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February 2016 Discussion Post: Your Favorite True Crime Stories

Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

This month’s subject was suggested by KingDeathMetal – he left a very long and detailed comment about why he wanted to see this particular topic discussed here, and it’s pretty interesting so I encourage you all to give it a read!

The timing seems right, given that Making a Murderer has been such a phenomenon and dragged the true crime niche back into the spotlight. Though I’m not sure the public’s fascination with the true crime genre ever really dwindled that much: Forensic Files, Unsolved Mysteries, the countless true crime documentaries floating around on pretty much any video streaming service – not to mention that it’s an incredibly populated subject for writers as well. You could pretty easily fall into a serious rabbit-hole of jumping from one true crime story to the next!

So this month, please share your the true crime stories that gripped you. I encourage you to give links to any documentaries or websites where people might be able to read more about your pick, but I do have a few guidelines that I need everyone to follow for this month’s discussion for it to be remotely workable here:

  • Above all: be respectful. Remember that true crime, by definition, involves actual people as the victims who don’t deserve shitty jokes or insensitive comments made at their expense. If the victim or their family have asked that people stop discussing their case, even if you find it fascinating, please don’t bring it up here.
  • DO NOT EMBED ANY NSFW VIDEOS OR IMAGES IN YOUR COMMENTS. While I understand that some true crime cases can be grisly, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to share any graphic images here. I’d prefer that you don’t link to anything that could be considered a shock site or explicit content, but if you’re linking to a legitimate documentary that happens to include upsetting imagery, please mention it in your comment. I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but as I’ve stated several times before, we’re not a shock site, and I don’t want people getting linked to potentially traumatic things without warning.
  • When summarizing the case, please try not to go too graphic. I know this may seem silly, but this is mostly for the sake of myself and other comment mods: we might not really enjoy reading some case details over our morning coffee, you know? I’m sure that you’ve noticed I tend to give gore warnings on the rare pastas that feature it in too much detail; try to use that as a barometer for what you can freely discuss versus what you might want to allude to with a link. If you’re not sure, you can give a warning before continuing so that any readers – both the mods and general community members – can decide if they want to proceed with reading your comment.
  • With all that said, this discussion is not limited to serial killers. Cults, corrupt policemen, organized crime, etc – true crime is a pretty far-ranging genre. I don’t want my emphasis on keeping things work-safe while discussing any murder cases to make you think that the only type of crime open to discussion is murder.
  • I hope that these bullet points all made sense, because I’m squeezing in writing this post before I’ve even had my coffee today.

If you’re somehow not familiar with true crime and don’t feel like hitting up Google, here are some relevant links to familiarize yourself with the genre:


I hope that this topic can be discussed smoothly, so as always – be excellent to each other!




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15 thoughts on “February 2016 Discussion Post: Your Favorite True Crime Stories”

  1. The law was a joke in this case from beginning to end. When he was just raping (before murders) there was a composite sketch made of him that was highly accurate, police interviewed home twice, and his car was described as being a gold Camaro – it was a gold Nissan, very similar in looks. He was overlooked many times. He will never be released.

  2. Has anyone heard of Richard Ramirez a.k.a. “The Night Stalker”? He was a serial killer, satanist, rapist, and burgler who stalked the streets of Los Angeles from 1884 through 1885. He was known for randomly breaking into peoples houses, surprising and killing them in there own homes, sometimes in their sleep, using a variety of weopons. He was found when they matched a fingerprint to past drug and traffic related offenses. He was captured when a group of women recognized him from his mugshot on the newspaper. He then fled in panic and attempted to carjack a woman, but bystanders chased and apprehended him until the police arrived. He was also known to stay at the infamous Cecil Hotel and was featured in American Horror Story: Hotel (the Hotel Cortez was based off the Cecil Hotel).

    This case always kind of gets to me because my family and I lived in LA durring that time period and right in the middle of his hunting grounds. My grandpa actually installed metal bars on the windows and slept in the living room with a shotgun.

  3. The Elisa Lam case is the weirdest, most freaky case that I have yet to read about. She stayed in the Cecil Hotel in LA in 2013. She was seen on video surveillance to be hiding from someone in the elevator, and making strange hand gestures. After she was seen in that video, she was later found on the roof of the hotel shut inside a water tank dead, after people staying in the hotel complained about the water taste and smell being foul. There is no evidence on how she got on the roof or how she got shut in the tank. You can not shut it from the inside. There have been no suspects and the case remains cold. Look up the videos… they leave you absolutely creeped out.

  4. I think my favorite True Crime story would have to be: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Granted I don’t read much true crime, but that was a great story. It showed so much more then just one person killing another, which is something that I don’t normally read about anyway; it’s kind of ironic that I read and write so much horror, but it is the monsters I like more. But the people in that book, every one of them, are so incredibly interesting.

  5. Tabby DanDeleon (Blue Skylark)

    I don’t know much about this one, given the fact that I just stumbled upon it one day while watching TV, but I found Lizzie Borden to be a very interesting true crime story. Also the fact that it somehow got turned into a children’s nursery rhyme intrigues me even more. If anyone knows a website where I could find out more about this case, or if anyone knows anything about the case in general, I would very much appreciate it if you told me.

    1. if you’re interested in the *actual* story. I quite enjoyed the made-for-tv movie and subsequent 1 season series, but it was far from true. Christina Ricci was a great Lizzie for their purposes, but as you will see from looking at the case from a different perspective, Lizzie may not have appreciated the creative license taken with her life.

  6. Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? (I have to be a wee bit careful because I have a story about this, but can’t help it.) This graffiti began appearing in the Midlands area of Britain a few years after the remains of a woman were found stuffed inside of a wych elm tree down Hagley Wood around WWII. She had taffeta (a delicate fabric) stuffed into her mouth, she may or may not have been an area prostitute called ‘Bella’ (thus the graffiti WHO PUT BELLA IN THE WYCH ELM appearing locally for years) and, perhaps most suspect of all, authorities seemed rather keen to shut the whole thing down… several sets of records and evidence mysteriously “vanished”. A woman wrote into a newspaper under a false name claiming that she knew what happened to Bella, but that the man involved was now dead, and then there were claims the victim was a German spy, and the oddities go on and on… I’d highly recommend an episode of Punt Pi (radio programme on the BBC, available online) that covers the case and some of its theories, if you’re a crime buff like me and like putting forth your own theories on the mystery. Truly fascinating.

  7. I found a case that was very intriguing and creepy, the lovers lane killer in Texarkana in 1946, there were several murders on “Lovers Lanes” in Texarkana. A survivor of the attack described the attacker as a man with a white mask or bag over his head. Several other murders happened and the killer was nicknamed the phantom. Also known as the moonlight murders, this case spawned the movie, The Town that Dreaded Sundown. Picturing a killer appearing next to cars of teens parking out in the woods for “talking”. A very creepy and interesting case indeed, they never caught the guy and it is still a legend around town today, it gripped the town with fear for years and some also believe this case spawned the common urban legend “The Hook” Very interesting and creepy true crime case.

    1. I find urban legends and tracking down their origins absolutely fascinating. In this creepy little corner of the internet, one may equate urban legends to taking away your kid’s video games and asking them to play monopoly or read a book with you, but it has its charm none-the-less.

    2. Melfina the Blue

      If you’re interested in those, you should read Phantom Killer by James Presley. The murders may be officially unsolved, but he makes a darn good case for his suspect.

  8. I’ve always been fascinated by the Villisca axe murders. For those unfamiliar, in 1912 in Villisca, Iowa, the Moore family (Josiah, Sarah, Herman, Katherine, Boyd, and Paul) and two overnight guests (Lena and Ina Stillinger, friends of Katherine Moore) were brutally slain in the middle of the night. The murders remain unsolved to this day. More information, as well as information about staying the night in this place, can be found here:

    For a while, I tried to make a connection to Carl Panzram: But that didn’t fit.

    On a personal note, at the time of her death, little Katherine Moore looked EXACTLY like my daughter (who’s name also happens to be Katherine) at the same age. While this is unsettling and makes me want to leave the whole mess alone, I am also strangely more drawn to the case. This would make an excellent pasta, but I cannot find the time or the intestinal fortitude to write it. Anyone is welcome to give it a go, but if you use this angle, I ask that you please have the respect not to have the present-day look-alike child meet a horrific end.

  9. A book called the matamoras cult killings .it is about a kid in Brownsville Texas.He was abducted in the street by a Mexican drug cartel taken to Mexico systematically tortured cut to pieces while a doctor kept him alive in a voodoo ritual.They believed it kept authorities away and it did the locals were terrified of them the kid in questions mother was a powerful corporate lawyer with friends in DC they pressured the Mexican government who raided the horror show.The boss and his girlfriend escaped and were later killed in a Scarface type shootout.The most disturbing book I ever read well written with insight into the corruption in Mexico and a primer in voodoo great book not for the squeamish

  10. Stefan Rasmussen

    The Steven Avery case- as covered recently in Making a Murderer on Netflix (excellent programme, check it out)- terrifies me. Essentially he was falsely convicted of rape in the 80’s after a vendetta with the Manitowac county sheriff’s department. Spent 18 years in jail only to be exonerated with DNA evidence. A couple of years later he was charged with murdering someone. Remains, DNA etc were found in and around his property. The whole thing stunk of being falsified by the police and the courts. So much backstabbing and corruption flying about in that courtroom. Either way they found him guilty. Regardless of whether he was or not, I just find it so scary how easy it would be to use the legal system as a weapon against someone if you were so inclined.

    1. Look at the West Memphis Three… Three boys coerced into confessing to three horrific murders they didn’t commit and were later found not guilty with DNA evidence pointing to the step-father of one of the boys being the killer. Though they were definitely not guilty and did not have a proper trial, the men were only able to be released after submitting an Alford Plea, meaning they switched their pleas from “not guilty” to “guilty” and were released with time served and a 10 year suspended sentence. After 18 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Talk about using the justice system as a weapon. The original trial itself was a joke…. with ownership of a Metallica tee shirt being used as evidence of satanic worship.

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