Any suggestions for books about true crime and serial killers?

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I really enjoy reading books about true crime and serial killers. Any suggestions for me?

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Cathy
  1. Ripper by Patricia Cornwell

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  2. maybe… therapy?? 😂

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  3. Devil in the White City

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  4. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark or True Crime Addict

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  5. Killers of the Flower Moon

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  6. Devil In The White City

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  7. In Cold Blood is absolutely fantastic!

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  8. While it’s not true crime, I enjoyed “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr.

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  9. I’ll be Gone in the Dark–so GOOD!

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    • My sis has read everything she has written- I believe Ms Rule died a few years ago. She wrote about that awful Ted Bundy (she knew him personally).

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    • I have read all her books also. The Stranger Beside Me is the one about Ted Bundy. It’s creepy and fascinating. She did die a few years ago.

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  10. I haven’t read it yet but The Fact of a Body is supposed to be really good. It’s on my list.

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  11. Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song is fictionalized true crime and a damn good read.

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  12. My Friend Dahmer is a graphic novel written by someone who was a classmate of his. Maybe the creepiest thing I have ever read. The Fact of a Body is non-fiction and amazing. Broken Monsters is a novel about tracking a serial killer in Detroit.

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    • reading back through the comments to see if anyone else suggested My Friend Dahmer..a movie has been made based on the novel.

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    • Movie is excellent. For those who haven’t read it, NONE of the murders happen in the book or movie. It’s all build up as to what makes someone that way. My husband thought it was slow but I didn’t!

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  13. If you can find it, Justice by Dominick Dunne. It’s a collection of his essays that appeared in Vanity Fair. His daughter was a murder victim, and he was drawn to writing about high-profile murder cases.

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  14. Be sure to read Killers Of The Flower Moon!

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  15. Columbine by Dave Cullen

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  16. I’m sure someone mentioned the classic- In Cold Blood by Trumen Capote??

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  17. The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer

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  18. Anne Rule’s book on Ted Bundy is excellent!

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  19. Cruel Death by M. William Phelps

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  20. The Bolter, can remember who it’s by but it’s about a 1920’s society lady that moves to Africa with her husband and ends up killing someone and has to go back to England to stand trail, and there is a pet lion to.

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  21. Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham

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  22. Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, and as a follow up/companion book Shot In the Heart by Mikal Gilmore.

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  23. So do I! I just got “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann. A lot of people on this page have been talking about it recently, so I’m hoping it will be really good. My favorite is “The Stranger Beside Me” written by Ann Rile about Ted Rule. I love any of her books

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  24. Starkweather: A Story of Mass Murder on the Great Plains (US). Invisible Darkness: The Strange Case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (Canada)

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  25. The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn

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  26. Shake the Devil Off by Ethan Brown

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  27. Fatal Vision by Joe McGuinniss

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  28. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

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  29. This is about a man who terrorized his town to the point that he was shot “in broad daylight” in the middle of town, and not one of the townspeople would say who did it. Bonus, my husbands grandfather was the judge. There is also a movie with the same name.

    3
  30. Try the true crime books of Gregg Olsen.

    1
  31. LAbyrinth (about the LAPD conspiracy behind the Tupac and Biggie murders) by Randall Sullivan. Hands down one of the best books I’ve read in the true crime genre.

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  32. Zodiac by Robert Graysmith. Take with a grain of salt…. who knows how true it is, but there are companion books that debunk all he says. Fascinating.

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  33. And maybe one of the creepiest- Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. I cannot watch that movie!!!

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  34. Stephen kings the good wife

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  35. Devil in the White City, In Cold Blood

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  36. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

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  37. The Jeffery Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare by Don Davis

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  38. Devil in the White City

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  39. Cruel Sacrifice
    Book by AphroditeJones

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  40. Devil in the White City is excellent!

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  41. Titles escape me but stories are remembered . . . I’ll have to Google

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  42. Devil in the White City

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  43. The Woodchipper Murder

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  44. Ann Rule nonfiction Stranger Beside Me

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  45. House of Evil by John Dean. (Sylvia Likens story)

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  46. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

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  47. The one about Richard E. List, but I’m not sure of the Title.

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  48. “Anne Perry & the Murder of the Century” by Peter Graham. Then watch “Heavenly Creatures” starring Kate Winslet & Melanie Lynskey.

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  49. Fatal Vision, about the soldier who murdered his wife at Fort Bragg , excellent read.

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  50. Me too! In Cold Blood — Truman Capote

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  51. Ann Rule. Her books are very good

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  52. The Monster of Florence, about a serial killer in Italy. The afterward has commentary on the Amanda Knox trial, which is really interesting as well.

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  53. If you’re looking for something a bit different, but still in the genre, I enjoyed this book.

    3
  54. I thought Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell was fascinating. She was granted access to the evidence and police files, and while we’ll never know for sure, she was quite convincing in her theory. Lots of photos, and things you probably never knew about the culture of the seedy side of London in that time period.

    2
  55. Michael finkels book Murder memoir mea culpa. Excellent

    0
  56. Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
    by Roy Wenzl, L. Kelly, Tim Potter, Hurst Laviana

    0
  57. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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  58. You may have already read most of hers by ANN RULE is fantastic

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  59. Fatal Vision. Preacher’s Girl, Life and Times of Blanche Taylor-Moore.

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  60. I’ll Be Gone in the Night and Fatal Vision. And the grandparent of the genre In Cold Blood.

    1
  61. Not sure titles. Stranger beside me is ann rules story about her experience working with Ted Bundy at a suicide prevention hotline, and his crimes. Helter skelter was too much. Can’t read at night! I read about john wayne gacy, richard Ramirez, hillside strangler, and not sure what else. Many!

    3
  62. 30 years ago Thomas Harris wrote Silence of the Lambs (fiction), and suddenly people were fascinated with serial killers AND the FBI Behavioral unit that put together psych profiles for serial crimes. Then John Douglas wrote Mindhunter, claiming he was the FBI guy that Harris based his character of Jack Crawford. But that was somewhat disputed by Robert Ressler, who wrote his own book (I Have Lived in the Monster). Both men did additional books. If you are interested in the inner workings of serial killers, I would recommend both Douglas and Ressler.

    [Side note: for some reason, these were the books I was fascinated with during my pregnancy 19 years ago. I think it made my husband nervous. 😂😂]

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    • My daughter (who is now 35) came home from school one day when she was in either 5th or 6th grade & told me that I was the only mother she knew of with a favorite serial killer! Lol. Mine is Ted Bundy.

      2
  63. The Devil in the White City

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  64. Mother Wife Murderer (the story of Marie Hilley)

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  65. Dan has a podcast and each episode he interviews the author of a different true crime book. I would go to his podcast for book titles.

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  66. Dan has a podcast and each episode he interviews the author of a different true crime book. I would go to his podcast for book titles.

    1
  67. .. The Alienist .. by Caleb Carr

    2
  68. St. Joseph’s Children: A True Story of Terror and Justice, Broad Daylight: A Murder in Skidmore, MO, A Grave for Bobby: The Greenlease Slaying. Sadly, all are set in the area I grew up.

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  69. Ann Rule is the best!

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  70. You undoubtedly have heard of the author Ann Rule, but if not.

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  71. I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It was excellent.

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  72. Just finished reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. It’s about the Golden State Killer who was recently apprehended

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  73. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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  74. The Stranger Beside Me and Small Sacrifices, both by Ann Rule.

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  75. Blood Money and Serpentine by Thomas Thompson.

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  76. I fpund James Ellroy’s book about his mother’s murder: My Dark Places interesting

    0
  77. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that changed America by Erik Larson

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  78. There’s a new one coming out in July called The Thief of All Light. I read the ARC and really enjoyed it.

    0
  79. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule about Ted Bundy is one of the best true crime novels ever. She actually knew him personally and worked with him and used that personal connection to write an excellent book. Under The Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer is also excellent. It not only gives an account of an awful murder but gives a great history of the Mormon Church and the fundamentalism that arose out of it and led to such a horrible crime.

    8
  80. In Cold Blood, Devil’s Knot: The Story of the West Memphis Three, A Murder in Music City, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

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  81. Robert Dugoni- Tracy Crosswhite Series

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  82. Vulgar Favors – the killing of Gianni Versace

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  83. Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen and Footsteps in the Snow by Charles Lachman

    0
  84. 3 recent ones: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, The Fact of a Body, Killers of the Flower Moon. Also: In Plain Sight, Devil in the White City, Devil’s Knot, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. I’m someone who thought In Cold Blood was good, but not great.

    0
    • KILLERS-FLOWERS … nyt-pbs/ Now Read This greatly widened-deepened audience. Wudda never otherwise have read had not been Feb2018 choice: learned a lot very worth learning. Including foundations of FBI: important in these bashing times.

      0
  85. The Stranger Beside Me, Til Death Do Us Part both by Ann Rule. And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi

    1
  86. I like Linda Fairstein’s series with Detective Alex Cooper of the NYPD. Fairstein used to be a NY DA, so she injects a lot of realism. Crime dramas and procedurals are also my favorite TV. I’m still mourning the loss of Castle.

    0
  87. The Monster of Florence

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  88. Evidence of Love by John Bloom

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  89. Black Dahlia Avenger

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  90. “Murder in the Peach State,” by Bruce L. Jordan. “Killings,” by Calvin Trillin.

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  91. Instinct by James Patterson

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  92. Have you read “Helter Skelter”? The book that set the standard for the true crime genre. Also “In Cold Blood.” Classics.

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  93. Helen skelter. In cold blood. In the garden of the beast, about the ambassador to Germany during Nazi times, his daughter was a spy. It’s an Erik Lawson, he writes nonfiction that reads like fiction. Also his Devil in the white city.

    2
  94. Some of these are hard to find (your library can probably help you find a copy of The Phantom Prince on intra-library loan) and quite graphic to read – but if you want serial killers in their own words, you’ll enjoy these. DEFINITELY not for the faint of heart… and again some of the details shared by these killers is extremely graphic.

    1
  95. I’ll be gone in the dark by Michelle McNamara

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  96. The Butterfly Garden series.

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  97. Patricia Cornwell’s Kate Scarpetti books…

    1
  98. Ann Rule was my favorite for true crime stories. But don’t pass up In Cold Blood either

    4
  99. The Michigan Murders. Young women taken during the late 60s early 70s (I think. ) From U of M, Eastern Michigan U areas. Not one of the well knowns, like Charles Manson or Ted Bundy but still gripping.

    0
  100. A Knoxville, TN retired police officer has written several true crime novels based on cases he has worked. His name is David Hunter.

    0
  101. My ex wife was fond of Harold Schechter’s series of historical serial killer novels, which seemed insightful and well-researched, but I’m not a huge true crime fan.

    1
  102. The Man from the Train – really good look at a possible serial axe murderer in the early 1900s.

    0
  103. The Grim Sleeper is about a serial killer in So. Central L.A.

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  104. Blood and Money – Thompson.

    1
  105. The Alienist, Devil in the White City, Helter Skelter, In Cold Blood

    1
  106. Thank you all so much!!! I’m at Barnes and Nobles right now to buy some of these.

    3
  107. Manson by Jeff Guinn was really good. From the beginning of his life to the “ family”’and trial. Learned a lot more than I ever saw in the media or true crime shows

    3
  108. The Innocent Man a true story by John Grisham

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  109. You by Caroline Kepnes

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  110. I thought I was the only one!! Have you read I’ll Be Gone in the Dark? I’m really enjoying it!

    1
  111. Anything by Ann Rule. Also a classic in the genre In Cold Blood. Scared the pants off me when I read it. Of course, I was 12.
    Also Fatal Vision by Joe McGinness. McGinness has several that are good.
    Helter Skelter was also good.
    This is also a favorite genre of mine.

    3
  112. I’ll be gone in the dark. And there are two books about the pizza bomber, though I dont know the exact titles offhand.

    1
  113. I’ve Been Watching You: The South Louisiana Serial Killer

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  114. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

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  115. Yep more great reads if you’re interested in Columbine…

    0
  116. The last victim””by Jason Moss later made into a film called Dr Mr Gacy the book was written by a young man who wrote to him in prison eventually visited him and was drawn into his life. It is less about Gacy’s crimes than about him as a mean manipulative sociopath.

    0
  117. The Alienist and Alias Grace are good ones

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  118. I really liked The Bone Collector.

    1
  119. In Cold Blood Capote

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  120. Mindhunter by John Douglas

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  121. Cathy, you have to tell us what you bought at B&N. Enquiring minds want to know! ☺

    1
  122. Try “THe Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule. It is about Ted Bundy, and it is unusual because Ann Rule was already a fledgling Crime Writer when she met Ted Bundy, the college student; they were both volunteers for the local suicide help line. It is a pretty good read.

    8
    • For more on Bundy read The Only Living Witness, Conversations With A Killer, and The Deliberate Stranger. The Phantom Prince written by his one time girlfriend is also great but hard to find and very costly to buy. Try intra- library loan if you’re interested in it.

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    • Ann Rule was a terrific writer. I enjoyed many of her other books, too. Especially Small Sacrifices and Every Breath You Take.

      1
  123. “The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country” by Laton McCartney. McCartney begins his book with a bang – Oklahoma oilman Jake Hamon’s jilted mistress, Clara Hamon, put a gun to his chest and pulled the trigger. McCartney next relates the biographical details of Jake Hamon’s life. McCartney tells the reader that Jake was a man on the make. He was a successful Oklahoma oilman, a speculator, who did well in the oil field and then looked to improve his social position. Jake’s plan involved buying a U.S. president, so he took out a $1 million loan from National City Bank of New York (today’s Citibank) and went to the 1920 Republican presidential convention in Chicago. “Working in tandem with Harding’s campaign manager, Harry Micajah Daughtery, Hamon got Warren Harding the Republican presidential nomination”. Harding promised Hamon a position, Secretary of Interior, on his cabinet, when – and if – he was elected. There was but one other stipulation that Harding had for Hamon: Jake had to end his relationship with Clara Hamon. Shortly after Harding and Hamon had met, they discovered that Hamon’s wife was cousin to Florence “the Duchess” Harding. The Duchess would not allow her cousin to be further embarrassed by her philandering husband. If Hamon wanted the job, the Duchess required him to arrive in Washington with his wife, her cousin and not Clara. After Harding was elected, according to McCartney, Hamon told Clara that he had to end their relationship. She bought the .25-caliber pistol and, on what was to be their final night together, she shot Jake. Then the book moves onto other criminals and criminal activities including the notorious Teapot Dome Scandal.

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  124. Must reads by Ann Rule: A Stranger Beside Me and Small Sacrifices.

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  125. Linda, have you read “Every Breath You Take”? Another Ann Rule favorite of mine.

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    • No, but it sounds great. I was on a true crime reading spree in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I switched back to fiction because the killers and police both seemed smarter than in real life. Think I’ll try this one, though. Thanks for the heads up.

      1
  126. Devil in the
    White City

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  127. Ann Rule books are great reads..she really delves into the minds and psyches of all individuals Small sacrifices still haunts me…

    7
  128. The Stranger Beside Me. Ann Rule worked beside him, on a suicide prevention hotline. He was clean cut and handsome, and she thought he was an intelligent, nice man. But, that man was Ted Bundy.
    I have never had the courage to read it, but, my dad did. He wanted to learn how better to keep me safe, to learn how he lured women in, and to learn from one that didn’t fall for his tricks. Bundy followed this young woman in the mall into a bookstore, flashed her a badge and asked her if she had this car with this plate–I forget if he was also in uniform–told her some excuse and that she had to come with him. Fortunately, her dad was a police chief, and told her if that ever happened, to always call in the badge number. She did, it didn’t match, and he vanished. A younger, innocent me would have trusted him. You trust the police. But, now in the age of buying anything you want online, it is even easier. I’ve even seen the lights that go on the top of the car!) So, definitely a good book if you are into true crime books.

    5
  129. Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman. It is a work of fiction. I also thought Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore was a good read, bother of Gary Gilmore.

    0
  130. Any book by Ann Rule will be good. All are true crime. She does much research and investigating.

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  131. The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer. So good. One of the best written.

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  132. In Cold Blood (Capote)…classic.

    5
  133. Fatal Vision by Joe McGinnis about Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald. Controversial but a good true story

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  134. Reversal of Fortune about Sunny and Claus von Bulow by Alan Dershowitz is great.

    3
  135. Alan Hynd books have been around for awhile but are still fun reads. His son, Noel Hynd, writes along similar lines.

    0
  136. Green town. About the Martha Moxley murder case and the Kennedy family relatives.

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  137. Devil in the White City

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  138. I agree with Elyse – Ann Rules is definitely one of the best!

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  139. In Cold Blood by Truman Copote

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  140. I really liked this one!!! I had never heard of this murder so I had no spoilers.

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  141. Murder in Music City by Michael Bishop

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  142. The Devil in the White City

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  143. Helter Skelter is a book by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Bugliosi had served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson.

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  144. The Will to Murder ( by John DeSanto and 2 others) – details about the police search for the murder of Elizabeth Congdon – of 1070’s Duluth Minnesota – elderly heiress – I never read this genre but I couldn’t put this compelling book down. But it IS my hometown…..

    1
  145. The stranger beside me. Ann rule

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  146. The Hannibal Lechter series…

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  147. The stranger beside me – story of Ted Bundy by Ann Rule

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  148. Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. This is about the long forgotten serial murders of people of the Osage Nation.

    1
  149. I’m going to start “Killers of the Flower Moon” this week.

    4
  150. Anything by Ann Rule is good.

    4
  151. The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh

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  152. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Devil in the White City. And of course, In Cold Blood.

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  153. The Tony Hill series by Val McDermid.

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  154. The Last Mafioso about Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno

    0
  155. Devil in the White City

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  156. It is fiction…but I just read Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman. Great read about a serial killer.

    1
  157. People Who Eat Darkness. I have barely started reading this and not my usual read but this seems really good.

    0
  158. Read the one that started it all: Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

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  159. The Devil in the White City

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  160. The Butterfly Garden Trilogy

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  161. I’ll Be Gone In the Dark by Michelle McNamara is a pretty recent book but it’s so good

    1
  162. The Thrist by Jo Nesbo

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  163. The Devil in the White City and anything by Anne Rule

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  164. Fourteen: The Murder of David Sturkle

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  165. The Starved Rock Murders

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  166. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

    2
  167. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule!

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  168. Also In Cold Blood, and if you’re interested in extra large tomes (and a challenge 😴) then try out The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer.

    1
  169. In cold blood by Truman capote

    2