7 Thrilling Audiobooks on the Most Notorious Crimes in History

Detective looking at investigation board in office, working on solving a crime.
01/14/2021

Steal away for an evening of the most notorious crime stories — true and fictional — that will captivate your imagination.

No matter what your reason is, you’re not alone if you revel in the criminal, creepy, gruesome or sensational. In fact, you’re in very good company, because voracious readers—and listeners—are gobbling up crime stories from conniving criminals past and present, true crime and fiction audiobooks. So turn down the lights, tuck yourself beneath a cozy blanket and turn up the volume on Audible’s juiciest, scariest, most notorious, scandalous and salacious crime stories to indulge in tonight.

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection

Author:
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry - introductions
Narrator:
Stephen Fry
Length:
71:57
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Crime newbies might start with Sherlock Holmes, the classic fictitious detective created by British author Arthur Conan Doyle. Since 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been solving murders and mysteries with his powers of observation and deduction—and some help from his sidekick, Dr. Watson.

Narrated by actor, journalist and Sherlock superfan Stephen Fry, this collection starts at the very beginning: the detective duo’s first case, featured in A Study in Scarlet. Nearly 72 hours of clues, weapons and red herrings include the well-known tale Hound of the Baskervilles and lesser-known gems, like The Valley of Fear, all delivered with Fry’s unique brand of dramatic flair plus a personal reflection on why each one’s worth revisiting. By the closing credits, you’ll be nothing short of a Sherlock scholar. It’s elementary, my dear!

Canadian actor Colm Feore records the Audible Original podcast True North Heists.

True North Heists (Audible Original)

True North Heists

Author:
Andrew Kaufman
Narrator:
Colm Feore
Length:
4:30
Type:
Podcast Podcast

If you think America has a monopoly on bank robbers while Canada sits politely up north, you’re wrong—and author Andrew Kaufman can prove it. This new and exclusive Canadian Audible Original podcast, True North Heists is exactly what it sounds like, only lots more exciting. It covers everything from a 1906 railway robbery to a half-million-dollar theft from the Bank of Nova Scotia in ’61 to Mingo the Mastermind’s $68-million scoop of stocks and bonds in 1984. Each and every misdeed happened on Canadian soil and was perpetrated by Canadian criminals, climaxing in the ultimate caper: thousands of barrels of pricey maple syrup siphoned off in 2012.

Ten delicious tales are performed by Colm Feore, officer of the Order of Canada and winner of the Governor General’s lifetime achievement award and a Canadian storyteller that needs to be heard. Feore’s enthusiastic delivery and dramatic re-enactments are nothing short of infectious, as is the old-timey soundtrack, with gunshots and cars wheels roaring away. Interviews include cops, writers, thinkers and even the criminals themselves. Have we piqued your interest? You can read even more about this podcast here.

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Author:
Thomas Harris
Narrator:
Kathy Bates
Length:
3:03
Series:
Hannibal Lecter (abridged)
Type:
Abridged Audiobook Abridged Audiobook

Looking for an evening activity away from your screens? Pipe this thriller through your speakers and prepare to be spooked. You may have seen the movie but, if you can believe it, Thomas Harris’ 1988 fictional novel is somehow even scarier. Maybe because the only thing more terrifying than a serial killer is two serial killers: jailed cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, of course, and on-the-run Buffalo Bill, who starves and skins women to make himself a girl suit. FBI agent Clarice Starling is tasked with coaxing Bill’s identity from Lecter…without getting herself killed in the process.

Read by horror-film royalty Kathy Bates, this audiobook clocks in at just over three hours, meaning you can gobble it up in one sitting. And if you’re still hungry for more, Audible has sequels Hannibal and Red Dragon at your fingertips.

Detective in protective gear and mask, investigating crime scene.

The Halifax Slasher

Author:
Nick Baker, John Woolf
Narrator:
Length:
4:05
Type:
Podcast Podcast

If and when you’re ready to face a real-life serial killer (on the page, at least), try The Halifax Slasher. The story is set not in Canada’s Halifax, thankfully, but in Halifax in West Yorkshire, England, where 11 people were brutally attacked in 1938. Chaos ensues, the hunt is on and a huge reward is offered for the capture of the notorious knife-wielding killer—only nothing is quite as it seems. Stage actress Carolyn Pickles presents this true story through the voices of victims, civilians, law enforcement, historians and newspaper columnists, making for a whodunit chock full of twists and turns till the very end.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl: A Novel

Author:
Gillian Flynn
Narrator:
Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
Length:
19:11
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Before The Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window, The Silent Wife and so many more, there was the one that arguably started them all: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Long story short: On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne goes missing and Nick Dunne looks very suspicious. Writer Gillian Flynn was inspired by the true story of Laci and Scott Peterson, though Flynn’s version is packed with wild imaginative twists you won’t see coming.

This audiobook pegs Julie Whelan as the perfect but unknowable Amy against Kirby Heyborne as her evasive, bad husband and maybe-murderer, Nick. It looks uncomfortably closely at love, marriage and whether you ever really know your partner at all. So share an earbud, snuggle up with your boo and let Gone Girl put your meager relationship squabbles to shame.

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties

Author:
Tom O'Neill, Dan Piepenbring
Narrator:
Kevin Stillwell
Length:
16:15
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Every true-crime aficionado knows the Summer of Love ended abruptly in 1969 with a two-night bloody bender at the hands of Charles Manson and his “family” of followers. The murders became some of the most famous and infamous in history. They’re so well- known, in fact, that Tom O’Neill—a journalist who covered the crimes two decades ago—once thought everything that could be known already was. Turns out, he was very, very wrong. By mere fluke, O’Neill stumbled onto evidence of a cover-up, police carelessness, legal misconduct and conspiracy.

Twenty long years later, O’Neill has finally compiled his research into Chaos, read by actor Kevin Stillwell. The title is fitting for fans of crime and old Hollywood lore alike, and aims to answer a number of burning questions: Which swanky celebs rubbed shoulders with Manson? How did law enforcement repeatedly miss copious red flags? What do the long-hidden FBI and CIA docs reveal? Tune in for Chaos’ brand new take on a classic crime.

The Secret Diaries of Detective Murdoch (Audible Original)

Audible Canada is announcing a new title in its Canadian Audible Originals slate: a 10-part series (plus one bonus episode to be released at the finale of the series), The Secret Diaries of Detective Murdoch. Fans of the long-running CBC TV hit Murdoch Mysteries shouldn’t miss this newest complement to the show’s 13 seasons, which feature Detective Murdoch solving vintage crimes in turn-of-the-century Toronto. Using then-new techniques, like blood testing and “finger marks,” Murdoch’s adventures mix the fictional detective with real-life historical moments and characters. Among them: Annie Oakley, Nikola Tesla, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

This Canadian Audible Original looks at the character’s private diaries, allowing fans to dive deeper into the whip-smart but socially awkward main character, played on TV and in this audiobook by Montreal native Yannick Bisson. Ten parts look at how Murdoch solved his most notable cases—and how you can, too. The Secret Diaries of Detective Murdoch is a family-friendly, gore-free detective story that even crimephobics will enjoy thoroughly.

Whether good-natured or gruesome, there’s a crime story (true or otherwise) for every curious listener. These picks are just a few to get going started on a fascinating genre sure to keep you coming back for more.

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