I have always enjoyed reading books about True Crime. I have read all the Ann Rule, John Douglas's Mind Hunter and his other books, Zodiac is one of my all time favorites. I think Zodiax is really the book that started my interest in reading about true crime. I don't keep a lot of the books on my accessible shelves due to space but another title that might be of interest is The Mind of a Monster...I can't think of the author right now.
An interesting book I read a while back is called "The Trials of Maria Barbella" by Idanna Pucci. If not found in True Crime, then look in Women's Studies. It is about the 1895 trial of Maria Barbella who was accused of killing the man who raped her. At the age of 22, she became the first person sentenced to die in the electric chair. This is set in New york, she was Italian and was tried in English, which she didn't speak or understand. I found the story fascinating and well written. It is also a fairly short book so not a huge investment in time. I think I might sit down and read it again.
Sorry- I can't edit my post but I meant to say Michael Skakel, not Kennedy. He's a Kennedy cousin.
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!
I agree. I think that was one of the best true-crime books of all time. That, and In Cold Blood. Then again Norman Mailer and Truman Capote were damn fine fiction writers too.
Originally Posted by dagwood
Ann Rule picks really good subjects to write about, so you can always count on an interesting story even if her approach is a bit formulaic. I liked Small Sacrifices even more than The Stranger Beside Me.
Vincent Bugliosi's books are good (Helter Skelter, Only the Sea Will Tell). So are Jack Olson's, although he could get bogged down into the legal stuff.
I read one book by Aphrodite Jones and was shocked at how poorly written it was. I'm not talking bad compared to Mailer or Capote -- I'm talking bad compared to my 10-year-old nephew. Cliches, sloppy prose, misspelled words. I never bought another book by her again. I figure someone that careless with language can't be trusted with getting pertinent facts right.
I loved In Cold Blood. That's probably one of my all time favorites. I'm a true crime junkie, and some of my other favorites have been Burned Alive by Kieran Crawley (it was a little hard to follow at times because he did jump around a bit, but it's still one of the best I've ever read, and a really sad story); Suddenly Gone by Dan Mitrione; Rope Burns by Robert Scott; A Question of Innocence by Brandilyn Collins; and one of my other all time favorites, In A Child's Name by Peter Maas. I first saw that movie when it premiered back in the early 90's (when I was just 7 years old) and that's what got my interested in this whole field.
I also love John Walsh (Public Enemies and Tears of Rage were my favorites) and anything by Aphrodite Jones (All She Ever Wanted: The Brandon Teena Story was a good one.) What book was it that you read by her, candor?
I read the latest ( I think!) Ann Rule book this weekend, "Heart Full Of Lies". It was a good read and actually better than the last couple of her books I've read.
I love True Crime books myself...i have read all of the following several times each
Night Stalker (Richard Ramirez)
Green River Killer
and at least 4 different books with different theories about who Jack the Ripper was.
My favorit HAS to be Helter Skelter tho...I am just fascinated with Charles Manson and his theories of the Beatles/Bible/Family and how it all played out in his mind.... :nod
You know, I can't remember. It could have been the Brandon Teena story. I stopped reading halfway through because it was so amateurish. She may have gotten a better editor since then, though, and her work could be fine today.
Originally Posted by karalott
True Crime Stories
Here are some good reads: The Perfect Victim (Girl in the Box); Evil Harvest by Rod Colvin; Lethal Intent by Sue Russell (the Aileen Wuornos story); ANYTHING by Irene Pence, especially No, Daddy, Don't! and A Clue From the Grave... Matt Birkbeck has a new one out, he wrote the Strange Disappearance of Kathy Durst, which was easy to read, but I didn't like the ending (she was never found, so no murder was pinned on her husband, Robert Durst).
I work in true crime as a writer, an editor and especially as an advocate against violent crimes.
Let me know if you need more, I have probably read about 500 or more. I am not trying to promote our group, but I honestly think you might be interested in it: (like) FREE (like) New True Crime Books at Club Wannado which used to be SmartGroups.
It's a box full of true crime books, biographies or audio tapes, that get sent around, like a round robin. Each reader takes as many books as he wants from the box, replacing them with an equal number of books and sends it on to the next reader. List is for book reviews, questions, to start a box and to keep track of boxes.
PS whomever thought of this forum is very bright. Thank you, I look forward to reading and participating.
Daddio, I applaud you for having read Green River Killer not only once, but several times. HOW???? I could not even finish it the first time.
DJeterFan, if you watch Discovery Channel, E! or CourtTV, there are at least three different true crime type documentary shows about the Martha Moxley case, including an interview with Michael Kennedy.
I have never read the book because there was such an overwhelming amount of publicity for the case (even a movie based on Furman's book), that I just didn't want to hear more on it.
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