Journalist. Palindrome. Writer.

Tag: seven ranges

Scout Camp now available for pre-order!

My next true crime book comes out February 25, 2025 but you can preorder today! This one is quite personal and serves as a kind of autobiography, too.

Preorder it on Amazon here.

Here’s the writeup.

In this timely and deeply personal true crime memoir, acclaimed journalist, author, creator of the True Crime This Week podcast, and former Boy Scout James Renner, explores the dark side of an American institution, its pervasive culture of sexual abuse, and the traumatic—even deadly—repercussions of its long-buried secrets.

In the summer of 1995, at the largest Boy Scout camp in Ohio, a night of sexual violence ended with one counselor dead and another hospitalized. The death was ruled “accidental.” It wouldn’t be the last death associated with Seven Ranges Reservation.
James Renner, too, was a counselor at Seven Ranges that year. He was always sure there must be more to the story of Mike Klingler’s death, because Renner also knew firsthand that the 900-acre camp was not the safe getaway it was portrayed to be. On Friday nights the boys were ushered into the woods for a frightening ceremony in which they learned the rules for becoming good young men—and, above all, that keeping secrets was a Scout’s duty. No matter how dark the secrets were.
Determined to face his demons, Renner embarks on a journey back to that tumultuous summer and exposes a clandestine society that left indelible scars on the Scouts and the staff who were there. For Renner, it meant opening up about his twisted upbringing, his issues with trust and sexuality, and a lifetime of self-medication. The result is a deeply personal, no-holds-barred, and vitally important true crime memoir.

Researching the Boy Scouts


I am currently at work, researching my next book, which will be about a death that occurred when I was a counselor at Seven Ranges Boy Scout Reservation, in 1995. It’s also about the current state of the Boy Scouts of America, which is fighting to get out of bankruptcy after a sex scandal that is exponentially greater in scale than that of the Catholic Church.

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of testifying at the Ohio Statehouse in support of HB35, which would get rid of the statute of limitations for Boy Scout sex abuse cases in civil courts. You can listen to my testimony here, around the 45 min mark.

Part of my book involves a secret society within Seven Ranges called Pipestone. If you took part in the “honors program” there and would like to share your experience, please email me: jameswrenner [at] gmail [dot] com

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