What we're about

Welcome to the DC True Crime and Mystery Club! Love reading true crime books? Can't get enough of I.D. channel? Have a favorite suspect in every high-profile unsolved case under the sun? Enjoy thrillers and mystery movies? In that case, this group is for you! Our meetups will include book clubs, events, and hangouts, each with an emphasis on crime (both real and fictional) and unsolved mysteries.

Upcoming events (4+)

Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss

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The electrifying true crime story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician convicted of savagely slaying his young pregnant wife and two small children—murders he vehemently denies committing...

Bestselling author Joe McGinniss chronicles every aspect of this horrifying and intricate crime and probes the life and psyche of the magnetic, all-American Jeffrey MacDonald—a golden boy who seemed destined to have it all. The result is a penetration to the heart of darkness that enshrouded one of the most complex criminal cases ever to capture the attention of the American public. It is a haunting, stunningly suspenseful work that no reader will be able to forget.

Round 2~~~!!!! The Last Stone by Mark Bowden

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Due to popular demand, we are doing a second meetup for this discussion as the first one was on Easter and a lot of folks who read the book couldn't attend...


The mention of the "Lyon sisters" still sends shrivels down the back of anyone who grew up in the DC Area in the 1970s. It was a shocking crime. Two innocent sisters walking home from a mall disappeared and were never seen again.

Amazon description:

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyon, age 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and mystery endured. Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.

As a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper, Mark Bowden covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch’s sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.


Wicked Boys: Young Males who Murder

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Wicked Boys: The Murders of Alesha MacPhail and Rebecca Aylward

Sunday 12th June online via Zoom

Recently I’ve been reading The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale. It details the case of Robert Coombes who murdered his mother then took his friends out for ginger beer and ice cream. What made Coombes so callous and manipulative? Was something wrong with his brain as his father believed?
The press went into overdrive and many sensational articles were written about “evil” Robert with much speculation about his motives and madness.

Sound like a familiar story? Indeed it is.
However Robert committed his crime in 1895.

Has the media changed in its approach to covering teenage killers in the last 100 years?
The headlines we read today echo the early days of Victorian tabloid media and we still find very similar representations of young males who commit murder. The search for motive continues while pundits ponder the question of mad or bad.

With these issues in mind join us to discuss two high profile contemporary cases, both involving young male perpetrators.

-The murder of Alesha MacPhail

On 2 July 2018, six-year-old Scottish girl Alesha MacPhail was abducted from her bed and murdered by 16-year-old Aaron Campbell. Alesha was three days into a stay with her grandparents on the Isle of Bute, Scotland, when Campbell entered their unlocked home and took Alesha. Her body was later discovered at an abandoned hotel on the Isle. Campbell logged a “special defence of incrimination” and claimed the girlfriend of Alesha’s father had committed the murder and framed him.
He was ultimately found guilty and given a life sentence. He confessed prior to sentencing and said he was “quite satisfied with the murder.”

Campbell’s behaviour in court and outrageous accusations caused a media frenzy.
What was wrong with Aaron Campbell?
Did the media overstep the mark with its reporting of this tragedy?

-The Murder of Rebecca Aylward

Rebecca Aylward, 15, died after her boyfriend Joshua Davies,16, lured her to woods near Bridgend, Wales, and attacked her with a rock in October 2010.
Davies had previously attempted to poison Rebecca and she had spent time in hospital with a mystery illness.
He plotted her murder for weeks and was promised a free breakfast by a friend if he went through with the killing. The friend later claimed he believed Davies was joking.
Like Aaron Campbell Davies refused to admit guilt and attempted to blame another person for Rebecca’s murder.
Both boys showed no remorse and used social media to bait the victims’ families.
Rebecca’s mother later sued The Sun newspaper for its coverage of the story.

Background research:

Alesha MacPhail

Extensive BBC coverage


Red Handed podcast


Crime and Investigation U.K. (You Tube)


A Monster Among Us: Aaron Campbell (You Tube)


Rebecca Aylward

Guardian article


The Murder of Rebecca Aylward with psychologist Dr Keri Nixon (You Tube)


Blood Ties podcast with crime author Geoffrey Wansell


Mum of Rebecca Aylward believes others were involved


Sonia Oatley, mother of Rebecca, wrote a memoir of her murder


Join us online Sunday 12th June

Join Zoom Meeting

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Passcode: SK1HxR

A Tangled Web by Leslie Rule

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I was looking up Ann Rule recently, and came across this book and cannot put it down...This book is by Ann Rule's daughter and it's so good I want everyone else to experience it so am posting it here for a book club...

Description: It was a bleak November in 2012 when Cari Farver, thirty-seven, vanished from Omaha, Nebraska. Texts sent indicated that the hardworking mother had quit her job, abandoned her son, and cut ties with everyone. Cari’s boyfriend, Dave Kroupa, accepted the breakup at face value. Her mother, Nancy Raney, however, had doubts. “I need to hear your voice,” Nancy begged. When the texter refused to speak, Nancy reported Cari missing.

While no one saw or spoke to Cari, more than 12,000 sinister emails and texts were sent in her name over the next years. Police believed Dave and his girlfriend, Shanna “Liz” Golyar, when they reported that the missing woman was cyberstalking them. The tormentor was eerily aware of Dave’s every move, knew when Liz visited and threatened the couple. It never occurred to Dave that Cari was a victim—that the real stalker had killed before, and was planning to kill again.

Leslie Rule tracks the heart-pounding path to long-awaited justice—from a twisted past to the deadly deception and the high-tech forensics that condemned the killer to prison.


Past events (51)

True Crime U.K.: The Boy who Disappeared

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Photos (97)