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Best True Crime Books

Recommendations from 33 articles, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, John Legend and 43 others.
100 books on the list
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Helter Skelter
The True Story of the Manson Murders
Vincent Bugliosi - Dec 17, 2001 (first published in 1974)
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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 ...
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Michelle McNamara - Feb 26, 2019 (first published in 2018)
Goodreads Rating
THE BASIS FOR THE MAJOR 6-PART HBO® DOCUMENTARY SERIES#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:...
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Mara Wilson
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...
Columbine
Dave Cullen - Mar 03, 2010 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
"The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror . . . " So begins a new epilogue, illustrating how Columbine became the template for nearly two decades of "spectacle murders." It is a false script, seized upon by a generation of new killers. In the wake of Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that...
Killers of the Flower Moon
The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
David Grann - Apr 03, 2018 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST A New York Times Notable Book Named a best book of the year by Amazon, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR, Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub, and Slate From the #...
Mindhunter
Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
John E. Douglas - Oct 24, 2017 (first published in 1995)
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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 Poisoner's Handbook
Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Deborah Blum - Jan 24, 2011 (first published in 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In The Poisoner's Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trai...
My Dark Places
James Ellroy - Aug 19, 1997 (first published in 1996)
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"Astonishing . . . original, daring, brilliant." --Philadelphia InquirerIn 1958 Jean Ellroy was murdered, her body dumped on a roadway in a seedy L.A. suburb.  Her killer was never found, and the police dismissed her as a casualty of a cheap Saturday night. James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spent the next thirty-six years running fr...
American Predator
The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
Maureen Callahan - Jun 09, 2020 (first published in 2019)
Goodreads Rating
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ...
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....
Lost Girls
An Unsolved American Mystery
Robert Kolker - Jan 28, 2020 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
New York Times BestsellerSoon to be a Netflix film.The bestselling account of the lives of five young women whose fates converged in the perplexing case of the Long Island Serial Killer. Now updated, with a new afterword by the author. “Rich, tragic...monumental...true-crime reporting at its best.”—Washington PostOne late spring evening in 2010, Sh...
The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson
The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Ghettoside by Jill Leovy
Furious Hours by Casey Cep
American Fire by Monica Hesse
Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Homicide by David Simon
Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore
Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss
Missoula by Jon Krakauer
The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff
The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes
She Said by Jodi Kantor
Black Edge by Sheelah Kolhatkar
The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin
The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn
Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt
Evidence of Love by John Bloom
Down City by Leah Carroll
The Grim Sleeper by Christine Pelisek
Midnight in Mexico by Alfredo Corchado
Red Notice by Bill Browder
Hope by Amanda Berry
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Billion Dollar Whale by Bradley Hope
Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
All the President's Men by Bob Woodward
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
The Ice Man by Philip Carlo
Manhunt by James L. Swanson
The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh
Until the Twelfth of Never by Bella Stumbo
The Phantom Prince by Elizabeth Kendall
Broken Faith by Mitch Weiss
Beneath a Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King
Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry
Party Monster by James St. James
Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson
The Skies Belong to Us by Brendan I. Koerner
While the City Slept by Eli Sanders
The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr
The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Spilled Milk by K.L Randis
The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes
Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Papillon by Henri Charriere
A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean
I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller
We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live by Joan Didion
Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff
Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell
[Dark Alliance by
After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry
Relentless Pursuit by Bradley J. Edwards
Sex Money Murder by Jonathan Green
Start by Believing by John Barr
BMF by Mara Shalhoup
Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son by Gordon Burn
The Yoga Store Murder by Dan Morse
Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad
Chasing Cosby by Nicole Weisensee Egan
We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
Murder at Mcdonalds by Phonse Jessome
Guilty Admissions by Nicole LaPorte
The Serial Killer Files by Harold Schechter
And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy
Chaos by Tom O'Neill
Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler
Secrets of a Marine's Wife by Shanna Hogan
Casino by Nicholas Pileggi
There Are No Dead Here by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno
Obsessed- Common by by M. William Phelps
The Boys on the Tracks by Mara Leveritt