Unwrapped: The Best Gifts For Your True Crime-Obsessed Friend

You got this, killer

by Angela Lashbrook

'Tis officially the season for gift-giving. For us, that's a full month (31 days!) in which we'll be providing gift ideas for everyone on your list with our Unwrapped holiday gift guides. So make your holiday shopping a breeze this season, and let us help you find gifts for all the people in your life—and maybe even a spoiled pet or two.

The true crime lover isn't a difficult creature to please around the holidays. There are hundreds of excellent true crime books, some of which are included here, to please your ~murder-loving~ BFF/sister/co-worker. But what if you want to get a little more creative? We all love to read (right??), but when the weather is nice—or extra rainy and dark and spooky—it's fun to get out and engage with true crime stories IRL (hopefully, not currently ongoing true crime, though).

With that said, I've done a little research, consisting of very weird and questionable Google searches as well as input from my beloved murderino community, to compile this strangest of gift guides for your most morbid friend. Who knows, maybe in the process, you'll become a murderino, too! Stranger things have happened.

This fantastic, on-the-nose sweatshirt from My Favorite Murder podcast team is perfect for signaling to other murderinos that you’re one of them. To be honest, it’s also good for just about anyone who’s tired of toxic masculinity.

My Favorite Murder, Toxic Masculinity Hoodie, $45, available at My Favorite Murder.

Thousands of people visit Ellis Island every year but far fewer visit the hospital, which became an FBI detention facility before being abandoned in 1954. Although not strictly a “true crime” experience, the tour is a fascinating look at immigration, power, and medicine during a very difficult time in American history—and one that, in many ways, is especially relevant now.

Hard hat tour of the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital, $75, available at Untapped cities.

Play Texas Hold 'em or drunk trivia night (not as fun sober!) with a set of serial killer playing cards. Each card features a different killer, his/her modus operandi, kill count, and death date (if applicable). It’s a great way to make game night a little more creepy.

Feast Your Eyes Designs, Serial killer playing cards, $16, available on Etsy.

Sarah Perry’s stunning memoir was a NYLON Book Club pick and a NYLON Best New Book of Fall 2017. In it, Perry documents with care, heartbreak, and remarkable beauty the murder of her mother, and her own journey out of the darkness of grief that followed. It’s a true crime memoir, yes, but it’s also an emotional portrait of a woman from the person who loved her most: her daughter.

After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search, $18.36, available on Amazon.

This delightfully morbid t-shirt features mean mugs of some of the most terrifying men (and one woman) around. The perfect tee for any friend who loves to weird people out a little as they go about their daily activities.

Museum of Death, Rogue Gallery Shirt, from $30, available at Museum of Death.

Spend enough of your time consuming true crime, and you start to get a little paranoid that you’re a serial killer’s next target. Comfort your nervous, true-crime loving BFF with a little self-protection in the form of a cute tube of pepper spray.

Sabre, turquoise pepper spray, $9.99, available on Amazon.

Nothing like a couple tiny weapons on your ears to make a person feel a little bolder. They’re not actually sharp, thankfully, but it’s the sentiment that counts, anyway.

Vinca, Bigger Knife Earrings, $23.95, available at NYLONshop.

An excellent guide and “coffee table book,” as one Amazon reviewer described it, this is the perfect reference for casually browsing in the evening, toddy in hand, or while you’re eating your morning cereal.

The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, $12.54, available on Amazon.

From Making a Murderer to The Keepers, Netflix is practically a happy minefield for the true crime obsessive. Get your true crime-loving BFF her own Netflix subscription, so she doesn’t have to guiltily use her ex’s login.

Netflix, gift subscription, from $30, available at Best Buy.