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The Yoga Store Murder: The Shocking True Account of the Lululemon Athletica Killing

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,135 ratings  ·  145 reviews
The full true story of the Lululemon murder and what really happened to Jayna Murray and Brittany Norwood--photos included.

It was a crime that shocked the country. On March 12, 2011, two young saleswomen were found brutally attacked inside a Lululemon Athletica retail store in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the nation’s wealthiest suburbs.

Thirty-year-old Jayna Murray was dead—
Paperback, 361 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Berkley (first published September 3rd 2013)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A true shocking murder exposed in this amazing, easy reading & full of suspense book.

I like the sensitive way that the author reveals true facts about this horrific crime, but I don’t like that this murder really happened.

The book gives us details of what evidence the investigators found in the Lululemon Athletica yoga store and what happened next days after the deceased Jayna Murray was found with more than three hundred wounds on her body. There is also information about the second perso
♥ Marlene♥
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody

Just finished it and I am sad that it is over. I do not know how the author did it but he managed to pull me in and I think I have not yet managed to escape. What a story!

(view spoiler)
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is a non-fiction progression to a case that occurred in Maryland, just outside of D.C. in 2011.

This surpasses fiction. It's almost beyond belief. But it happened. Here are the personalities, here is the aspirations for work, here is the outcome.

If you are intrigued by the premise of the old book/movie Bad Seed or want to parse details for a fiction like Defending Jacob as improbable? This is real, no need to parse. And tells about all the people along the way; their perceptions befo
Bonnie Kernene
I found this book to be very interesting and hard to put down after I started reading it. The writing is excellent and his research into this case was excellent. Once you start reading it, it will be hard to put down. The characters, especially Jayna, will become important to the reader and you care about them. Also, the author was clear and easy to follow. Sometimes true crime books are hard to follow, but that is not the case here. I highly recommend this book.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You know who did it from the outset, and because it was in my local area and fairly recent (almost 3 years ago) I remembered a lot of the details and the background info on the perpetrator. Even so, it was a gripping read.

Great job of piecing together how the investigation worked, what made them suspicious of the killer's story, interrogating her with her brother and sister present, and so on. Subdued writing style, which was a good fit -- no need for histrionics given the underlying story.

Addie Dehart
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The first 30% of this book was tedious. I had to force myself to read it and even then my attention wandered from the book the entire time. The last 2/3 of the book was far more interesting but I was still underwhelmed. In defense of this book, it was probably not the right read for the time. Given the craziness going on with the world and the COVID 19 pandemic, I probably should have been reading something that was incredibly comforting or light hearted or thrilling. This book was none of those ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
First Reads Giveaway Review: I had never heard of the Lululemon Athletica murder until I read this book. From the very first page I was captivated by the detectives' quest to find Jayna Murray's killers. This intrigue is directly related to Dan Morse's skill at telling this gruesome story. He gives readers a crystal clear picture of all angles of the crime- the crime scene investigation, the autopsy report, the witnesses who heard Jayna's screams, etc. His arsenal of information is so compelling ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm a big fan of true crime books, especially the "Includes Photos!" variety. Sadly, so many are very poorly written. That is not the case with The Yoga Store Murder, despite the terrible title and the cover's graphic design. Morse's writing is clear and concise and the book is well paced. I only wish that there had been a clearer motive for the murder, but that's not Morse's fault, it's the fact that the killer never gave one. If I find this annoying in a paperback true crime book, I can only i ...more
Anastasia Aisaysana
I received my copy of this book in a free giveaway through Goodreads.

The Yoga Store Murder- The Shocking True Account of the Lulumon Athletica Killing read like a well–developed rap-sheet.

I had a difficult time investing myself in this book; while it was well-written in the sense that in the elements of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax were accounted for, but I found the lack of character development disengaging. Possibly another reader with an greater interest in true-crime novels might give it
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like many in the DC area, I was fascinated by this crime as the case unraveled in 2011. The real fascination of this case is that human nature produces some psychopaths, some of whom are very good at hiding their true selves until they feel threatened enough to turn violent. I read everything with the perspective of a parent now (does that ever go away?) and finished the book considering the terrible grief and sorrow inflicted upon Jayna Murray's parents, and to a lesser extent Brittany's own.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I try and read a lot of books a year, ideally between 60-100 and, sadly, not many of them stay with me. Part of it is because I have a crappy memory, part of it is because a lot of them aren't that good.

I say all that because I don't think I'll ever forget this one. It was so skillfully written, and told the story so compassionately but objectively, that I grew more and more impressed as I read it. I can't imagine what it took to write, or how deep the author must have gone. But his work is the
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A well-written account of a real event that occurred in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. There was additional interest for me because I happen to know almost everyone named in the book (including the homeless guy, Keith Lockett), except for the Apple store employees and customers, Jayna Murray, Brittany Woods and their families. The book does not answer the question "Why?" because Brittany Woods herself never explained why; it is not a reflection on the author's literary abilities.
Sharon Luber
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an unbelievable true story and Dan Morse did an incredible job telling it! Once you start reading his account of what really happened at the Lululemon store it is very difficult to put this book down. Trust me!! My Book Club really enjoyed it as well. I felt so many emotions while reading it. The author's research provided many answers and gave me more insight as to what the families must have been experiencing. I highly recommend this book. I am looking forward to reading more books by ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I live in the DC-metro area and was familiar with the case through the media coverage at the time of the murder investigation and trial. Downloaded the book and was captivated at at page 1. It reads like a novel - but unfortunately this horrific murder really happened. Kudos to Dan Morse for an amazing read while showing sensitivity to both families. Can't wait for his next book...
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
How did I not hear of this 2011 murder in Bethesda? I have even been in the very Apple store next door. If you like true crime books, this is for you. It is suspenseful, even though it is clear early on who did it. While the author provides plenty of forensic analysis, his prose is easy to read, highlighting even more the absolute horror of the crime.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a reporting tour de force. Dan Morse gets inside each of the main players. The detail is awesome, the pacing intense.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very well written account by the report who originally covered this story of a horrible murder that took place in Bethesda, MD. Gripping and compelling.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was as disturbing as it was interesting. I hope that someday, someone, can elicit a true motive behind the killer's actions. Although, one can speculate and there is certainly enough evidence to form an intelligent opinion.

Two families, two great families from all that was written-- destroyed by a senseless action of extreme violence.

A great and fast read. If you like true crime.
Danielle DeVane Wells
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a short true story narrative of the murder of a yoga store associate in the actual store. It's a bit of true crime and mystery mixed together. As this isn't something that I would read with being steered toward it, I got this recommendation from the "Currently Reading" podcast.

It was short in length, horrifying in graphic details, entertaining in style and narration.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A gruesomely detailed account of a truly shocking crime. Definitely skip this book if you're squeamish about descriptions of violence. However if you're interested in true crime and have a strong stomach, this is a fascinating read.
Allison Schroeder
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sooooo detailed it’s scary
Molli B.
I am local to where this took place and was familiar with details of the case from a course I took at the county police department (they're the ones who handled this case), but (or maybe and?) this book kept me engaged from page 1.

The book is four parts: discovering the crime, the girls, figuring it out, wrapping it up. I was worried when I got to section 2 that the book would lose momentum and I'd be bored reading about the girls, but I wasn't--everything Dan Morse revealed about them was inte
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
True crime is one of my mother's favorite book genres. She doesn't push it on me often, but she will occasionally recommend something she found particularly fascinating, or that she thinks would interest me. She recommended this book because she and I talked about this crime a lot when it first happened. I was thinking about it a lot at the time because it was "close to home" in several different ways. At the time my husband and I had recently moved out of an apartment in North Bethesda, not too ...more
Tiffany B
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it

As a fan of true crime books, I was super excited for this one. The Yoga Store Murder: The Shocking True Account of the Lululemon Athletica Killing is exactly that. Perhaps because I live on the other side of the country, or because I have a hard time watching the news anymore, I hadn't heard of this particular crime. So I read it not knowing how it ended. I think that is the best way to read this.

One night, two yoga store employees are attacked. One is ki
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A page-turner true crime book about the lululemon yoga store murder in Bethesda in 2011. Very, very interesting look at the murder, the victim and perpetrator, and the naturally very interesting turn of events about how she staged the whole thing to look like a robbery/assault by a couple of men, but she really killed the other employee herself.

I live near there and remember the news story vividly when it happened, but hadn't followed the aftermath and trial closely enough to have remembered how
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Man, that sure is a bad cover, isn't it?

It's unfortunate, because while the cover screams "cheap and sensationalist!!!" the book itself is actually the exact opposite. It's a well-written, expertly paced, and nicely restrained and reasoned account of a truly horrific and bizarre murder that took place at a lululemon athletica store in an upscale Maryland neighborhood in 2011. This was recommended by the True Crime Diary blog, and I agree with writer Michelle McNamara's assessment: it's one of th
Monica Willyard Moen
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a fictional mystery novel, this would have a tidy, neat ending with the bad guy going to jail. We would understand the reasons why the crime was committed and would feel assured that it wouldn’t happen again. In real life, we don’t understand all of the reasons for this terrible crime. The villain never revealed anything in court. Two families were shattered with grief and pain, two sets of parents that were good people who thought they had raised their children well. They had every reason to ...more
Liza Ferguson
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
GoodReads First Reads Giveaway review: From the first page, I was hooked and ended up reading it in one sitting. I love the fact that Dan Morse chose to tell this true story in a narrative format. There was so much background on the victims, families, investigators, and the judicial team that I became very emotionally attached to them. What a tragedy for all those involved! This was so well researched and written, that I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys forensics, true crime, or suspense.
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lululemon is an upscale boutique selling expensive yoga clothing. Bethesda, Maryland is an affluent neighborhood; a suburb of Washington DC. How could such a grisly murder happen there? This crime is bone chilling. A young woman, highly accomplished and ambitious, with a bright future was not only murdered but mutilated; utterly destroyed in a maniacal rage. The motive is known only to the killer. It remains a mystery to everyone else connected to the crime, including the police and the prosecut ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This is a crazy true crime story about a murder at a high end athletic clothing store in an affluent neighborhood. Crazy just because of the murder itself but also all the evidence they are able to identify to figure out who did it. I, somehow, missed this case when it was in the news. But this book was very well written and told in a narrative form that made it unputdownable. I read it almost straight through in two days. Recommend for any fan of true crime books! (Also I learned some interesti ...more
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Washington Post staff writer Dan Morse set off to be an engineer. But the tough classes at Vanderbilt, specifically Differential Equations, convinced him to try something else. Like sports-writing, for the college newspaper. It proved a better fit, and soon enough, Morse tried out for the football team so he could write a year’s worth of columns chronicling his exploits as skinny but slow wide rec ...more

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