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People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo- and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up
Richard Lloyd Parry manages to cram two biographies, a history lesson, and an entire class on the Japanese criminal justice system into under 500 pages. We learn all about the victim, a young girl who went missing only to turn up murdered as an end to her sad short story. We also learn all about the strange and mysterious man accused of killing her. For many true crime books that would be enough but we also learn about the unusual history of serial killers in Japan as well as the way their criminal justice system handles them, or doesn’t. I have a degree in criminal justice but this book taught me things I didn’t even know I didn’t know.
Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
Gregg Olsen penned this true crime story about a malevolent self proclaimed doctor that is one of the most absolutely infuriating and upsetting tales that I have ever read. Linda Burfield Hazzard ran a clinic in which she subjected patients to her starvation treatment for the cure of anything they came to her with. The book focuses on two sisters whom she tortured for months while she stole from them under the guise of paying for this abusive treatment. The book is very thorough and well researched but is not light reading in any sense.
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder
Charles Graeber brings us the story of Charlie Cullen, the scariest kind of serial killer imaginable. He’s a complete anarchist and totally random in his killings, according to some counts he is the most prolific in American history. He was a nurse at several hospitals at which he killed his patients by randomly contaminating IV bags. He hid in plain site as a productive member of society and got away with his crimes for years. His story will make you question everyone you’ve ever met.