Diane Fanning (born, June 21, 1950) is an American crime writer and author who writes nonfiction and mystery novels.
Fanning was born Diane Lynn Butcher in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from Perry Hall High School, and then Lynchburg College in Virginia, where she majored in chemistry. Her husband and she live in Bedford, Virginia.
After college, she wrote for the advertising field, earning more than 70 Addy Awards for her work. During that time, she wrote as a freelance writer.
Her career shifted into nonprofit work with a move to New Braunfels, Texas. Fanning worked for fundraising groups, including Another Way Texas Shares and the National Association for Choice in Giving. She began her first book while living in Texas. She is co-founder of Women in Crime Ink, described by The Wall Street Journal as “a blog worth reading.”
In 2002, Fanning corresponded with serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells, who, in a letter to her, confessed to murdering 10-year-old Joel Kirkpatrick, whose mother had been convicted of killing her son. According to the Innocence Project, Fanning’s testimony before a prison review board about the letter and her book Through the Window, which details Sells’ crime spree, were said to help prove Harper’s innocence. In 2011, Fanning was given the Defenders of the Innocent Award by the Illinois Innocence Project for getting the confession from Sells.
In 2006, her book Written in Blood received an Edgar Award nomination.
Fanning has been interviewed for CBS’s “48 Hours Mystery” in November 2009 and Investigation Discovery in 2010 and 2011. CBS’s “Crimesider” column featured her in a story about the Casey Anthony case.