Murder, mayhem, racketeering and corruption all make for a good novel. They also make for a good true crime book.
Here are just a few true crime books that deal with crimes that took place in Pennsylvania and some right here in the Northeast.
“American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst” by Jeffrey Toobin
The book deals with kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst starting in 1974. During Hearst’s time on the run, she and members of the Symbionese Liberation Army were hiding out in South Canaan Twp. farmhouse in the summer of 1974.
“Murder at 75 Birch” by Richard Pienciak
The book deals with the murder of Betty Wolsieffer in Wilkes-Barre in 1986. The book was also made into CBS TV Movie in 1998 starring Melissa Gilbert and Gregory Harrison.
“Disposable Income: A True Story of Sex, Greed and Im-purr-fect Murder”” by Tammy Mal
The book deals with the death of Anna Homeyer in Factoryville and how cat helped to crack the case.
“The Freach and Keen Murders” by Kathleen Munley and Paul Mazzoni
The book deals with the murder of Edmund Keen and Paul Freach in 1973 in Scranton at the hands of William J. Wright.
“The Kelaryes Massacre: Politics and murder in Pennyslvania’s Anthracite Coal Country” by Stephaine Hoover
The book deals the mass shooting during a parade in Kelayres, Schuylkill County in 1934. The shooters killed five and injured dozens.
Out in Western Pennsylvania –
“Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
The book published in 1995 takes you deep into the world of serial killers and the criminal profiling work of the FBI.
A portion of the book deals with the 1979 murder of Betty Jane Shade, of Altoona.
The book is the basis for the Netflix series of the same name. The Betty Jane Shade case is featured in episodes 4, 5 and 6 of season 1. The new season drops on August 16.
To read these books and many more true crime books visit your local library. True Crime books can be found in the 364 section of your public library if you just feel like browsing.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast