Monday, December 01, 2014

If You Like the Podcast "Serial"...

Telling the story of a teenage girl's 1999 murder in serialized weekly episodes, the show Serial has become podcasting's first breakout hit. Far beyond its 1.5 million listeners per week, the show has created a huge buzz with tons of media coverage, endless online conspiracy theories, and several other podcasts dedicated to dissecting every episode. Serial was created by the makers of public radio stalwart This American Life and so everything is done with great professionalism and class, but what really makes this podcast work so well is the powerful combination of true-crime and teenage melodrama. This is like the entertainment version of double stuffed Oreos and diet Coke, hitting some sweet spot in your brain that instantly craves more.

Fortunately, our library system has lots more items that fit this category available for checkout. Here are just a few examples:

Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey - The beautiful Pacific Northwestern town of Victoria, British Columbia is a nicer and better place to live then approximately 99.8934% of the globe. Still, in 1997 a fourteen year old girl was beaten to death here by a group of her peers. Godfrey's book on this case was a bestseller and won British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2006.

Bully - This 2001 film is based on the book Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge. Director Larry Clark, as is his style, piles on loads of drugs, nudity, and general seediness. The film's best and most haunting scene however, uses the teenage murderers' actual courtroom dialogue.

Pretty Little Killers by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller - Originally released as an e-book under the title The Savage Murder of Skylar Neese, this new print edition adds an extra 100 pages about this sad case of a sixteen year old girl stabbed to death by two of her friends.

Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale - Of course, true crime doesn't have to be all death and murder. Abagnale's first-person narrative of his life as a teenage conman details how he wrote $2.5 million worth of bad checks while passing himself off as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer. This biography was eventually made into a film starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.