10 Essential True Crime Audiobooks

True crime stories show us the real world can be more terrifying and unsettling than fiction. Whether an unsolved mystery, a deep dive into a criminal mastermind, or a look at an infamous serial killer, the best true crime audiobooks are gripping, captivating, and engrossing. Not only that, they tell us important stories that have either gone untold or been forgotten, and in such a way as to not sensationalize violence and human suffering.

With the help of Libro.fm and their community of independent bookstores, I’ve selected ten of the best true crime audiobooks. Not familiar with Libro.fm? It’s actually my favorite audiobook service because, among other things, it splits its profits with independent bookstores (read my Libro.fm review). Here are ten bookseller picks for the best true crime audiobooks:


The Devil in the White City

By Erik Larson. Read by Scott Brick.

Bookseller recommendation:

“The Devil in the White City is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Set amidst the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Erik Larson’s historical narrative interweaves the stories of two men who would come to define it, for better and for worse. One is Daniel Burnham, chief architect of the Fair, who threw his entire being into creating a landmark event in American history. The other is Dr. H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who built a hotel that became his “Murder Castle”, luring many poor souls who came to Chicago to their death and dismemberment. Though you may expect Holmes’ chapters to be more entertaining, I was amazed by the story of the World’s Fair and its impact on American history. The first Ferris wheel debuted as the centerpiece of the Fair, the Pledge of Allegiance was written for its opening ceremony, and its use of alternating current electricity essentially ended Edison and Tesla’s current war. If these bits of trivia excite your inner history nerd, come buy the book today!” – Marcus, The Book Tavern

Start listening at Libro.fm.


Killers of the Flower Moon

By David Grann. Read by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee & Danny Campbell.

Bookseller recommendation:

“One of the most horrific chapters in American history is brought back to the national consciousness with alarming detail in Killers of the Flower Moon. After the Osage Indian Nation strikes oil, its members become rich beyond their wildest dreams, only to encounter a vast and murderous conspiracy that will leave more than 60 members of the nation dead. David Grann reconstructs those murders and the subsequent investigations with astonishing care and reveals the depths of a conspiracy that stretched from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. This story will certainly be one of the most important books of 2017.” – Steven Shonder, Anderson’s Bookshop

Start listening at Libro.fm.


I Will Find You

By Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda. Read by the author.

Bookseller recommendation:

“If you’ve heard Detective Kenda on “Homicide Hunter,” you know that an audiobook from him is destined to be a great listen – and it is, without reservation. His voice lends so much to the stories that he tells. He relives moments from every point in his career – the highs, the lows, and every moment in between. There are a few repeats from those who have watched his television show, but this may be another case of “the book was better than the movie” (or TV show, as it may be). Highly recommended!” – Jeff, Parallel 45 Books & Gifts

Start listening at Libro.fm.


Member of the Family

By Dianne Lake & Deborah Herman. Read by Dianne Lake.

Bookseller recommendation:

“During the counterculture of the 1960’s amid the cult craze of Charles Manson, many people were left wondering how in the world could this madman convince his seemingly privileged, upper-crust “girls” to commit horrendous murders and yet still receive their total devotion? In “Member of the Family,” Dianne Lake explains the charismatic Charlie as a master manipulator, preying on the psychological weaknesses inherent in each of his followers, resorting to ruthlessness and abuse to ensure his proselytizing was protocol. Lake, the youngest member of his “girls,” spends the next two years under Manson’s complete control and is witness to his dark descent into madness, taking most of the family with him. Horrifying, heartbreaking and hard to look away, Lake’s tale proves she is one “lucky” girl after all.” – Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers

Start listening at Libro.fm.


We Keep the Dead Close

By Becky Cooper. Read by the author.

Bookseller recommendation:

“As much a journey for the writer as it is for the reader, this book solves a murder but leaves us with many unanswered questions. We Keep the Dead Close challenges us to question our assumptions as well as the paths we use to arrive at those assumptions. Delving into the academic culture of Harvard, the misogyny of the 1960s, and the burgeoning women’s rights movement, the story follows several threads, all of which have a significant impact on the life of Jane Britton, whose story is told with empathy, compassion, and five decades of curiosity.” – Camille Kovach, Completely Booked

Start listening at Libro.fm.


The Third Rainbow Girl

By Emma Copley Eisenberg. Read by the author.

Bookseller recommendation:

“In this thoughtful and immersive chronicle of the 1980 murders that thrust West Virginia’s Pocahontas County into the national spotlight, Eisenberg seeks to better understand not only the crimes and their aftermath, but also the lasting impact the region (which she came to know independent of her inquiry) had on her. A complex and captivating read, The Third Rainbow Girl weaves true crime with memoir to stunning effect.” – Tove Holmberg, Powell’s Books

Start listening at Libro.fm.


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

By Michelle McNamara. Read by Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn & Patton Oswalt.

Bookseller recommendation:

“An overwhelmingly obsessed Michelle McNamara dissects the decades old trail of tragedy, trauma and ongoing taunts by the elusive East Area Rapist in her investigative crime thriller “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” published posthumously after her unexpected demise. Dubbed the “Golden State Killer” by McNamara herself, his crime spree started with 50 unsolved rapes before escalating to numerous murders leaving terrorized California residents tense for ten years. A determined McNamara meticulously researches this reign of terror with such precision it’s sure to pry this perpetrators identity out of obscurity and into justice, a suitable ending for this authors’ life.” – Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers

Start listening at Libro.fm.


Memorial Drive

By Natasha Trethewey. Read by the author.

Bookseller recommendation:

“Natasha Trethewey was 19 when her mother was murdered by her stepfather in 1985. For decades, she hid the event, and memories of her mother, in the recesses of her mind while she went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and become the Poet Laureate of the United States. Now, decades later, she opens herself up to her past to produce a harrowing yet beautiful memorial.” – Mike, Northshire Bookstore

Start listening at Libro.fm.


The Feather Thief

By Kirk Wallace Johnson. Read by MacLeod Andrews.

Bookseller recommendation:

“The Feather Thief is true crime at its best — a tale starting with the Amazonian explorations of Darwin-era naturalists, rooted in the eccentric sensibilities of Victorian collectors, fueled by the obscure cult of fly-fishing tying, and culminating with a shocking 2009 British Museum heist by a shy American flautist. All of these elements are deftly brought together at a thriller’s pace by author Kirk Johnson, a veteran of the Iraqi reconstruction effort suffering from PTSD, who stumbles across the story while fly-fishing in New Mexico in 2011. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.” Keltie, Parnassus Books

Start listening at Libro.fm.


The Ghosts of Eden Park

By Karen Abbott. Read by Rob Shapiro & Cassandra Campbell.

Bookseller recommendation:

“This true crime story reads like a great murder mystery and will have you hooked from the start. Wonderful research pulls you right into the story, in which readers are introduced to George Remus, a bootlegging lawyer/millionaire during the prohibition Jazz Age, and Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who is given the job of prosecutor because the corrupt U.S. Attorney’s office doesn’t think she will pose a threat to their relationship with Remus. Willebrandt will prove them wrong. The tension, greed, and flair of The Ghosts of Eden Park makes this the best nonfiction book of the summer!” – Debbie Scheller, A Likely Story

Start listening at Libro.fm.


What are your picks for the best true crime audiobooks? Let us know in the comments section below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top