17 Feelings You Know Far Too Well If You're A True Crime Reader

by Melissa Ragsdale

True crime readers are the first to admit that it's a genre unlike any other. True crime books are filled with unspeakable tragedy, horror, and violence; yet, when written with care and respect, they are also filled with humanity and empathy. In true crime books, authors expose the darkest crevices of mankind, but they also reveal the opposite end of the spectrum, and almost every gradient in between. And of course, there's something undeniably interesting about the dark side — what can you learn in the face of unspeakable tragedy? What can you learn about the people affected? What can you learn about living with more empathy and kindness?

It's easy to get swept away in the grisly details of true crime books. But in reality, that's not what hooks readers. Or at least, that's not what hooks me. There's something undeniably addictive about trying to work through the clues and figure out what happened, but it's not just a puzzle to solve; it's an examination of human nature at its worst and its best.

If you read true crime, you already know this to be true. But no doubt, you've also experienced some of the following emotions in your reading:


Not Being Able To Sleep Because You're Too Freaked Out

This is true crime. It really happened. Which means... IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. Good luck sleeping tonight.


Feeling Like You Are ONE CLUE AWAY From Figuring It All Out.

The answer must be right in front of you!


Thinking You've Got It All Figured Out — Only To Have Your Theory Squashed By More Evidence



But Still Feeling Like You're An Expert On All Things Forensics & Could Definitely Be A Homicide Detective

Honestly, you missed your real calling.


Feeling Creeped Out By Your Own Damn Self, Because You're So Obsessed With Morbid Details

I don't need your judgment, Nancy.


Feeling Like Your Heart Is Legitimately Going To Stop When You Read A Particularly Horrifying Detail

Honestly, true crime is stranger than fiction.


Not Being Able To Think About Anything But The Case — Even When You're At Work, At School, At The Grocery Store, On Dates...

OK, but how many times have you accidentally brought up murder on a first date?


Knowing In Your Heart That You Know The Real Truth, Even If You Can't Prove It

Sometimes you've got a gut feeling that you know who did it. You just know.


Being Suspicious Of Totally Normal Things In Your Life

OK, but why is this BLOCKED number calling me? Is it the Zodiac killer?


Freaking Yourself Out While Thinking About How It Would All Play Out If The Crime Happened In Your Neighborhood

It's hard not to apply these stories to your own life and get lost in worst case scenarios. Who could you trust?


Feeling Hopeful That The End Of The Book Will Actually Have Some Answers

Unfortunately, there's a whole lot of unsolved crimes. And even the solved crimes rarely have satisfying endings.


Being In Total Agony When There's Not A Conclusive Ending

Will you *ever* know the truth?


Needing To Talk To Everyone You Know About The Case

"OK, yes, I know I'm just picking up my dry-cleaning, but have you heard about The Golden State Killer?"


Feeling A Little Thrill When You Look Up A Case Online

The book almost always has better information, but you can get it quicker on the internet.


That Feeling Of Pure Joy When You Meet Someone Who's Equally Obsessed With True Crime

The friends who creep together, stay together.