Unless you've been on a self-imposed Netflix exile, chances are you've seen the
Making a Murderer, the docuseries that's swept the nation. And if you have, then you've probably formed an opinion on whether Steven Avery is guilty or not, developed some issues with the flaws of our justice system, and are in need of more. Although there are plenty of TV shows and movies that will draw you in, there are also some great books to read if you like . Making a Murderer
Did you find
Making a Murderer educating? Thrilling? Entertaining? All the more reason to read books in the same vein as the Netflix series. It's no secret that the world loves true crime stories, but add in a whole lot of corruption, dirty work behind the scenes, and a mystery, and you've got yourself a major winner.
Making a Murderer turned them into investigators, eager to prove that the Manitowoc Sheriff's Department was planting false evidence in Avery's trailer. It's opened up a huge conversation about our country's justice and legal system, the flaws in it, and what happens when power falls in the wrong hands. The documentary also shed a lot of light on what privilege can do for someone, and how eager society is to discriminate against someone that is different from them and assume the worst about their character.
And for others? The documentary is just an entertaining story.
But no matter if you're hoping to join The Innocence Project and overturn wrongful convictions or you just love a good crime story, these 17 books are perfect for any
Making a Murderer fan. 1 'Devil's Knot: The True Story Of The Memphis Three' By Mara Leveritt is the true account of boys being accused of horrific crimes simply because they were different. The West Memphis Three included three teenagers accused of performing a satanic ritual and murdering three young boys, despite the absence of physical evidence and coerced confessions that made no sense. Their trial was more of a witch hunt and even though their convictions have been overturned, the book will still leave you furious. Devil's Knot Click Here To Buy 2 'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee
A classic that's probably already on your bookshelf,
is a fictional story that resonates deeply with everyone, especially those who have witnessed an ignored conscience in favor of siding with those in power. To Kill a Mockingbird Click Here To Buy 3 'In Cold Blood' By Truman Capote
A non-fiction book focusing on the 1959 murders of the Clutter family,
grips you with the violence, but Capote's research and interviews with the residents of the small town bring light to the life of both the victims and the murderers. In Cold Blood Click Here To Buy 4 'The Central Park Five' By Sarah Burns
When a jogger in Central Park was raped and beaten in 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested. But despite being minors and the lack of physical evidence linking them to the crime, they are convicted.
is an investigative look into the crime, the flaws in law enforcement and the justice system, and how the media frenzy compromised their innocence. The Central Park Five Click Here To Buy 5 'The Wrong Guys' By Tom Wells And Richard A. Leo
Based on a case from The Innocence Project,
The Wrong Guys follows the case of a woman who is raped and killed, and the four innocent men that separately confess to the crime. Despite the real murderer being convicted, three of the four men still remain in prison. This book gives a hard look at the role confessions, even false ones, can play in a case and the reform needed in our criminal justice system. Click Here To Buy 6 'Getting Life' By Michael Morton
When Michael Morton's wife is found savagely murdered in their bed, law enforcement wastes no time in presuming Morton is responsible for the crime, despite no physical evidence tying him to her death. After spending 25 years in prison, Morton is exonerated and
Getting Life is his memoir detailing the entire ordeal. Click Here To Buy 7 'The Innocent Man: Murder And Injustice In A Small Town' By John Grisham 8 'Just Mercy' By Bryan Stevenson
is a book about the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice founded by lawyer Bryan Stevenson, that defends those that are most desperate and in need. It will leave you inspired, and it's a total eyeopener to the lack of compassion in the justice system. Just Mercy Click Here To Buy 9 'The Dreams Of Ada' By Robert Mayer
For another look into how poverty can compromise a man's innocence, read
. The book focuses on the disappearance of a small-town woman and how two men are arrested and brought to trial, despite a body never being found, no evidence against the two, and no witnesses or weapons. The Dreams of Ada Click Here To Buy 10 'Bloodsworth' By Tim Junkin chronicles the horrific crime of a 9-year-old girl being raped and killed, with the man convicted of the crime proclaims his innocence. After prosecutors improperly withhold evidence in his first trial, he's granted another one which also results in conviction. Bloodsworth Click Here To Buy 11 'Picking Cotton' By Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, & Erin Torneo is an incredible look at forgiveness and judgement. After she's raped at gunpoint, Jennifer Thompson identifies Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Her identification is the only evidence against Cotton, who is convicted. After DNA evidence exonerates him 11 years lately, the two become unlikely friends in the face of tragedy. Picking Cotton Click Here To Buy 12 'Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder' By Vincent Bugliosi Outrage outlines the incompetence of the prosecution and the mockery of justice that was present during the O.J. Simpson trial. This is the perfect book to read if you happen to be watching American Crime Story. Click Here To Buy 13 'Gone Girl' By Gillian Flynn
If we're going to talk about how the media can ruin a presumption of innocence, then we have to talk about adding
to your list. It may be fiction, but the dark novel highlights a lot of real problems in our media when it comes to reporting on a tragedy. Gone Girl Click Here To Buy 14 'The New Jim Crow' By Michelle Alexander
It's no secret that race has played a large part of the social injustices of society, but
The New Jim Crow really drives the point home. The book reports on the criminal justice system being used more as a control of race, and how it relegates those to second class status based off of their color. Click Here To Buy 15 'Unfair: The New Science Of Criminal Justice' By Adam Benforado
Written by a law professor,
Unfair chronicles the flaws and brokenness of the justice system, but argues that law enforcement officials and prosecutors are not to blame — instead, the blame is on society. Click Here To Buy 16 'Convicting The Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong' By Brandon L. Garrett
If a criminal being exonerated by DNA evidence is what compels you to keep going in this genre, then
Convicting the Innocent is a book for you. The author investigates how wrongful convictions happen in the first place and examines the first 250 cases of DNA testing used to exonerate prisoners. Click Here To Buy 17 'It Happened To Audrey' By Jill Wellington And Audrey Edmunds
A truly heartbreaking tale,
is the story of a loving mother and child caretaker who is convicted and tried for the death of a baby in her care. She spends 13 years in prison fighting for her innocence before DNA exonerates her. The story is compelling, tragic, and terrifying. It Happened to Audrey Click Here To Buy