The false teeth of a female serial killer from 1908, the cut-and-paste confession of the Black Dahlia killer, the newly cracked cipher of the Zodiac killer, the shotgun used in the Clutter family murders, which were made famous by Truman Capote's true crime classic In Cold Blood—these are more than simple artifacts that once belonged to notorious murderers. They are objets of fascination to the legion of true crime obsessives around the world. And not merely for fleeting dark thrills, but because they represent a way to better understand those who we typically label monsters in lieu of learning how they actually became one.
In Murderabilia, veteran true crime writer Harold Schechter presents 100 murder-related artifacts spanning two centuries (1808–2014), with accompanying stories of various lengths. A visual and literary journey, it presents a history unlike any previously told in the true crime genre, one that speaks to the dark fascination of true crime fans while also presenting a larger historical timeline of how and why we continue to be captivated by the most sensational crimes and killers among us.