Giving gifts that were once useful for going out in society and actually doing things are so 2019 — instead, as we’re gearing up for another round of Covid-19 lockdowns and self-quarantine, the best gifts that can be given include stretchy pants and copious at-home entertainment.
If you’re a Murderino like myself, it’s likely that you spent the first part of the pandemic blowing through every true crime podcast and documentary available in between your sourdough batches (no? just me?). Or, perhaps you have a friend who’s in dire need of new activities to tickle their true crime fancy!
In either case, Amazon Prime and MMN have all of your bases covered — I’m talking cozy essentials, spooky page turners, and fun games that the whole family can enjoy (well, not the whole family)!
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First, let’s set the Murderino mood.
If you’re going to be settling in for the latest in true crime spookery, then you simply must have the proper accessories.
A weighted blanket is a must for any Murderino who wants to be swaddled like the sweet baby angel that they are. Also, the color is quite apt given the context of its intended purpose! If pinkish-red is too on the nose, there’s also have pink, white, and gray.
Although these are two of my favorite scents, I have to say there is something about leather and wood that just feels true crime-y. They’re earthy, they correspond to tactile experiences, they elicit visceral responses and/or olfactory memories. . . I simply sniff, imagine a spooky forest or a creepy workshop, and then I’m instantly transported into the world of true crime. Don’t think too much about it, just bathe your nose holes in the scents of leather and wood and move on.
See above justification for why these scents fit into the Murderino vibe. Also, the candle company’s name is just so perfectly ironic. (Get it? Because true crime and benevolence rarely go hand-in-hand? Ha!) Plus, the reviews rock.
“The Husband Did It” T-shirt
If you’ve checked out my Etsy gift-guide and/or are a My Favorite Murder fan, you’re probably quite familiar with this phrase —so why not sport it proudly across your chest? I’m not sure if it’s the brand’s name, Murder Apparel, or the t-shirt’s graphic that makes this gift so fabulous, but either way I’m calling it a must-have.
Now, let’s choose the perfect means of Murderino entertainment!
For all the bookworms out there, here’s a selection of popular and lesser-known reads that you or your friends are sure to love.
If you or your fellow Murderinos are into spies, history, and good old-fashioned double crossing, then Macintyre’s book is sure to dazzle. It’s true crime, but sophisticated. (That might be a stretch, but something about Cold War era spies feels classy to me).
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
The Golden State Killer is so hot right now. Or, at least the six-part HBO documentary series based on Michelle McNamara’s incredible sleuthing efforts is so hot right now. Sure, you could just watch the show (which is amazing in and of itself), but haven’t you learned by now that the book is almost always better than the movie?
Much like Michelle McNamara, Becky Cooper devoted part of her life to finding an infamous murderer and then wrote a book about it. I mean c’mon, Cooper began her research while she was an undergraduate at Harvard University (where the unsolved murder of anthropology student Jane Britton occurred 50 years prior), how impressive is that?
Perhaps you are tired of hearing about Ted Bundy, but this book is written by one of his forgotten victims, his ex girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall and her daughter Molly. The Phantom Prince chronicles Elizabeth’s intimate relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. As much as has been written about Bundy, it’s remarkable to hear the perspective of people who shared their daily lives with him for years. This gripping account presents a remarkable examination of a charismatic personality that masked unimaginable darkness.
The holidays are a great time to relax with some crime fiction, and one of our favorite books of the year is Grown by Tiffany D Jackson. When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.
The Serial Killer Cookbook: True Crime Trivia and Disturbingly Delicious Last Meals from Death Row’s Most Infamous Killers and Murderers by Ashley Lecker
Got a foodie in your life that has a flair for the macabre? Look no further than this fascinating yet surprisingly yummy cookbook. Chef up a killer meal! Read chilling facts about notorious serial killers on death row! Pretend like you’re not totally creeped out!
Now, for all you artsy Murderino folks. . .
Adults can enjoy coloring too, and what’s more adult than coloring portraits of infamous serial killers? There’s also an American Female Serial Killers version (with over 60 portraits to color) because I don’t know. . . feminism? Inclusivity? Diversity?
. . . and you hands-on Murderino folks!
Do you or someone you know love puzzles and trying to solve Cold Case murders before the detectives can? Now there’s a way for you or your true crime pal to flex those investigative skills and get near-instant gratification! So, who really killed Harmony Ashcroft on May 8, 1998, Jamie Banks on November 20, 1992, or Jane Doe on April 23, 2001? Buy them all to find out! (Or don’t, but I think it’d probably be pretty swell if you did).