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Best Serial Killer Books

Recommendations from 23 articles, Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris, Kurt Cobain and 9 others.
44 books on the list
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Mindhunter
Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
John E. Douglas - Oct 24, 2017 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
He has hunted some of the most notorious and sadistic criminals of our time: The Trailside Killer in San Francisco, the Atlanta Child murderer. He has confronted, interviewed and researched dozens of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, and James Earl Ray - for a landmark study to understand their ...
The Stranger Beside Me
The Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy (New Edition)
Ann Rule - Apr 11, 2019 (first published in 1980)
Goodreads Rating
The Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that the young man who was her close friend was the savage slayer she was hunting . . . TED BUNDY was everyone's picture of a natural 'winner' - handsome, charming, brilliant in law sc...
Helter Skelter
The True Story of the Manson Murders
Vincent Bugliosi - Dec 17, 2001 (first published in 1974)
Goodreads Rating
Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his ...
The Devil in the White City
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Erik Larson - Feb 10, 2004 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for...
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote - Feb 01, 1994 (first published in 1965)
Goodreads Rating
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, ...
Zodiac
RM Graysmith - Mar 23, 2007 (first published in 1986)
Goodreads Rating
A sexual sadist, the Zodiac's pleasure was torture and murder. He taunted the authorities with mocking notes telling where he would strike next. The official tally of his victims was six. He claimed 37 dead. He was never caught. This book tells the inside story of the hunt for the hooded killer, and finally reveals his possible true identity....
The Silence of the Lambs
Thomas Harris - Feb 15, 1991 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
Hannibal Lecter. The ultimate villain of modern fiction. Read the five-million-copy bestseller that scared the world silent. The Silence of the Lambs. A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath's mind--in the deadly search for a serial killer. - back cover...
Recommended by
Greg Iles
Perfume
The Story of a Murderer
Patrick Sskind - Mar 01, 2010 (first published in 1985)
Goodreads Rating
In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift: an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs.But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not ...
Recommended by
Kurt Cobain
The Night Stalker
The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
Philip Carlo - Aug 30, 2016 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Painstakingly researched over three years, based on nearly one hundred hours of exclusive interviews with Richard Ramirez on California's Death Row, "The Night Stalker" is the definitive account of America's most feared serial murderer. From Ramirez's earliest brushes with the law to his deadliest stalking expeditions to the unprecedented police an...
My Friend Dahmer
Derf Backderf - Mar 01, 2012
Goodreads Rating
You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer — the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper — seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, “Jeff” was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classro...
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Serial Killers by Peter Vronsky
The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Michael Newton
Psycho by Robert Bloch
The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen by Tess Gerritsen
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Serial Killer Trivia by Michelle Kaminsky
Deviant by Harold Schechter
Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
Criminal by Karin Slaughter
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
Gosnell by Ann McElhinney
Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy
The Serial Killer Files by Harold Schechter
The Killing League by Dan Ames
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Fred and Rose by Howard Sounes
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
The Perfect Husband Hardcover – 1998 by
From Cradle to Grave by Joyce Egginton
St. Albans Poisoner by Anthony Holden
Female Serial Killers by Peter Vronsky
Afraid by J. A. Konrath
When She Was Bad by Jonathan Nasaw
Blackburn by Bradley Denton
Blind Eye by James B. Stewart
The Last Victim by Jason Moss
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Deadly Dozen by Robert Keller
Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton
Nobody's Women by Steve Miller