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15 Killer Gifts for True Crime Fans

Hannah McDonald
Your giftee would die to receive these presents.
Your giftee would die to receive these presents. / Amazon (game, socks), Justin Dodd (background)
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Humans have a strange and lasting fascination with the dark and macabre. We’re hooked on stories about crime and murder, and if you know one of those obsessives who eagerly binges every grisly documentary and podcast that crosses their path, you’re in luck—we’ve compiled a list of the best gifts for true crime fans that will appeal to any murder mystery lover.

1. A Haunted Road Atlas: Sinister Stops, Dangerous Destinations, and True Crime Tales; $22

The cover of the book 'The Haunted Road Atlas'
'A Haunted Road Atlas: Sinister Stops, Dangerous Destinations, and True Crime Tales' / Andrews McMeel Publishing

This New York Times-bestselling book by Christine Schafer and Em Schultz, hosts of the podcast And That’s Why We Drink, has everything: profiles of real crimes, details on alleged hauntings, road trip tips, fascinating facts, and even drink recommendations. The entry on Boston, for example, features pieces on both Mina Crandon—the so-called medium who tried (and failed) to stump Houdini—and the Boston Strangler. Haunted Atlas is separated out by region, and further broken down by city, to make planning a snap, and includes QR codes your loved one can scan to listen to relevant episodes of the podcast as they go from one blood-curdling destination to the next.

Buy It: Amazon

2. This is My True Crime Watching Blanket; $35

A blanket that looks like a police report
This is My True Crime Watching Blanket / Amazon

For true crime fans, there are few things better than hitting the couch to binge a full day of their favorite shows on Investigation Discovery. This 50-by-65-inch fleece blanket—which looks just like a redacted police report of a crime—is the perfect thing for your giftee to snuggle up with while they watch. It’s both lightweight and warm, and as one reviewer noted, the blanket “washes well and stays soft. It would be a crime to pass this up!”

Buy It: Amazon

3. A Year of True Crime Page-a-Day Calendar; $17

A Year of True Crime Page-a-Day Calendar
A Year of True Crime Page-a-Day Calendar / Workman Publishing Company/Amazon

With this page-a-day calendar, every morning is an opportunity to build your loved one's true crime chops. Feed their morbid curiosity by reading about unsolved cases and horrifying killers while testing their knowledge with the occasional quizzes sprinkled throughout the 320-page calendar (weekends are combined onto one page).

Buy It: Amazon

4. Bloody America: The Serial Killers Coloring Book; $9

'Bloody America: The Serial Killers' Coloring Book
'Bloody America: The Serial Killers' Coloring Book / Kolme Korkeudet Oy/Amazon

Some people use coloring books to relax, while others use them to dive into the grisly murders of American serial killers. Just make sure to also gift some red colored pencils before you wrap this up for your bestie. And there are plenty more true crime coloring books where that came from.

Buy It: Amazon

5. The Serial Killer Cookbook: True Crime Trivia and Disturbingly Delicious Last Meals from Death Row's Most Infamous Killers and Murderers; $16

'The Serial Killer Cookbook' by Ashley Lecker cover.
'The Serial Killer Cookbook' / Ulysses Press/Amazon

This macabre cookbook contains recipes for the last meals of some of the world’s most famous serial killers, including Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, and John Wayne Gacy. This cookbook covers everything from breakfast (seared steak with eggs and toast, courtesy of Ted Bundy) to dessert (chocolate cake, the last request of Bobby Wayne Woods). Each recipe includes a short description of the killer who requested the meal.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Ripped from the Headlines!: The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies’ Most Memorable Crimes; $12

'Ripped from the Headlines!: The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies’ Most Memorable Crimes' cover.
'Ripped from the Headlines!: The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies’ Most Memorable Crimes' / Little A/Amazon

In this book, true crime historian Harold Schechter sorts out the truth and fiction that inspired some of Hollywood’s best-known murder movies—including Psycho (1960), Scream (1996), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and The Hills Have Eyes (1977). As Schechter makes clear, sometimes reality is even a little more sick and twisted than the movies show.

Buy It: Amazon

7. The Deadbolt Mystery Society Monthly Box; $24/month

The Deadbolt Mystery Society Monthly Box from Cratejoy.
The Deadbolt Mystery Society Monthly Box / CrateJoy

Give the murder-mystery lover in your life the opportunity to solve a brand-new case every single month. Each box includes the documents and files for a standalone mystery story that can be solved alone or with up to three friends. To crack the case, you’ll also need a laptop, tablet, or smartphone connected to the internet—each mystery includes interactive content that requires scanning QR codes or watching videos. The subscription comes in tiers, with pricing varying from $24 a month if you sign up for 12 months to $27 for a single box.

Buy It: Cratejoy

8. In Cold Blood; $10

'In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote
'In Cold Blood' / Vintage/Amazon

Truman Capote’s 1965 classic about the murder of a Kansas family is considered by many to be the first true-crime non-fiction novel ever published. Capote’s book—still compulsively readable despite being written more than 50 years ago—follows the mysterious case from beginning to end, helping readers understand the perspectives of the victims, investigators, and suspects in equal time. (If you want to get your giftee more than one true crime tome, here are some others to consider.)

Buy It: Amazon

9. Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide; $14

'Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide' by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
'Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide' / Forge Books/Amazon

Any avid true crime fan has at least heard of My Favorite Murder, the popular podcast that premiered in 2016. This book is a combination of practical wisdom, true crime tales, and personal stories from the podcast’s comedic hosts. Reviewers say it’s “poignant” and “worth every penny.”

Buy It: Amazon

10. Sorry I Can't Mug; $18

Sorry I Can't Mug
Sorry I Can't Mug / Trend Setters Ltd./Amazon

As best true crime gifts go, this cheeky coffee mug says it all. It’s microwave-safe (but not dishwasher-safe) and will grab the attention of the true crime lover in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Latent Fingerprint Kit; $60

Latent Fingerprint Kit
Latent Fingerprint Kit / True Crime Store / Amazon

Try your hand (get it?!) at being an amateur detective with this kit that lets you collect fingerprints left on most surfaces. It may not be glamorous, but it could help you solve the mystery of who put that practically empty carton back in the refrigerator when it barely contained enough milk for a cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Death at The Dive Bar; $27

'Death at The Dive Bar' Game
'Death at The Dive Bar' Game / Hunt A Killer Store / Amazon

Death at The Dive Bar isn't your grandma's murder mystery party game. This version from Hunt A Killer takes place after the death of bar owner Nick Webster. Police rule the death accidental, but one employee thinks there's more to the case. Death at the Dive Bar provides one to five players with up to an hour of uncovering clues, solving puzzles, and untangling codes and ciphers to crack the case.

Buy It: Amazon

13. Evidence Zipper Pouch; $10

Blue Q Evidence Zipper Pouch
Evidence Zipper Pouch / Blue Q / Amazon

Any true crime fan will tell you how important it is to not tamper with the evidence. This 7.25-inch by 9.5-inch zipper pouch is made of 95 percent recycled plastic and will let everyone know not to mess with the contents inside for fear of retaliation.

Buy It: Amazon

14. True Crime Novelty Socks; $17

True Crime Novelty Socks
True Crime Novelty Socks / GJTIM/Amazon

These knee-high novelty socks, which have a 5 percent off on-page coupon, will easily let you know how the true crime fan in your life really feels about having conversations with you.

Buy It: Amazon

15. Cold Case Puzzles; $8

'Cold Case Puzzles'
'Cold Case Puzzles' / Publications International Ltd./Amazon

No case is truly cold, right? Try your skills at 100 crime-themed anagrams, cryptograms, puzzles, and logic games to see if you can catch the killer.

Buy It: Amazon

A version of this story originally ran in 2020; it has been updated for 2022.

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