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7 Books to Read If You Listen to The Last Podcast on the Left

by | February 26

During a time where True Crime seems an insatiable topic of interest, The Last Podcast on the Left is a popular listening choice for many. The hosts of the comical true crime podcast, Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel, tackle complicated murder cases, paranormal investigations, and serial killers in the episodes through a humorous lens and perspective. Each subject is explained in detail, based on lengthy research. I’ve compiled a list of well-known books that the hosts used as a basis for their research, if you want to learn more about some of their episodes’ stories!

Photo by Tertia van Rensburg on Unsplash

The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me

by Ann Rule

Ted Bundy is the focus of episodes 99 and 100, as part of the podcast’s “Heavy Hitter” series, which focuses on various serial killers and infamous murderers in the world from different time periods. The broadcasts from these episodes feature much of the details in Rule’s true-crime memoir of her experience working at a suicide hotline with Bundy. The podcast team breaks down Bundy’s childhood, early life, murder spree, and prison breaks with the help of Rule’s insights on the serial killer.

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Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter

by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

Charles Manson is the subject of episodes 147 through 149. Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of the Manson case, details the crimes of the Manson Family and his experience at the trials for these vicious and gruesome crimes in Helter Skelter. Bugliosi shares his insight on the Tate and LaBianca murders and how Manson was able to manipulate members of “The Family” to do his bidding. Marcus, Henry, and Ben relied on this tell-all as a way to better understand the chilling case and further their research on the psychotic cult leader.

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Dear Dawn

Dear Dawn

by Daphne Gottlieb and Lisa Kester

Women serial killers are a complicated breed of criminals, as explained in The Last Podcast on the Left’s episodes 266 and 267. Aileen Wuornos was a serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida while she was a hitchhiking prostitute. Dear Dawn was an informative source for our podcast hosts, based on how the book details the crimes straight from Wuornos herself. The book is a collection of letters that she wrote to her friend Dawn Botkins while on death row.

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Devil's Knot

Devil's Knot

by Mara Leveritt

The West Memphis Three is a controversial case for the ages. Three teenage boys were accused, convicted, and later set free based on the investigation of the murder of three eight-year old boys in their small-town Arkansas neighborhood. Marcus, Henry, and Ben detail the case in episodes 335 through 337 and explain their reasoning for why they believe the West Memphis Three were wrongfully convicted of these crimes. The podcast hosts used Leveritt’s book as a way to learn more about the key participants in the case and the various flaws in the initial investigation.

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Green River, Running Red

Green River, Running Red

by Ann Rule

Gary Ridgway, aka “The Green River Killer,” is examined in episode 116. Ann Rule tackles Ridgway in her true-crime book Green River, Running Red, providing excruciating detail about this case of the man who was convicted of murdering more than forty often desperately vulnerable women and teenage girls in Washington during the 80s and 90s.

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The Road to Jonestown

The Road to Jonestown

by Jeff Guinn

In a four-part series, Marcus, Ben, and Henry cover the People’s Temple Agricultural Project, aka “Jonestown,” in episodes 300 through 304. The podcast walks listeners through Jim Jones’s life and how he was able to commit the biggest mass suicide in the history of the United States. Much of the information in this series centers on Guinn’s book, which details the FBI’s investigation of the case, as well as Jones’s personal history.

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Capturing Jack the Ripper

Capturing Jack the Ripper

by Neil R. A. Bell

The cold case of “Jack the Ripper” has been an infamous part of true-crime history for ages. Episodes 254 through 258 detail how the mysterious serial killer came to wreak havoc in the East End of London during the fall of 1888, killing and mutilating at least five women. If you want to know more about the unsolved case, definitely pick up this intriguing read.

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Jess is a Digital Marketing Content Coordinator at Simon & Schuster. Her guilty pleasure is reading Young Adult series like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Field Party, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. When she’s not reading, you can find her at a Yankees or Giants game or rewatching Riverdale for the hundredth time.