Captivated by “Tiger King-Murder Mayhem and Madness”–the new Netlfix documentary —about the life of tiger breeder and zoo operator Joe Exotic and his feud with big cat conservationist Carole Baskin?
At its heart, Tiger King is a true crime drama filled with eccentric characters, bizarre situations, polygamy, murder for hire, mad egos, obsessions, and fierce rivalries, all making for an entertaining watch. If you are a fan of the show and want to meet more outlandish characters, or read bizarre true crime chronicles, here’s a list for you. All are available as ebooks or audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby.
In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn, an aspiring novelist, agreed to deliver a dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of Clark Rockefeller, a reclusive banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.
- The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
Parallel stories of two men living in Chicago during the World’s Fair. The first is the architect Daniel Hudson Burnham, the mastermind behind the construction of the White City, a park in Chicago and site of the World’s Fair. The second man is a murderer, Henry H. Holmes, a doctor who built his “World’s Fair Hotel” a torture palace complete with a gas chamber.
Early-twentieth-century New Orleans Tom Anderson, the undisputed king of the city’s Storyville vice district, who fights to keep his empire intact. Surrounding him are the stories of flamboyant prostitutes, crusading moral reformers, dissolute jazzmen, ruthless Mafiosi, venal politicians, and one extremely violent serial killer, all battling for primacy in a wild and wicked city.
- Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn
Here is the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human oddities (with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes). Their offspring include Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious—and dangerous—asset.
- The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird by Joshua Hammer
A rollicking true-crime adventure about a rogue who trades in rare birds and their eggs—and the wildlife detective determined to stop him.
- The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Centuryby Kirk Wallace Johnson
A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
A spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the ladies of the Married Woman’s Card Club; the redneck gigolo; the recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill everyone in Savannah, the aging Southern belle who is the “soul of pampered self-absorption”, the funny black drag queen, and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian