Journalist. Palindrome. Writer.

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James Renner is an award-winning journalist, and author of True Crime Addict, the definitive book on the Maura Murray disappearance. He also hosts the podcast, The Philosophy of Crime. In 2019, he founded The Porchlight Project which raises money for new DNA testing and genetic genealogy for Ohio cold cases. In May, 2020, James Zastawnik was arrested for the murder of Barbara Blatnik, thanks to the work of genealogists funded by the Porchlight Project.

Come See Me This Spring!

Hey readers and irregulars! I’ve got some readings, signings, and appearances coming up this Spring. Drop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

Thursday, April 12 – Reading from True Crime Addict and The Serial Killer’s Apprentice at the Steubenville Library (Schiappa branch) at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19 – Speaking about several of Cleveland’s unsolved mysteries at the Music Box Dinner Club. Reserve your spot for dinner here.

May 4 – 6 2018 CRIMECON! Come meet your favorite podcasters and true crime celebs in Nashville!

 

Read My New Story on Bound!

My newest story is a serialized mystery that is only available on a new app called BOUND. Get it here.

LARKEY follows a retired FBI agent during his investigation into the murder of young woman found crucified on the side of a barn on Middle Bass Island. He must solve the mystery before the ice thaws and the killer can get away. And guess what? It takes place in the world of The Man from Primrose Lane!

Each chapter has beautiful artwork and you can also listen to the audiobook, which feels more like a well-produced radio play.

The first three chapters are available today. New chapters will be released every week!

That Time I Went on an Adventure with Josh Gates

Tune in to Expedition Unknown on Jan 17 (on the Travel Channel). Josh Gates and I run around Milwaukee to see if we can find the key Byron Preiss buried in Lake Park in 1982. Byron hid a dozen keys across North America and put clues to their location in a wonderful book called, The Secret, which is the subject of a documentary I directed. With any luck the documentary will be out in 2018. I have to say, adventuring with Josh Gates is as fun as it looks like on TV. One of the coolest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

I am so psyched for this!

Find My New Short Story in Dark Screams 7!

I have new short story out in the latest Dark Screams collection of spine-tingling horror. It’s called A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST, and it follows an aged Christopher Robin who must return to the Hundred-Acre Wood after a young girl is murdered, there.

Here’s some early reviews from Amazon readers:

“James Renner did a fantastic job with the Pooh story. Oh dear, what has become of my eeyore and piglet? It will take awhile to get over those images.”

“I have to hand it to James Renner because his story A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST (IN WHICH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN SAYS GOODBYE) not only knocked the ball out of the park, it knocked it out of town! To see the Pooh stories turned into dark fiction pleased me to no end! Five FAT stars!”

“My favorite story was A Monster Comes to Ashdown Forest (In Which Christopher Robin Says Goodbye) by James Renner, one of the authors with whose work I was previously unfamiliar. We find out that Ashdown Forest was actually the 100 Acre Wood from those lovable Winnie the Pooh books when Christopher Robin, the patient in an convalescent home, requests to go back one last time. When they arrive, they are greeted by the “real” Eeyore and meet the rest of the somewhat timeworn gang. It’s kind of a nightmare version of Winnie the Pooh – a great read for anyone who has read those books or watched those movies a thousand times to children who just can’t get enough.”

True Crime Addict Getting TV Adaptation!

Some fantastic news! True Crime Addict is being adapted for television by some great people. Johnny Depp’s company is producing. Richard Price is writing. And I’ll be an executive producer. Looks like some small details are changing. Here’s the synopsis.

Published last year, Renner’s True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself In The Mysterious Disappearance Of Maura Murray, which had been compared to David Fincher’s Zodiac, follows investigative journalist Jimmy Hunter. His lifelong obsession with cold cases leads him to research feverishly the whereabouts of a popular college student whose car was found abandoned in rural upstate New York. While Jimmy’s all-consuming quest for the truth begins to devour him body and soul, he must also strive to keep it from tearing apart his young and fragile family.

Check out the full article at Deadline.

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