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Hello! My name is Courtney and I love true crime. I listen to all the true crime podcasts (“Serial,” “My Favorite Murder,” etc.), I’ve seen nearly every true crime documentary that’s available on streaming services, and I fully immerse myself in true crime adaptations (have you seen Zac Efron as Ted Bundy?)—preferably all while knitting. They just go together, okay?
I’m honestly not sure why I love true crime so much. Maybe it’s because it’s itching to learn about a little history, or maybe it’s to educate and better protect myself (I have a massive fear of getting snatched on a run). Nonetheless, there are some products for true crime junkies that will help them get their fix outside the typical podcast or documentary. From fun subscription boxes to themed wine to clever merch, these are the 12 things every true crime lover needs in their life.
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1. Wine with a criminal backstory
19 Crimes Wine isn’t regular wine, it’s cool wine. Each blend comes with a backstory from historic murderers and criminals that you can learn about from a living wine label. Just scan the label with an app and the criminal will literally come to life and tell you their historic tale—Snoop Dogg is even featured on a bottle. My friend gifted me the 19 Crimes Chardonnay for a housewarming and it was definitely a cool party trick.
2. A portable flashlight to shed light in the dark
Everyone knows that the secret to not getting murdered is staying out of the woods, but if you do find yourself in the woods it’s good to have a portable flashlight to shed a light on your surroundings. The Olight S2 Baton is the best flashlight we’ve ever tested and has a whopping 950 lumens packed into its small size. It’s super light at just three ounces, so you can carry it with you on nighttime jogs or while hiking to feel a little safer.
3. A calendar filled with true crime facts
Random true crime facts are always fun to throw out during parties or to fill some awkward silence. If you’re low on some knowledge, this daily calendar will do the trick. Each day you’ll be delighted with mini stories about the 1990’s Clown Killer or the inspiration for Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill. Some stories stretch through multiple days, so it’ll give you a reason to get out of bed each morning.
4. An audible subscription to listen to true crime books
If you’ve already listened to every true crime podcast at warp speed, it may be time to sink your teeth into some literature instead. But in my humble opinion, true crime meant is to be listened to, not read, as it immerses you in the story more and gets your heartbeat up. An Audible subscription will allow you to listen to favorites like “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered” and “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” at your leisure. One of my coworkers is obsessed with this audiobook service because of its large library and amazing return policy.
5. A true crime subscription box
Interactive murder mystery games are always fun (I fondly remember going to an American Girl themed mystery party when I was younger). But nothing takes the cake quite like Hunt A Killer. It’s a cold case mystery game that doubles as a monthly subscription box. Basically, you’ll get a new “episode” each month that keeps you on your toes as you try to figure out who-dun-it. Our reviewer had a blast playing each episode with her boyfriend and found it both challenging and exciting. You can opt for one-off boxes for $30 per month or $165 for a 6-month subscription, but trust us, you’re going to want the full season.
6. The sweet record from Joe Exotic
The true crime documentary series Tiger King and its namesake Joe Exotic took the country by storm during the beginning of the pandemic. Aside from being the former owner and operator of the G. W. Zoo in Oklahoma, he proved to be a jack of all trades as the arch-nemesis of Carol Baskin, gubernatorial (and presidential!) candidate, and musician (!). So any true crime fan would love Exotic’s sweet tunes from his album I Saw a Tiger serving as background music (despite its 3.2-star Amazon rating)—or at least displaying the CD for a few laughs.
7. A coloring book featuring your favorite killers
Serial killer documentaries and podcasts can be a little stressful, so you might want to relax with a coloring book…of serial killers. “Bloody Alphabet” features 23 detailed drawings of some of the most infamous serial killers and criminals like Ted Bundy, Pablo Escobar, and Charles Manson. It’s quite popular on Amazon with nearly 1,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating, and reviewers praise it for its detailed illustrations. Warning: this is not a coloring book for children.
8. A door lock you can use anywhere
I don’t know about you, but after a true crime binge, I can be a little on edge and sometimes fear for my life for no apparent reason. It comes with the territory. For some more security when traveling, use this portable door lock at hotels or Airbnbs. This one from Addalock has earned a 4.5-star rating from more than 3,500 reviews. It’s easy to install, requires no tool, and ensures no one can get it—even with a key. Shoppers love how it stops the door from budging and that it makes them feel more secure.
9. A cheeky spoon for breakfast
Do you enjoy your morning true crime while munching on a bowl of Frosted Flakes? Then you need this witty spoon with the words “cereal killer” stamped on it. Clever, right? It has a 5-star rating from more than 4,000 reviewers on Etsy. These fellow true crime and cereal addicts can attest to its quality and its charm.
10. A cold case for your next game night
Solving a cold case is one way to bring a group of people together. Enter Unsolved Case Files, your next quest for game night. The rules are relatively simple: solve three separate clues to crack the case, though you’ll need some brainpower to do so. Included are 50 evidence photos and documents to sift through, including newspaper articles, crime scene photographs, evidence reports, phone records, coroner’s reports, fingerprint cards, and more. Reviewers are addicted to this game, which is why it has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon. Their only complaint is they wish more cases were available.
11. A sophisticated forensic print
Nothing screams “I love true crime,” quite like filling your home with forensic prints. Reviewers love this one from Etsy that displays a fingerprint identification system. It has a vintage look to it, which gives it a sophisticated vibe, and is available in several color options. Shoppers love how fast it shipped and the high quality of the piece.
12. A highly-rated cosmetic bag
No one will tamper with your favorite cosmetics products if they’re hidden in an evidence bag, right? This witty zipper pouch from Blue Q looks nearly identical to an actual evidence bag, so true crime fans will love storing their makeup, pens, and other supplies in it. It earned a 4.7-star rating on Amazon from 372 reviewers for it’s high quality (the plastic coating doesn’t tear) and how clear the print is.
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