12 Gripping True-Crime Reads

For some of us, dark times call for dark reads. Immerse yourself in this collection of riveting true-crime writing, including tales of audacious heists, mysterious deaths, and the reflections of a serial killer’s daughter.

Unholy Act

Pamela Colloff • Texas Monthly

Revisiting a decades-old cold case with only one suspect: the priest who heard the deceased’s final confession.

The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist

Josh Dean • GQ

They were an all-star crew. They cooked up the perfect plan. And when they pulled off the caper of the century, it made them more than a fortune—it made them folk heroes.

A Splash of Red

Gabriel Cohen • Narratively

When a mystery writer moves into a new apartment that seems too good to be true, he slowly unravels its grisly history.

When Cops Become Robbers

Jessica Lussenhop • BBC

Inside one of America’s most corrupt police squads.

Corpses in the Pig Pen: The Tale of Indiana’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

Lucas Reilly • Mental Floss

When a widow and three children are found dead after a suspicious fire, an investigation ensues that uncovers one of the victims’ monstrous past.

The Bicycle Thief

Steven Leckart • Chicago Magazine

Tom Justice was once a cyclist chasing Olympic gold. Then he began using his bike for a much different purpose: robbing banks.

The Doting Boyfriend Who Robbed Armored Cars

Skip Hollandsworth • Texas Monthly

Beginning in 2015, Houston was plagued by a series of brutal armored car robberies that bewildered FBI agents for nearly two years. To finally bring down the unassuming mastermind behind it all, the agents had to stage an elaborate trap—and catch him in the act.

The Tale of John and Ann Bender and Their Quest for Paradise

Ned Zeman • Outside

A brilliant American financier and his exotic wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a compelling mystery.

“I Knew Right Away It Was My Dad”

Zach Schonfeld • Slate

A conversation with the daughter of the serial killer BTK.

The Disappeared

Hannah Dreier • ProPublica

Police on Long Island wrote off missing immigrant teens as runaways. One mother knew better — and searched MS-13’s killing fields for answers.

The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis

Richard Ben Cramer • Rolling Stone

Was the rock legend’s fourth wife murdered, and did the man known as “the Killer” do it?

Mysterious Circumstances

David Grann • The New Yorker

The strange death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic.