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Lost Girls
Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery | Robert Kolker
Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a haunting and humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island, in a compelling tale of unsolved murder and Internet prostitution. One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the twenty-four-year-old: she was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a sceneof what, no one could be sure. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to have paid little attentionuntil seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's. There was Maureen Brainard-Barnes, last seen at Penn Station in Manhattan three years earlier, and Melissa Barthelemy, last seen in the Bronx in 2009. There was Megan Waterman, last seen leaving a hotel in Hauppage, Long Island, just a month after Shannan's disappearance in 2010, and Amber Lynn Costello, last seen leaving a house in West Babylon a few months later that same year. Like Shannan, all four women were petite and in their twenties, they all came from out of town to work as escorts, and they all advertised on Craigslist and its competitor, Backpage. In a triumph of reportingand in a riveting narrativeRobert Kolker presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of escorts in the Internet age, where making a living is easier than ever and the dangers remain all too real. He has talked exhaustively with the friends and family of each woman to reveal the three-dimensional truths about their lives, the struggling towns they came from, and the dreams they chased. And he has gained unique access to the Oak Beach neighborhood that has found itself the focus of national media scrutinywhere the police have flailed, the body count has risen, and the neighbors have begun pointing fingers at one another. There, in a remote community, out of sight of the beaches and marinas scattered along the South Shore barrier islands, the women's stories come together in death and dark mystery. Lost Girls is a portrait not just of five women, but of unsolved murder in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.
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TheJuj
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Pickpick

2 likes2 stack adds
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fakesteph
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I cannot stop reading this. However, I just realized this mystery is unsolved.

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EmilieGR
Pickpick

Humanizing a portion of America that people don‘t like to even acknowledge exists

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Red.Reads
Pickpick

A heartbreaking look into the lives of the women who were found murdered in Long Island.
Often, when we read about the victims of a killer, they're just names. They're grouped together by defining features or, as in this case, how they made a living.
In this book, we learn about some of these women in more detail, and Kolker handles them with care (even if I personally prefer the term sex-worker). 5/5

#truecrime #LISK #rememberthevictims

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reema
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Mehso-so

This is a bit of a frustrating read because it is unsolved still. The whole case seemed horribly mismanaged by the police from the start. Kolker does a decent job of trying to get as much information as he can, humanizing the victims, portraying their families in their grief...but it never seems to go anywhere.

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SassyBookworm
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Leftcoastzen love this!Atwood in the Robber Bride describes the friends meeting for lunch so well ,I feel I am there with them. 10mo
SassyBookworm @Leftcoastzen isn‘t that the best feeling! Like your not reading it your actually there! 🤓 10mo
119 likes2 comments
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Readaholics
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Mehso-so

I liked how the author humanized the escorts who were killed and dumped off a stretch of coast off Long Island. But it ends without resolution ( in part because the killer has never been found). Overall a quick true crime thriller that highlights the struggles these women endure to make quick cash and how the internet has changed the business.

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Jessicaanne
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Pickpick

Maybe it‘s because this case is unsolved so there aren‘t many specifics about what happened to these women but I loved how much the book focused on the lives of the women. There were some theories about what happened but it mainly focused on the victims and their families.

These women led rough lives that ended unthinkably but their profession doesn‘t mean that they don‘t deserve justice.

8 likes1 stack add
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Reviewsbylola
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#losttogether #timbittunes

Another day, another serial killer targeting prostitutes. The prostitution victims in this case were all Craigslist prostitutes. This book is one of the better, more publicized true crime books of recent years. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the killer‘s unknown identity.

Hooked_on_books I agree. I found this book to be well done. 11mo
Cinfhen I‘m amazed at how much true crime I read...I‘m almost at your level, but not quite there 😜 I‘ll keep my eye out for this one 11mo
Reviewsbylola Yeah I‘ve got a problem. 😆 @Cinfhen 11mo
97 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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mlzbthc
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FreeReadAndWrite
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Yes, two sock photos in a row because why not! All I‘m doing is laying around in socks and comfy clothes. Bad pain days are the best days to join #24in48 & read in your pajamas. So excited for this #TrueCrime book I was recently gifted

MyNamesParadise It‘s so good!! 11mo
FreeReadAndWrite @MyNamesParadise so far it's been a rough read! Hard emotionally for me to read so much focus on the victims. I generally just read about the innocently incarcerated or the criminals. 11mo
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Callemarie
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Pickpick

This was an extremely well written but sad story of sex workers in NYC whose bodies were found on a beach in Lomg Island. The story is frustrating at times, listening to how they grew up, and then how it really took the families pushing, for a legitimate investigation to occur with the girls and with Shannan. If you're a true crime enthusiast, I definitely recommend this book.

AmyG This was a good book. My daughter lent it to me. 12mo
MyNamesParadise I read this back in 2013. Wonderful read! 12mo
FreeReadAndWrite I just received this as a belated birthday present! Good to know it‘s solid 12mo
85 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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Callemarie
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Listening to this on audio. I've learned I focus more on audio books if it's true crime. This is really good so far... so sad... but that's normally how it goes for true crime.

sk888888 This book was really interesting. I felt like I was in the salt marshes while reading it. So sad about these girls. 12mo
Callemarie @sk888888 yeah I agree. It's definitely been a sad story 😥 12mo
93 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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mlzbthc

“The demand for commercial sex will never go away. Neither will the internet; they‘re stuck with each other. It may no longer even matter anymore whether the sale of sex among consenting adults is wrong or right, immoral or empowering. What‘s clear is that no good can come from pretending that the people who participate in prostitution don‘t exist. That, after all, is what the killer was counting on.”

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Hforrester12
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JPeterson
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Mehso-so

I‘m glad this book exists and showcases these particular murders. An individuals life choices should not dictate the level of effort solving or caring about their cases.
With that, I didn‘t enjoy the style of writing. It was all over the place, jumping from one person and their family to another, making it hard to follow, and was a bit longer then it needed to be (being an unsolved case).

Lizpixie I wasn‘t a fan either, and I usually love true crime.💁🏻‍♀️ 1y
JPeterson @Lizpixie Same! It seemed more retrospective on the victim lives then “true crime.” I think if I wasn‘t in that mindset, I‘d enjoy (is that a good word for true crime haha) it more. 1y
63 likes2 comments
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Morr_Books
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Pickpick

Continued my fascination of true crime by listening to Lost Girls, about multiple bodies of women found on Long Island. The case was never solved. This book reads a bit like a lifetime movie instead of a fact based analysis. I would like to have heard more from the point of view of the police and why these crimes weren't investigated more thoroughly.

Reviewsbylola I really liked this one. 1y
62 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NatalieR
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Mehso-so

I chose to read this book because I watched the 48 Hours episode when it aired. The book was just okay for me. I don‘t have any complaints with the writing; I just didn‘t get sucked in like I hoped. I truly feel for the victims and their families. #nonfiction2018

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Victoriahoperose
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Pickpick

This was a great book for a long travel. It was absolutely engrossing and well written. This is great for a true crime addict. The writer really went into detail about each girl‘s story and broke the book down so that it kept the reader completely interested.

34 likes2 stack adds
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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

This was a fascinating and compassionate recounting of the 5 women who were found dead on a beach on Long Island and their lives, their difficulties and the way their families dealt with their disappearance and death.

Hazel0303 I‘ve wanted to read this, but have seen conflicting reviews so I have held off. I‘m glad you enjoyed it!! 1y
CoffeeK8 @Hazel0303, yes the reviews are totally all over the place. It had the same type of feel as American Fire or Into the Wild if it helps. Not overly sensationalized and a little sad with a focus on the minutia of the lives of the victims vs the sensationalizing of the crime itself. 1y
Cinfhen @Reviewsbylola have u read this one??? 1y
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Reviewsbylola I have! It‘s good—I gave it four stars! @Cinfhen 1y
Cinfhen Yea, it had your name all over it @reviewsbylola 1y
CoffeeK8 @Cinfhen I think you‘d really enjoy it! 1y
Cinfhen Thanks, Kate!! I‘m stacking 😄 1y
66 likes5 stack adds7 comments
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CoffeeK8
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Enjoying my last week before school starts.

Bianca Oh man that book is so well written. And so difficult to read at times. 1y
CoffeeK8 @Bianca yes, glad I‘m reading after I spent the week at a beach community not while I was there 1y
JSW Hey nice mug! I live in Santa Cruz, were you in town recently? 1y
CoffeeK8 @JSW yes, we just got back in town yesterday... we were in San Francisco for a couple days and then spent the rest of the week in Santa Cruz! It‘s so lovely out there! 1y
JSW Agreed! I love it here. Glad you enjoyed it. 1y
51 likes5 comments
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CoffeeK8
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Mostly unpacked and starting this book from my #itcs goodies. Thanks again @MidnightBookGirl

Kristy_K I‘ve seen this book around but never any reviews. Interested to see what you think! 1y
CoffeeK8 @Kristy_K I‘m really enjoying this book! It‘s so much more about the women who were killed and their lives and families and less sensationalized or crime thriller. 1y
Kristy_K @CoffeeK8 Sounds good! That‘s rare to find in a true crime novel. (edited) 1y
CoffeeK8 @Kristy_K agreed, it was very compassionate 1y
58 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Monica5
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Pickpick

A sad book. I took from it, that because these women were prostitutes, their missing and murder where not taken seriously by the police. Hope they continue to look at the case and find out who is responsible.

Max went to sleep, while I finished this book.😊

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Monica5
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Duke asleep on the couch. Fixing to start this one. Have heard good things about it.

Reviewsbylola It‘s really good! 1y
Monica5 👏 1y
21 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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cathysaid
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Pickpick

I haven't been so infuriated by a #nonfiction book since reading Missoula by Krakauer. As of now, there are at least 17 victims of a serial killer or killers that have been found near or on Oak Beach (near Fire Island). And no useful leads or suspects have been found. Inertia has taken hold of the case and all signs indicate that interest is practically nonexistent because the victims were prostitutes. Still, I recommend this #truecrime read.

59 likes8 stack adds
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cathysaid
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Guys...this #nonfiction #truecrime book reads just like a novel. It's horrifying and fascinating and I can't look away. Simply because they were prostitutes, the authorities don't appear to care that the bodies are piling up. But Kolker is doing an amazing job in telling the stories of these girls who were far more than just prostitutes.

(I'm somewhere in the 8th hour of #13inThree but I'm terrible at keeping up with my time.)

@Samplergal

Samplergal 8is great! Keep going. 2y
Linsy 😱 2y
Hooked_on_books Yeah, this book is really good. Very readable and horrifyingly fascinating. 2y
45 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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cathysaid
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Weekend plans = #13inThree

Almost finished with my #LMPBC read (bizarre, unique, engaging). Started Lost Girls last night and after two hours of reading, I'm completely hooked on this #nonfiction book. Jar City is my #crimefiction Brain Candy, while Boyne's book hits all the feels. That's my lineup! What are your #13inThree selections?

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JHgotham
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Third day of the hunt and I‘m waiting quietly and reading on my phone while I sit in complete silence. Not too bad. Very nice up here

SassyBookworm Beautiful landscape! What are you hunting? It‘s the end of turkey season here! 2y
JHgotham Turkey season opens here on Apr 30 ☺️ 2y
5 likes2 comments
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JHgotham
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I‘d like to go outside and continue to read after lunch..but now I have to wait til she‘s done with lunch or she will cry 🙄

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megt
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So excited to have a cozy new blanket to wrap up in this weekend! And a true crime Book is perfect for my current reading mood. Thank you so much Laurie! ❤️ @Scurvygirl

And a big thanks to @Tiffy_Reads and @JoeStalksBeck for organizing this #blanketandabookswap!!

Scurvygirl Glad you like it! I got this one too! There is a great documentary on this as well called the Killing Season. Now just to find the time! 😬💚 2y
MallenNC That's a good book! I learned about it from a 48 Hours Mystery episode. 2y
95 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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caslinj
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Pickpick

This was a great read. Kolker devotes a chapter to each woman who died and really treats them like humans. He talked to a lot of the family, community members, and law enforcement, but didn‘t exploit them. The book brings together the facts but in a compelling way.

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caslinj
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Not super stoked to see my former town of Wilmington in a book like this and described like this...but the book is still good.

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caslinj
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I might actually finish this one before book club on Saturday!

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Meganbub
Pickpick

This book was hard for a few reasons, narratively it was a little hard to keep track of each girl and her family when switching between their stories. Then subject matter-wise it was just such a f*cking bummer. These poor girls, these poor families, and the whole case is still unsolved! I may need to stick with crime *fiction* so I can at least console myself that it‘s not real. Still a #murderino but might stick to listening v. reading.

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Meganbub
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Technically started this in 2017 but didn‘t get to finish yet. I‘m about halfway through so this‘ll be book one of ‘18. It‘s a punch in the gut every time I remember this isn‘t fiction.

8 likes1 stack add
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Velvetsun
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Sunday night reading.

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MeikyuuAgeha
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Searching, but never lost. #poetry #1004fromaboolillneverwrite

65 likes1 stack add
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Books_Wine_Repeat
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Pickpick

An interesting audiobook about the murders of prostitutes/escorts/sex workers in New York and the serial killer still at large. I liked the in depth look at the victims and their families. The polices' lack of interest in investigating the cases is maddening.

69 likes3 stack adds
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rach_simone
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Mehso-so

I didn't love the structure of the book. All of the profiles on the victims were done together and then the investigation was done together. I wish he could've gone more into the case. I wonder how different the book would be if it was solved - maybe able to go more in depth on things. I hope this gets solved at some point! The apathy of police when it comes to missing and murdered sex workers is awful.

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shanebeth
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just noticed this is on sale! #murderino

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LauraJ
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Pickpick

I rarely read true crime, but this felt like a fair and balanced look at the lives and murders of five sex workers on Long Island by a probable serial killer. All five women came from similar backgrounds and lived similar lives. Keeping them straight at times is confusing. Photos would have been more helpful than the list of characters at the end of the book. Otherwise, this is excellent. The murders remain unresolved.

Megabooks Interesting! 2y
AlaMich Kitty looks irked at having to share the shot with a BOOK, of all ridiculous things!! 2y
38 likes1 stack add3 comments
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LauraJ
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Still going...here are my midnight #snacksandstacks and tabby cat. She has to be in every picture. #24in48

48 likes1 stack add
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LauraJ
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Back to it with #LitsyAtoZ #K and The Pumpkin!
#24in48

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 2y
KaatjeH 😻😸 2y
Bette ❤️ Pumpkins paws. 🐱🐾 2y
39 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Yogabrarian
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Pickpick

Compulsive listening - such a great choice for audio. If you're into true crime, you've got to try this one!

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DGRachel
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Litsy, save me! I walked into B&N and next thing I knew, my arms were full and an employee was handing me a basket. Send Help! (or gift cards...😂😂😂) #bookaholic #muststop #wherestheregister #cantstopwontstop

TheKidUpstairs Be strong! (Seriously, strong arms can carry more books!) 3y
DGRachel @TheKidUpstairs 🤣🤣🤣 3y
Fantasyfan I loved Paris. He is such a great story teller! 3y
See All 12 Comments
DGRachel @Fantasyfan I haven't read of his work. This was just a random photo of where I happened to be standing when I pulled out my phone. 😂 3y
Fantasyfan @DGRachel you should try it if you like history. They are long but hr packs a lot of story into a single book. 3y
DGRachel @Fantasyfan I'll add him to the list, thanks! 3y
lynneamch For what it's worth, I read Paris, Russka, and New York. I enjoyed New York the most. It might be because I was more familiar with the area, but also because he was able to be more detailed, because its history naturally covers fewer years. 3y
Andrew65 I'm aiming to read more of his work. Enjoyed (edited) 3y
LauraBeth Love his books - agree with @lynneamch - thought New York was the best (I read it twice 😀) 3y
EllieDottie Haha! This happens to me all the time! 3y
Miss_Kim One of my favourite authors! 3y
60 likes12 comments
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EricaCurtis11
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I'm recently addicted to a number of true crime podcasts... Crimetown, Stranglers, Someone Knows Something...I can't recommend these enough so I decided to read something from the true crime genre and flew through the first hundred or so pages in a single sitting. #recentnonfiction #marchintoreading #recentnonfictionread

Leigh0906 I loved Serial but I've never thought about looking for similar podcasts- I'll definitely have to check these out! 3y
EricaCurtis11 @Leigh0906 I loved the first season of Serial too. Someone knows something is the most similar as it try's to unravel the disappearance of a 5 year old boy. Crimetown covers Providence, RI and has a lot of interesting episodes about the relationship between the mob and city and state government. Stranglers explores the theory of multiple Boston stranglers versus one person and the botched investigation for the perpetrator(s) throughout the 60s. 3y
Reviewsbylola This is a great book! 3y
manifestsanity RIP Buddy Cianci. Rhode Island is famous for you. 3y
31 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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vandeblogger
Mehso-so

I wanted to like this more than I did, but turns out I really prefer the scientific/investigative aspects of true crime more than the "life story" aspects. Also, it's unsolved (which it says RIGHT ON THE COVER IF I HAD PAID ATTENTION) which drives me crazy. I found it a little hard to keep track of everyone, but possibly because I listened instead of reading.

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vandeblogger
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Started this today. As much true crime TV as I watch, I figured I might as well listen to some true crime audiobooks!

JennaAZ I've been on a similar kick lately. I'm interested to hear what you think of this! (Mine was started by a podcast called You Must Remember This...they did a while series on Charles Mason's Hollywood. Highly recommend.) 3y
3 likes1 comment
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Theliterarystew
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Still reading this pageturner. #riotgrams #currentread #lostgirls #robertkolker

8 likes2 stack adds
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Theliterarystew
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Currently reading this because Megan Abbot listed it as a book President Obama should read. It's riveting so far.