Whistling in the graveyard

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” —William Faulkner So the would-be mass murderer at Ohio State University this week was apparently inspired by the hateful words of American-born cleric Anwar al Awlaki, al Qaeda’s most powerful recruiter before he was obliterated in a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011. A few years ago, I…Read More…

Vincent van Gogh: Suicide or homicide?

Among the historic, infamous, and heartbreaking deaths we explore in the brand-new book MORGUE: A LIFE IN DEATH (St. Martin’s Press) is the presumed suicide of the troubled genius Vincent van Gogh. Presumed. When van Gogh’s latest biographers, Pulitzer-winning authors Steven Naifeh and the late Gregory White Smith, were perplexed by the evidence, they eventually…Read More…

Click here to see somebody die

Would you click to watch someone die? Maybe you just did. The proliferation of cameras—smartphone, news, surveillance, security, webcams, dashboard, GoPro, cops’ body-cams, and “old fashioned” digital models—means the moment of death will increasingly be captured. And the wildly unpredictable moral compass of social media and web content means more of those images will be…Read More…

Goodreads picks MORGUE for May!

Goodreads has recommended MORGUE: A LIFE IN DEATH among its best May books! This is a coveted honor. If you’re among the 39 million (or so) active and engaged readers who get Goodreads newsletters, please take the hint. Co-authored with Dr. Vincent Di Maio, one of the world’s most acclaimed medical examiners, this book offers a rare glimpse behind the…Read More…

How many murder victims can you name?

Because you’re here right now, it’s safe to assume you’re fairly conversant in matters of mass- and serial-killing. You know your Mansons from your Bundys, right? Well, it’s Monday and you’ve got a tough week ahead, so here’s something fun—in a macabre sorta way—to distract you from your nasty, binge-watching obsession with “Making a Murderer.”…Read More…

Can you spot the killer?

      Winston Mosely murdered New York bartender Kitty Genovese in an infamous 1964 knife attack that raised questions about the role of bystanders in crime. When he died in prison this week at age 81, his old mug shot (far left in the lineup above) was splashed across the Internet and  we all thought simultaneously, “Yep,…Read More…

Coming in May ’17!
Outlaw Los Angeles

“Meticulously researched guide book into the baddest of the bad in LaLa Land. Franscell confirms what history has always known: Los Angeles is the ‘Queen of Angels’ and the ‘King of Devils.’  Highly recommended!” —STEVE HODEL, NYTimes bestselling author of “Black Dahlia Avenger” and former LAPD homicide detective   Los Angeles is where America’s dreams and…Read More…

Eyeball tattoos (and other prison brainstorms)

If you brushed your teeth this morning before settling down to read whatever fascinating new material was posted at ronfranscell.com, you unwittingly celebrated a prison inmate. That’s right. In 1770, British merchant William Addis was doing time for causing a riot. That’s when he decided that the customary tooth-cleaning of his day—rubbing your teeth with…Read More…

‘Lost’ pieces of ‘The Darkest Night’

Tomorrow, THE DARKEST NIGHT celebrates eight years since it was first published in paperback. Almost immediately it became a bestseller and readers continue to find it in great numbers today. It’s not because I am an extraordinary storyteller, but because this powerful story of two girls’ terror moves anyone who hears it to want to…Read More…

Digging up Lee Harvey Oswald

Here is an excerpt of my upcoming book MORGUE: A LIFE IN DEATH, which explores the most historic, infamous, and heartbreaking cases of renowned medical examiner Dr. Vincent Di Maio. In this “clear, gritty, and enthralling narrative,” Dr. Di Maio and I guide the reader into the inner sanctum, behind the morgue door, to tell his fascinating life story…Read More…

The Black Dahlia dissected again

Today, it’s been 69 years since Elizabeth Short’s grisly parts were discovered in a vacant Los Angeles subdivision, sliced cleanly in half and posed lasciviously. This obscure waitress suddenly became far more famous in death than the Black Dahlia (as we know her now) ever dreamed in her brief life. Breathing, she was just another pretty face. In chunks…Read More…

What would be your last meal?

Your last breath is only a few hours away. The governor isn’t going to call. People are gathering outside to cheer your death. The Death Row chaplain has run out of prayers. The clock is ticking like a time bomb. You have one final decision before your life is over: what will you eat for…Read More…

Voices in my head

Every crime writer has heard this little heckling voice, usually from the cheap seats, but sometimes from inside his own head. It isn’t always loud, but it’s often piercing. My 2008 true crime, The Darkest Night, enjoyed a revival on bestseller lists when its long-awaited digital edition was released last year. This intimate story of…Read More…

Welcome home!

For more than 12 years, you’ve watched Ron’s career blossom right here, growing from just two books when we first launched in 2003 to 15 (and counting). Now, www.ronfranscell.com is blossoming, too. Welcome to our newly redesigned website! You were the driving force behind this redesign. We know you’re coming to us from all sorts…Read More…

The Deadline

Among Top 25 Best Crime Fictions of 1999 POISONED PEN Former Chicago Tribune crime reporter Jefferson Morgan is living his life-long dream of running a weekly newspaper, The Winchester Bullet, in the Wyoming town where he grew up. But when an infamous child-murderer comes home to die and begs Morgan to help clear his name,…Read More…

The Obituary

When a world-renowned forensic anthropologist journeys to Winchester, Wyoming, to examine the long-dead remains of a woman who claimed to be Etta Place — the Old West’s most mysterious and legendary female outlaw — he’s not expecting to find a man’s headless corpse in her crypt. The grisly discovery plunges him and Jefferson Morgan —…Read More…

Evil at the Front Door

Part of the NYTimes bestselling Notorious USA series! Louisiana – famous for its Mardi Gras, spicy cuisine, and Dixieland jazz – is also the scene of some of the most notorious crimes in the country. Bestselling authors Ron Franscell and Rebecca Morris write about a sultry, Southern beauty who proved to be a deadly hitchhiker;…Read More…

Nightmare at Noon

Part of the NYTimes bestselling Notorious USA series! Everything is bigger in Texas—even murder. Two of America’s best crime writers, Ron Franscell and Gregg Olsen, team up to tell the stories of a serial killer who slaughtered more people than any other psychopath of his day … without ever being noticed; two of America’s most…Read More…

Southern Fried Crime

Boxed set of Notorious Texas, Louisiana & Mississippi! Evil lurks from the scorched earth of West Texas to the suffocating bayous of Mississippi … where darkness is deadly and screams go unheard. “Southern Fried Crime” comprises harrowing crime tales from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, all from the files of the New York Times-bestselling Notorious USA…Read More…

Outlaw Texas

Winner of 2010 EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD TrueCrimeBookReviews.com Texas rightfully claims a celebrated place in the “wildest” West of both myth and reality, but nobody has ever written a travel guide to the many sites related to the Lone Star State’s renowned outlaw past … until now! Whether you’re a day-tripper, a true-crime buff or a…Read More…

Outlaw Rockies

‘The best damn crime travel series ever published!” Just like the popular CRIME BUFF’S GUIDE TO OUTLAW TEXAS, this quirky and fascinating travel book literally takes you to the scene of the crime with photos, maps, histories and GPS coordinates! From the Wild  Bunch and Tom Horn to Columbine and Ted Bundy, OUTLAW ROCKIES promises…Read More…

Outlaw Washington DC

Includes Maryland and northern Virginia Washington D.C. isn’t known as the “District of Crime” or “Murder Capital of America” for nothing. Though the capital city’s motto is “justice for all,” D.C. has a darker side, including an extensive history of crimes and misdemeanors, some political and some not. The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Washington…Read More…

Outlaw Pennsylvania

From America’s first school shooting in the 1700s to modern-day serial killers, a new book from a bestselling crime-writer and a local historian covers the fascinating gamut of mayhem in the Keystone State’s past. And it’s all there: Pennsylvania sites tied to the Sundance Kid, Doc Holliday, Ted Bundy, Al Capone, and Elliot Ness, among…Read More…