True crime comes to Pittsburgh

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People all over the city are using the true crime phenomenon to make sense of a violent world

Emily Fear was drawn to the world of true crime stories thanks to the high-profile cases that dominated headlines throughout her childhood in the 1990s: Amy Fisher, the Menendez brothers, Tonya Harding, and, of course, O.J. Simpson. She recalls her seventh-grade teacher interrupting class so they could watch the Simpson verdict on TV.

“I don’t know if I was just wired to enjoy true crime stories, but if I was, pop culture in my childhood was more than ready to sate my appetite for crimes and mysteries,” says Fear.

This lifelong fascination led her to co-create Let’s Talk About Murder! — a true crime discussion group at her workplace, the Sewickley Public Library. The monthly gathering welcomes true crime fans to examine a variety of topics from serial killers to murder cults.

Between 15-20 people attend each month. Fear says that range is “fairly high” compared to what public library programs usually bring in. Let’s Talk About Murder! reflects Pittsburgh’s growing true crime scene.

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