It’s here! My new true crime thriller, Little, Crazy Children is now available in hardback, audiobook, and Kindle, wherever books are sold!
For readers of Ann Rule and Gregg Olsen, a riveting new true crime book from the acclaimed author of True Crime Addict and creator/host of the podcasts True Crime This Week and The Philosophy of Crime, as he explores the unsolved murder of 16-year-old Lisa Pruett in the real life town of the bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere for a painstakingly researched account of a senseless and heartbreaking tragedy and the people who were pulled into its aftermath.
In September of 1990, in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, sixteen-year-old Lisa Pruett, a poetry lover and member of a church youth group, was on her way to a midnight tryst with her boyfriend, when she was viciously stabbed to death only thirty feet from the boy’s home.
The murder cast a palpable gloom over the upscale community and sparked accusations, theories, and rumors among Lisa’s friends and peers. Together they wove a damning narrative that circled back to a likely suspect: “weird” high school outcast Kevin Young. Without a shred of evidence the teen was arrested, charged, and tried for the crime. His eventual acquittal didn’t squelch the anger and outrage among those who believed that Kevin got away with murder.
With a fresh perspective and painstaking research culled from police files, court records, transcripts, uncollected evidence, and new interviews, James Renner reconstructs the events leading up to and following that heartbreaking night. What emerges is a portrait of a community seething with dark undercurrents—its single-minded authorities, protective status-conscious parents, and the deeply peer-pressured teens within Lisa’s circle.
Who had the capacity for such unchecked violence? What monsters still lurk in the dark? After more than thirty years, questions like these continue to fester among the community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, still deeply scarred by wounds that remain hidden, unspoken, and unhealed.
2019 TOUR ANNOUNCED! This June, I’ll be on the road in the eastern U.S. for my “Confessions of a True Crime Addict” tour. It’s a mix of stand up and scary tales about my adventures in true crime journalism. Get your tickets before they sell out!
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’sZodiac, 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.
True Crime Addict appeared in the The New York Times Sunday Book Review last week. Marilyn Stasio called me “shamelessly entertaining”!
“Renner, the author of The Serial Killer’s Apprentice, is just plain fun to read. Noting that Maura lived in Melville Hall, he can’t resist mentioning that this freshman dormitory took its name from the guy who wrote the ultimate book on pointless obsession.”