Exploring the Dark Side: Upgraded Points Ranks the Best U.S. Cities for True Crime Tourism in Latest Study

AUSTIN, Texas, May 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The latest study by Upgraded Points is exploring one of America’s favorite new obsessions: true crime tourism. From the sorority house that Ted Bundy terrorized and the haunted moss-covered trees of Savannah to the Mob Museum of Vegas and the voodoo-soaked streets of New Orleans, Americans love the macabre. But which cities wield both a chilling and a cheap thrill?

“While it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, true crime tourism allows travelers to explore the darker side of history,” said Alex Miller, Founder of Upgraded Points. “It offers an intriguing way to explore the grim and thrilling pasts of certain cities while providing both unique experiences for visitors and economic opportunities for businesses.”

Study Methodology

The study featured 50 cities that were compiled using lists about the most dangerous cities in the U.S., the top U.S. cities for true crime tourists, and the most notorious true crime in every state. Each city received a score from 0 to 10, with a score of 10 signaling the most favorable conditions for true crime travelers. Ranking factors included violent crime rate (per 100K residents), serial killer victims (per 100K residents), crime museums and tours, average ticket and Airbnb prices to visit the locations, and many other variables. Scores were then added together to create a final score for each city ranging from 0 to 50. Cities with higher scores emerged as top destinations for true crime tourism.

The Top Cities for True Crime Tourism

  • New Orleans, Louisiana (42.13): The Voodoo Capital of the World is the best city for true crime tourism – offering 9 true crime tours (the average city has 4.5) and 7.33 serial killer victims per 100K residents (the average is 3.75). Meanwhile, the average cost to fly into the city is 21% cheaper than the national average.
  • Chicago, Illinois (38.19): Crime and corruption are woven heavily into the history of this iconic American city, home of famous mobster Al Capone. And with the highest percentage of cold cases, along with an unsolved murder case rate at well over 50%, Chicago is the third best destination for true crime enthusiasts.
  • Seattle, Washington (36.97): Where Ted Bundy got his start, Seattle ranks fourth. While having 4.95 serial killer victims per 100K and 8 true crime tours, the average Airbnb nightly price is only $158 – a full 12% cheaper than the national average.
  • Los Angeles, California (35.89): Home of the most famous serial killings in U.S. history – the Manson murders and the Black Dahlia. Los Angeles has more true crime tours than any other city (15), along with 1 of 2 locations for The Museum of Death.
  • Savannah, Georgia (34.92): The subject of the famous novel and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” the charming and quaint southern location has a definite dark side. Immersive tourist experiences include multiple crime tours and even a bloody pub crawl.

True Crime Tourism by the Category

When it comes to true crime tourism, Detroit has the second highest percentage of cold cases at 45%, alongside a staggering 1,965 violent crimes per 100K residents, immersing visitors in a city with a rich and haunting history.

Indianapolis can be a captivating and chilling destination for true crime tourism, with the second highest percentage of cold cases (41%) and an average of 5.08 serial killer victims per 100K residents.

St. Louis ties for the second position among the most dangerous cities for serial killer victims, with an unsettling average of 5.64 victims per 100K residents and has the second highest violent crime rate with 1,927 violent crimes per 100K residents.

To explore more locations across the country, along with overall city scores, breakdowns of average airfares, true crime tours per city, and more, please visit the complete study.

About Upgraded Points, LLC

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points is a travel company that helps to demystify the complex world of travel and credit cards. Launched in 2016 by Alex Miller, Upgraded Points uses targeted research efforts and in-depth studies to help travelers maximize their travel, points, and experiences. Learn more at: UpgradedPoints.com.

Media Contact:
Alex Miller, Founder


SOURCE Upgraded Points, LLC