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True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Michael Finkel

Narrated By: Michael Finkel

Publisher: HarperAudio

Date: May 2005

Duration: 6 hours 19 minutes


In the haunting tradition of Joe McGinniss's Fatal Vision and Mikal Gilmore's Shot in the Heart, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth.
The story begins in February of 2002, when a reporter in Oregon contacts New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel with a startling piece of news. A young, highly intelligent man named Christian Longo, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for killing his entire family, has recently been captured in Mexico, where he'd taken on a new identity -- Michael Finkel of the New York Times.
The next day, on page A-3 of the Times, comes another bit of troubling news: a note, written by the paper's editors, explaining that Finkel has falsified parts of an investigative article and has been fired. This unlikely confluence sets the stage for a bizarre and intense relationship. After Longo's arrest, the only journalist the accused murderer will speak with is the real Michael Finkel. And as the months until Longo's trial tick away, the two men talk for dozens of hours on the telephone, meet in the jailhouse visiting room, and exchange nearly a thousand pages of handwritten letters.
With Longo insisting he can prove his innocence, Finkel strives to uncover what really happened to Longo's family, and his quest becomes less a reporting job than a psychological cat-and-mouse game -- sometimes redemptively honest, other times slyly manipulative. Finkel's pursuit pays off only at the end, when Longo, after a lifetime of deception, finally says what he wouldn't even admit in court -- the whole, true story. Or so it seems.


  • Leilani Maynard

    I happened upon the movie and then realized it was a book. The story was very interesting. The author was also the narrator and he did a good job. I would recommend this audiobook!

  • Deborah

    Intense and insightful. It's great! It was full of suspense and keeps the reader in a state of wonder at the twists of character and events.

  • Katrina

    This was a very interesting book, The person reading it was great keep my interest and left we anxious for the rest of the story. Christian Longo deserves to die, but God will take care of him..

  • booklistener

    The story is an interesting one, but the author's reading took a great deal away from it for me. My four least favorite words to find on an audio book are "read by the author." Writing well is no guarantee that you are the best presenter of your material. Let the pros do the reading, please!

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa

by Michael Finkel

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True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa, Michael Finkel