Sometimes there are bouts of boredom that even Netflix can’t solve, and that’s where crime stories come in.
Nothing makes a quiet shift at work or a seemingly never-ending ride on the tube go faster than losing yourself in a story about some of the craziest, or most difficult to solve, crimes.
Below are my top true crime stories of the moment (and a few excerpts) in no particular order.
“He Actually Believes He Is Khalid”: The Amazing 30-Year Odyssey of a Counterfeit Saudi Prince by Mark Seal for Vanity Fair
Excerpt: “‘My name is Khalid,’ he tells me, and I want to believe him.
After all, he has traveled the world as royalty — the son of the king of Saudi Arabia, no less.
Leading international investors know him as His Royal Highness Khalid bin al-Saud.
He moved in an entourage of Rolls-Royces and Ferraris, his every whim tended to by uniformed housekeepers and armed bodyguards …
He would tell his story exclusively to me, he promised, if I left out certain parts…
In the end, though, I decided to decline.
Because Khalid wasn’t writing me from his yacht, or his penthouse on Fisher Island, or his father’s palace in Dubai, but from a cell at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, where he awaits trial on charges of fraud, traveling on a fake passport, impersonating a foreign official, and identity theft.”
The Stranger in the Shelter by Earl Swift for Outside Online
Excerpt: “Three people met in the Georgia woods.
They were two young men and a girl not yet 18. They were a drifter and a pair who barely knew each other.
They were, all three, green to the outdoors, new to the dragon-backed highlands near the southern end of the Appalachian Trail.
One died in the mountains.
A second forfeited any shot at a normal life.
Just one of the three has outlived the story.
Until now, 44 years after the fact, that survivor has shared it with few.
Three people met in the Georgia woods, and this is what happened.”
Rebecca Coriam: lost at sea by Jon Ronson for The Guardian
Excerpt: “At the Goofy Pool on deck 9 of the Disney Wonder, the Adventures Away celebration party has begun.
‘Goodbye, stress!’ the cruise director shouts. ‘Hello, vacation!’
The ship’s horn sounds out When You Wish Upon a Star to indicate that we’re about to set sail, to Mexico.
It’s a nice touch.
There’s no talk of it, but many people on board know something terrible occurred on this route — to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas — earlier this year.
At 5:45am on Tuesday 22 March, a CCTV camera captured a young woman on the phone in the crew quarters.
Her name was Rebecca Coriam…
She’d been working in Youth Activities on board for nine months, and apparently loved it.
But on the phone she was looking upset.
And that’s the last anyone has seen of her. She just vanished.”