 hours and 47 minutes.
In Devil’s Knot, Mara Leveritt delivers the comprehensive account of the case of the West Memphis Three: three Arkansas teens who in 1994 were convicted of murdering young boys as part of a satanic cult ritual. Leveritt’s powerful work served as the basis for the film of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. Lorna Raver narrates the audiobook, which is one of our all-time favorites.
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
By Hallie Rubenhold, narrated by Louise Brealey. 10 hours and 19 minutes.
Jack the Ripper is one of the most notorious serial killers in true crime history, despite having never been identified. And while you may know parts of this story, you probably don’t know much about the victims, many of whom were sex workers from the most impoverished parts of London. In The Five, Hallie Rubenhold offers a nuanced and compassionate portrait of the five women who were killed by Jack the Ripper.
The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted
By Ann Rule, narrated by Lorelei King. 18 hours and 29 minutes
The Stranger Beside Me, first published in 1980 by Ann Rule, is a true crime classic about one of the most notorious serial killers of all time: Ted Bundy. Bundy confessed to killing at least 30 women across the United States between 1974 and 1978. Rule actually worked with Bundy at a suicide crisis hotline center in Seattle; she considered Bundy her friend. Rule’s brush with the serial killer transforms The Stranger Beside Me into a chilling portrait of evil hiding in plain sight, highlighting how a monster like Bundy tricked the world with his charm and good looks.