Agate True Crime Title Roundup

­­­Although the Halloween season has passed, there is still time left in the year for the spooky and mysterious. Instead of spinning supernatural tales, these Agate titles tell the true stories of some morbidly fascinating criminals and cases. If you are a fan of true crime, consider picking up one of these books.

He Had It Coming

Kori Rumore and Marianna Mather

Musical theater fans might recognize the title of this book as one of the show-stopping numbers in the musical Chicago, but both theater and true crime fans will be interested to know that the characters from the musical are based on real prisoners. He Had It Coming collects recently discovered photos, original newspaper clippings, and stories from Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins as well as new analysis written by Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, theater critic Chris Jones, and columnists Heidi Stevens and Rick Kogan to build a fascinating history of women in crime in Jazz Age Chicago, a history that takes on new meaning in today’s #MeToo moment.

The Leopold and Loeb Files

Nina Barrett

The murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb in 1924 is one of the most famous true crime tales from Chicago, characterized by many as the crime of the century. In this book, author Nina Barrett delves into the primary sources of the case to untangle years of speculation and examine the details of the crime in a historical context. While the murderers may have been convicted and the case closed, The Leopold and Loeb Files goes beyond the who and what of the crime and invites readers to ask the central question: why did it all happen?

Drew Peterson: The Tribune Files

When Drew Peterson’s third wife was found dead in a bathtub in 2004, the death was ruled as accidental drowning. It wasn’t until Peterson’s fourth wife went missing in 2007 that officials decided to look more closely into the case, suspecting Peterson of involvement in both incidents. This e-book compiles articles and reports from the Chicago Tribune in chronological order, taking readers through each shocking twist and turn of the case as it was revealed.  


Chicago’s most famous gangster, Alphonse “Scarface” Capone, needs no introduction. Capone (our book, that is) collects photos of Al Capone and his activities throughout his notorious career and showcases various aspects of organized crime in the Roaring Twenties. The photographs span various events in Al Capone’s life, from the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 to Capone’s arrest, trial, and sentencing in 1931, to his death in 1947. Other characters include Capone’s various family, friends, and enemies, including several mob assassination targets. Whether your interest lies in Chicago history, true crime, or if you are simply an Al Capone afficionado, this book will make a fascinating addition to your collection.

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