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Best gifts for people obsessed with true crime



Everyone knows someone who’s a little bit morbid, fascinated by the terrible, weird, and often unspeakable crimes human commit, and the injustices within the legal system itself.

They’re supremely into podcasts like My Favorite Murder, Serial, Dr. Death, Dirty John, and Criminal. They’ve binge-watched docuseries like Making a Murderer, The Jinx, Evil Genius — all of them. Every time you go on holiday, they find the most notorious, possibly haunted house in town, and insist on a visit (or at least a sneaky drive-by peek).

So, it’s time to celebrate their weird, dark obsession, with a gift! Here are some ideas for the couch detective in your life.

A little something something for Murderinos.

A little something something for Murderinos.

Image: my favorite murder

If your giftee is into true crime, they’ll likely listen to My Favorite Murder. The wildly popular podcast from Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark unpacks grisly murders throughout history for fans, lovingly called “Murderinos.” 

The podcast even has its own gift shop, in which you’ll find all sorts of merchandise from makeup bags to dog collars. But the real winner is the official tagline-sporting “Stay Sexy Don’t Get Murdered” socks “for maximum staying sexy and not getting murdered.” Of course, not getting murdered is not guaranteed, but they’re great socks.

Price: $20

Remember the 'Carry A. Nation' episode of 'Criminal'?

Remember the ‘Carry A. Nation’ episode of ‘Criminal’?

While we’re talking binge-listening and true crime podcasts, let’s switch over to Criminal. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, the podcast investigates a crime every episode, with one in particular spawning its own merchandise. 

Episode #73 follows the story of Carry Nation, a radical member of the temperance movement dubbed “America’s foremost lady hellraiser,” who, in the 1880s, famously used a hatchet to smash up taverns and other alcohol-serving establishments. Nation even made little hatchet pins with the words “Death to Rum” on the handle, so Criminal made their own pins, with the podcast name on the handle, and you can buy ‘em! 

Price: $15

The "From Hell" letter.

The “From Hell” letter.


The ultimate true crime case, one that continues to perplex historians to this day, is the case of one of Britain’s most brutal and infamous serial killers: the self-dubbed “Jack the Ripper.” The person responsible for the mutilation and murder of at least five women in the Whitechapel district of London’s East End in the 1880s sent many notes to police, media, and Scotland Yard during the investigation, which many believed to be fake

One of the most famous is what historians refer to as the “From Hell” letter received by George Lusk of the volunteer patrol Whitechapel Vigilance Committee on Oct. 16, 1888. This letter was reportedly accompanied by half a preserved human kidney. And you can get a reproduction … on Etsy, of all places. Of the letter, not the kidney.

Price: $50

A window display at the Random House building for 'In Cold Blood,' in New York, February 17, 1966.

A window display at the Random House building for ‘In Cold Blood,’ in New York, February 17, 1966.

Image: Carl T. Gossett, Jr./New York Times Co./Getty Images

Truman Capote’s 1966 masterpiece tops pretty much all ‘best true crime’ lists and is essential reading for any real true crime aficionado. Detailing the horrific 1959 murders of the Herbert Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, Capote’s nonfiction novel In Cold Blood is the second highest selling true crime book ever, behind Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter about the Charles Manson murders. 

You can find varying levels of first editions of In Cold Blood in rare bookstores and around the internet, with some reaching up to $2,000. You’ll need to really double check legitimacy, as with all first editions. But a cheaper, battered, second-hand copy still works as a great present for the ultimate true crime fan.

Price: From $28

Every detective needs a mug from their department.

Every detective needs a mug from their department.

This one’s for the tired detective, always on the hunt to find their next true crime obsession. Whether your giftee’s nearer to the New York Police Department, or the Los Angeles Police Department, or somewhere else on the globe, a classic mug will make them feel like they’re part of the team — without actually having to solve any crimes.

Wild, wild words.

Wild, wild words.

Image: wild wild t-shirts

Those who watched Netflix’s Wild Wild Country docuseries will remember two words: “tough titties.” This now-iconic moment came from the former spokeswoman of the Rajneesh cult Ma Anand Sheela, talking to Australia’s 60 Minutes. And you can wear it on a t-shirt. Keep in mind, y’know, she pleaded guilty to attempted murder, among other things.

Price: $20

Gingerbread people, you're done.

Gingerbread people, you’re done.

Image: rochaix cookie cutters/etsy

This one’s a little insensitive to murder victims, but so’s most of Halloween, to be honest. Instead of your standard gingerbread people, your slightly macabre giftee can bake some crime scene outlines instead. You can grab these ones from Spanish Etsy maker Rochaix Cookie Cutters, or there are plenty of others on the platform.

Made for stakeouts and lengthy bingewatching sessions.

Made for stakeouts and lengthy bingewatching sessions.

Every true crime lover needs a good thermos for those long stakeouts (read: binge-watching/listening/reading sessions). Try Zojirushi’s Vacuum Insulated Mug, which keeps beverages at 153 degrees F for up to six hours. Find similar suggestions here and here.

Price: $30 890d da74%2fthumb%2f00001

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