This genre was my favourite but I find the books are getting way too trashy. (I used to be a criminology student so I'm a snob about this stuff, lol.)
But for some good reads, anything by Jack Olsen. An excellent storyteller - especially try "Doc".
Another very well-written book is "In Broad Daylight" - sorry I can't remember the author's name. If you watch A&E you may have seen this story on the "City Confidential" series (the town of Skidmore, Missouri).
If you can stomach it (I have kids so I'm sensitive to stories involving children) there's also "What Lisa Knew", about the Lisa Steinberg case. A lot of focus on "battered spouse syndrome" defence that was pioneered in this court case.
One more and I'll stop blathering on - "Rock a Bye Baby" (this is a Canadian book so may be hard for Americans to find) - very thoughtful, sympathetic read about Canada's first woman who was deemed a "dangerous offender".
These are all excellent books for anyone interested in this kind of stuff. And, of course, if you must read about Charles Manson, stick with Helter Skelter.
I'm not much of a book reader, but I spend a lot of time reading the cases on www.crimelibrary.com
I recently picked up "Dead and Buried" by Corey Mitchell. I'm about halfway through, and so far so good.
If you ever need any recommendations, J.R., talk to me about it. I have over 100 true crime books.
An Alias episode tonight had me explain the methodology of stabbing someone to death to my teenager. She asked the obvious, "how do you know that?" and I tried to make a 'reading' point out of it.
I am a huge fan of true crime novels!
The most compelling I've read lately was Patricia Cornwell's "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed" I read it over Thanksgiving. We've heard about Jack the Ripper for ages - Cornwell has been fascinated by the case and presents a compelling argument for the identity of the true killer. Not your typical Cornwell novel, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Originally Posted by Rufus
I've read a LOT of Ann Rule. I like her books because they don't get too graphic. I LOVE true crime books, but there was one I was reading a while back that I had to quit because it got so gory & so detailed that I literally started to heave. I can't remember the name of it, but it was about Richard Chase. I should have known better based on his nickname (the Vampire of Sacramento), but I didn't. There was another one years ago that I had to quit reading, but I can't remember who it was about. It wasn't even very graphic, but something about it (that I also can't seem to remember - I've probably blocked it out) was very upsetting to me.
So, as much as I love true crime novels, I just need to be cautious. I can't take gore (not even in writing), which is why I've never seen any horror films - not one - if you can believe it. I can barely watch when they show surgery shows. I have to hold my hand to where all I can see is the surgeon's head.
I haven't read a lot of true crime books. The list is so few that I have trouble remembering the ones I have read already. I have heard of helter skelter many times but have never had the chance to get a copy of it and read it. I think I'll have to go do that since all of you liked it. :nod
True crime is my absolute favorite reading material. To me, it is so much more interesting than fictional murder mysteries. I don't, however, care for the ones that are just very graphic without going into detail about the police work involved, the trial, or any other elements besides the crime itself. I especially liked Robert Graysmith's "Zodiac", "The Only Living Witness" about Ted Bundy, by Stephen Michaud, "Rites of Burial" by Tom Jackson. These are just a few--the list goes on and on. You can find lots of these in used bookstores--happy reading!
For just general true crime, both Ann Rule and Aphrodite Jones seem to be the top sellers in the genre lately. There are a lot of true crime books by local authors too, like Gary Cartwright (basically, local journalists who ended up tangled up in investigations and wrote about it).
I used to read a lot more true crime, but with the advent of CourtTV and all of the crime documentaries on A&E, it's harder to find a book about a crime that I don't feel like I already know the ins and outs of. The one exception that I enjoyed reading about even after watching the documentary was the Black Widow book by Aphrodite Jones (I think it was called "Della's Web"). It was really interesting to get an in-depth look at this woman's twisted past that no documentary would have time for.
Della's Web was a fascinating read, PinkPrincess, if only to see how that woman's mind worked, and just how selfish a person can be :up
I really got into Murder in Greenwich, by Mark Fuhrmann. It's about the Martha Moxley case in the 70's. Also deals with the Kennedy family, as recently Michael Kennedy was finally accused of murdering Martha. Man, the police really screwed that case up! (If you go by Fuhrmann's book, of course). It's a good read- I'd recommend it!
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