12 Best True Crime Audiobooks That’ll Keep You Up at Night

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 Immerse yourself in the best true crime audiobooks in 2023. 

Prepare yourself to listen to for bone-chilling and suspenseful true crime stories including Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon. 

Whether you’re among the true-crime fanatics who are into real-life crime stories and  unsolved  murders or looking to read your first true crime story, it’s time to delve into this list of the most fascinating books in the true crime genre. 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

  • National Bestseller

Listening Length: 14 hours and 58 minutes

Narrator: Scott Brick

The first book on the list is the remarkable true crime story that details the true account of the savage murder of the Clutter family in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas.

The crime was committed by blasts from a shotgun but the motive of which was unknown.

The investigators struggled to solve the case as there were virtually almost no clues. In Cold Blood you get the alternating account of family, killers, and a few others who were indirectly involved with the events.

Capote’s clever insights about the investigation, motive, and trials are suspenseful and bone-chilling. Scott Brick‘s outstanding narration and Capote’s brilliant writing make the book a must-listen.

Described by the Washington Post as an “unblinking book”,  In Cold Blood is a best book that true-crime enthusiasts would love listening to.


The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson  

  • National Bestseller
  • National Book Award Finalist

Listening Length: 14 hours and 27 minutes

Narrator: Scott Brick

In The Devil in the White City Erik Larson narrates the thrilling account of two men who were part of the landmark event in American history, 1893’s Chicago World’s fair.

One is Daniel Burnham, the chief architect and the other is H.H. Holmes, a serial killer.

Holmes built a hotel known as “Murder Castle”, to lure people, who came to the fair and lead them to their dismemberment and death. The horrifying chapters reveal the dark side of 19th-century Chicago.

When you listen to this audiobook, you are more likely to be fascinated by the people who are involved in building the white city.

Also, there are so many great social and historical details about the Gilded Age that you’ll find highly intriguing.  


Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best History & Biography (2017)
  • National Book Award Finalist
  •  Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture

Listening Length: 9 hours and 4 minutes

Narrator: Will Patton,  Ann Marie Lee,  Danny Campbell

Killers of the Flower Moon delves into the series of murders of Osage Indians in the 1920s.

The Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma became the wealthiest in the world after oil was discovered in their land.

They rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe but subsequently became the targets for murder.

The book is divided into a few parts, the earlier parts follow the stories of family members who were killed, the next part describes the newly created F.B.I. led by Tom White, and finally, Grann exposes the aftermath of the horrific deaths.

Killers of the Flower Moon is a true-life murder mystery, a dark chapter in the history of America. 


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

  • The New York Times #1 Bestseller
  • Now a Major Documentary Series From HBO and Sky
  • Winner of the Good Reads Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018

Listening Length: 14 hours and 27 minutes

Narrator: Scott Brick

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is praised for being true crime journalism at its very finest.

This book is a vivid and meticulous investigation of journalist Michelle McNamara about a serial rapist turned murderer who she called Golden State Killer.

For more than ten years, the violent predator terrorized California. Before his disappearance, he had committed over fifty sexual assault crime in North California, thereafter ten sadistic murders in the south.

Three decades later, Michelle carried out an investigation, determined to find the violent psychopath.

While writing this masterpiece, McNamara died tragically, and the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague.

This propulsive true crime thriller is absolutely incredible to listen to. And because it’s written cleverly, you will remember every detail of this haunting narrative. 


Chaos by Tom O’Neill and Dan Piepenbring

Listening Length: 16 hours and 15 minutes

Narrator: Kevin Stillwell

Tom O’Neill’s twenty years of meticulous research bring shocking revelations about the most infamous crimes in American History.

Chaos is the journalist detective story that takes you down the rabbit hole to drugs, sex, and the life of serial killer Charles Manson and the Manson family.

Once O’Neill began the research for his story he started to find holes in the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s narrative. He began to wonder about Manson’s influence among Hollywood celebrities, and why law enforcement never stopped Manson’s brutal acts when they had many chances to do so.

And how it’s even possible to turn a group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers.

O’Neill’s investigation leads him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies. Chaos is a gripping audiobook that chronicles murders, weird discoveries, and mind-bending hypotheticals. 


Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

  • A Netflix Original Series

Listening Length: 15 hours and 24 minutes

Narrator: Richard M. Davidson

You might have already heard of Netflix’s latest true crime drama, Mindhunter, now let’s explore the book that inspired the show.

Mindhunter takes you to the life of Former FBI agent and criminal profiler John E. Douglas, who has spent the twenty-five-years of his career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, delving into the minds of the country’s most notorious and dangerous criminals such as Charles Manson and Ted Bundy.

He revolutionized psychological profiling and became a legendary figure in law enforcement. He has confronted and interviewed scores of serial killers and assassins.

And even became the model for law enforcement legend Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris’s thrillers Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs


Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow 

  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Nonfiction (2019)
  • The New York Times Bestseller

Listening Length: 14 hours and 27 minutes

Narrator: Scott Brick

This instant New York Times bestseller, also an HBO miniseries, is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow and exposes the sex scandal surrounding the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Farrow brings to light the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy individuals to threaten journalists and victims of abuse.

Catch and Kill is both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism that dive deep into the world of US media and Hollywood. This is a quite terrifying and outrageous piece of the story. 


The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

  • A New York Times “100 Notable Books of 2020
  • Winner of the Pinckley Prize for True Crime
  • Edgar Award Nominee in “Best Fact Crime”
  • Lambda Literary Award finalist in the Bisexual Nonfiction (2021)
  • Indie Next Pick for February 2020
  • Apple Books- “Best Books of January”
  • Amazon, “Best Books of January 2020” in Nonfiction and History

Listening Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes

Narrator: Emma Copley Eisenberg

The Third Rainbow Girl explores the unsolved case of rainbow murders in rural West Virginia.

In the early evening of summer 1980, two young women were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived.

Over the years, deep suspicion was cast on locals, but no one was prosecuted until a local farmer. But when a serial Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility, he was released. After spending years living in Pocahontas County author Eisenberg weaves her own personal experience into this narrative.

She reveals how mysterious murder has a serious impact on the history of Appalachia. 


Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Notable Book Of The Year
  • Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best History & Biography (2021)

Listening Length: 18 hours and 6 minutes

Narrator: Patrick Radden Keefe

This New York Times bestseller is a devastating portrayal of three generations of the Sackler family who were known for their philanthropy work.

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard, and Oxford.

However, the sources of one of the richest families in the world were shocking and scandalous. It turns out that the family fortune was the result of making and marketing OxyContin.

Empire of Pain chronicles the Sackler family’s early success and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. 


We Were Once a Family by Roxanna Asgarian

  • A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

Listening Length: 7 hours and 34 minutes

Narrator: Suehyla El-Attar

Roxanna Asgarian surveys the shocking murder-suicide that claimed the lives of six children and reveals the systemic issues within the foster care and adoption systems.

On March 26, 2018 rescue workers discovered the bodies of two women and several children in a fatal accident.

The investigators concluded that it was a murder crash by a white married couple named Jennifer and Sarah, who had adopted the six Black children from two different Texas families in 2006 and 2008.

It soon became apparent that the State of Texas had actually never known anything about the couple. We Were Once a Family is a riveting narrative that extensively documents the indictment of a system that continues to fail America’s most vulnerable kids while disrupting the lives of their families. 


Columbine by Dave Cullen

  • The Groundbreaking Bestseller and Classic

Listening Length: 14 hours and 06 minutes

Narrator: Don Leslie

Dave Cullen discusses the prevalence of mass shootings in America and how the Columbine shooting in 1999 became the template for nearly two decades of “spectacle murders.” Cullen tackles the hardest question: why did it happen?

With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws insight from the world’s leading forensic psychologists, and the plethora of evidence to finally have a deeper understanding of the motive behind the high school massacres.

Cullen believes that at the bottom of these unthinkable stories lies a call-to-action demanding to find the underlying cause.


Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

  • National Bestseller

Listening Length: 12 hours and 29 minutes

Narrator: Scott Brick

This Story of Violent Faith explores the origin and evolution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the murder of a blameless woman and her baby girl committed by brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, in the name of God.

Under the Banner of Heaven is a meticulously researched multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities of Mormon Fundamentalists who believe the renunciation of polygamy by the mainstream Mormon Church was a major error.

This ambitious book is a courageous piece of true crime that examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States.


There you’ve the best list of true crime audiobook recommendations to listen to in 2023.

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Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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