Forthcoming true crime books include studies of persuasive inmates, a primer on poison, and a look at one of the most infamous serial killers of all time that puts his victims at the forefront.
Boys Enter the House
David B. Nelson. Chicago Review, Oct.
Journalist Nelson’s debut offers an account of the victims of notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy—boys and young men who, in many cases, were buried beneath Gacy’s home outside Chicago. The book, which PW’s starred review called “moving and meticulously researched,” draws on interviews with the victims’ families and loved ones.
Dark Room in Glitter Ball City
David Domine. Pegasus Crime, Oct.
Domine’s book centers on the 2010 murder of drag queen and hairdresser James Carroll. “Fans of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will be captivated,” PW said in its starred review.
The Other Doctor Gilmer
Benjamin Gilmer. Ballantine, Mar. 2022
When physician Benjamin Gilmer took up a post at family clinic in Fletcher, N.C., in 2009, he learned that a decade prior, his predecessor, Vince Gilmer—no relation—had been imprisoned for killing his father. Here, Gilmer recounts his investigation into the murder, which included visits to the other Gilmer in prison, and his conclusion that the convict was suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. The book expands on a popular 2013 episode of This American Life reported by Sara Koenig, of Serial fame.
Sara Weinman. Ecco, Feb. 2022
Weinman (Unspeakable Acts) tells the story of Edgar Smith, a convicted murderer who conned his way out of prison with the help of, among others, National Review founder and conservative pundit William F. Buckley. Though Smith is the focus of the book, Weinman also explores the mindsets of those he was able to manipulate.
A Taste for Poison
Neil Bradbury. St. Martin’s, Feb. 2022
Physiology and biophysics professor Bradbury debuts with what PW’s review called an “accessible and fascinating study of poisons.” Among the historical cases he examines is the death of Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov, who in 1978 was stabbed with the tip of a ricin-laced umbrella while waiting for a bus in London.
The Three Death Sentences of Clarence Henderson
Chris Joyner. Abrams, Jan. 2022
On Halloween in 1948, while sitting in parked car in Carrollton, Ga., 22-year-old Carl Stevens Jr. and his girlfriend were abducted at gunpoint. Though his date escaped, Stevens was gunned down as he protected her. Investigative reporter Joyner explores the still-unsolved crime, for which a Black sharecropper named Clarence Henderson would be tried and found guilty three times—despite his innocence.
Women Who Love Men Who Kill
Sheila Isenberg. Diversion, Oct.
Isenberg updates her 1991 book, which sought answers as to why women fall in love with men behind bars—many of them extreme violent offenders—and shows how the advent of the internet and digital communication have made inmates all the more accessible to the outside world, such as through prison pen pal websites. “Assured prose keeps the pages turning,” PW’s review said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of Vince Gilmer, the subject of The Other Dr. Gilmer.