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Topic: Can anyone recommend a good True Crime book?

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Subject: Can anyone recommend a good True Crime book?
Date Posted: 4/14/2007 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 81
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Every once in a while I get in the mood to read a good true crime book. 

I don't like the true crime books with lurid details/pictures/etc that get published quickly after a crime.  What I do love are the true crime epics like "Executioner's Song" by Norman Mailer, or anything by Vincent Bugliosi, like "Helter Skelter" and "And the Sea will Tell".  The ones that have been researched extensively,etc.

I've already read everything by Ann Rule.

Can anyone help me with recommendations? 

Date Posted: 4/14/2007 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2005
Posts: 839
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I think one of the very best true crime books is Blind Eye by Stewart.  It is a really quality written fact book about a doctor gone bad.  It is from around 2000 or so.

I listened to the audio of In Cold Blood by Capote last year and it was SO good.  It was one of the first true crime books I had ever read and it was still a powerful book.  I especially loved the audio of it

I read all of the true crime books now but those 2 really stand out as great books.

Date Posted: 4/15/2007 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 81
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Thanks Nicki!  I've never read Blind Eye, and will go and order it :-)  I've read In Cold Blood too many times to count.  :-)


Date Posted: 4/17/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
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Try a book by Robert Graysmith most of his books are well researched and quite interesting.
Date Posted: 4/18/2007 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2006
Posts: 2
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A really good true crime book that I recently read is "Small Sacrifices" by Ann Rule.  (Actually, all of her books are good!)  I lost a lot of sleep reading this book because I couldn't put it down.   It is the story of Diane Downs who shot her three children (one died and two survived) and claimed a "bushy haired stranger" did it.  This book was so haunting because it was true.  I know it stayed with me for a long time after I was done reading it.
Date Posted: 4/19/2007 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 81
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Thanks Heather, I'll look around for his books. 

Thanks Melissa, I've already read Small Sacrifices, and I agree with you.  This one was definitely chilling. 

Date Posted: 4/23/2007 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2006
Posts: 230
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Mother's Day by Dennis McDougal was very good.



Date Posted: 4/24/2007 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2006
Posts: 2
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Another good one is "Before He Wakes" by Jerry Bledsoe.  While Bledsoe is not as good a writer as Ann Rule, the story is nonetheless chilling.  Barbara Stager exhibits the symptoms of an individual with Narcisstic and delusional personality disorders; her conscience development was clearly stunted - she felt justified in murdering two husbands to get the material things she wanted.

Date Posted: 5/2/2007 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2005
Posts: 8,035
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I just finished A RIP IN HEAVEN. I am posting a thread on this.
Date Posted: 5/11/2007 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2006
Posts: 33
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The late Jack Olsen was a great true crime writer. And I also highly recommend In Cold Blood. My favorite true crime author is Harold Schetcher. His books are based on old crimes and I have found them all to be really fascinating.
Date Posted: 5/21/2007 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2005
Posts: 663
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I really love Harold Schechter's historical true crime:









Date Posted: 6/27/2007 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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"Safe Harbor" by Brian MacDonald - timely as the murder conviction just happened.

Date Posted: 7/5/2007 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 316
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Compulsion – Meyer Levin. OK, it is a novel, but it is based on the notorious Leopold and Loeb thrill killing in the Chicago of the 1920s, which Levin in fact covered as a cub reporter. Movie of the same name is great.

Beyond Belief – Emlyn Williams. This classic covers the Moors Murders, a series of child killings in the Manchester, England area in the middle 1960s. The perps were Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Like Perry and Dick in In Cold Blood, they probably wouldn’t have hurt anybody if they’d never met, but together they were bad. Gruesome book, but impossible to set down.

The Family – Ed Sanders. This is a narrative of the events leading up to the Sharon Tate and Leo LaBianca mass murders. Sanders obtained access to the Charles Manson family by posing as a Satanic guru-maniac and dope-crazed psychopath.

Murder, Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate by Burton B. Turkus and Sid Feder. First published in 1951, this will appeal to anybody who likes noir, hard-boiled detective fiction. But what is scary is that this is true, all about mobsters, hired killers, and the gore they produced. The chapter on the Ladies Auxillary is chilling.

Last Edited on: 7/5/07 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/10/2007 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 1,228
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I'm burnt out on Ann Rule.  I really like Kathryn Casey and Matt Birkbeck as authors.

Date Posted: 7/17/2007 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I don't usually read this genre, but here are a couple I can recommend:

Safe Harbor by Brian MacDonald: girl meets boy, becomes engaged, realizes he is unstable, and breaks it off. He tracks her down to the island where she has re-located; she is murdered. He was convicted last month.

Pointing from the Grave by Samantha Weinberg: Young female scientist is home alone (husband away on business), intruder with gun demands sex, and flees. Suspect charged based upon a single fingerprint; victim found murdered in her front yard before trial date. Defendant eventually pleads No Contest to breaking in and sex counts (after the murder) in exchange for dropping the additional gun charges. Murder remains open for an additional 15 years, when new DNA technology gives authorities a match to arrest the rapist for murder. 


Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
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The Devil In The White City . By Erik Larson. This isn't one of those cheap True Crime that they pump out it has a great story line that runs through it. I just found it and it is by far one of the best true crime books I have read in a LONG time.

Date Posted: 7/20/2007 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2005
Posts: 839
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I have it on audio and I still haven't listened to it.. I'll have to look for it again...

Date Posted: 7/21/2007 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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"Murder in the Heartland" M. William Phelps:  Covers the murder of a pregnant Missouri woman,who's baby was cut from her womb by an woman posing as someone interested in the puppies she was selling online, they had met on an internet chat site for puppy breeders.

" Hush Little Babies" Donald Davis: Covers the Darlie Routier case in Texas, the mother accused of stabbing her 2 boys and cutting herself on the neck ,claiming an intruder did it.

" Every Breath You Take" Ann Rule: The murder of Sheila Belush, mom of quadruplets. She was stalked by her evil ex-husband who hired someone to murder her in her Florida home.

" Crimson Stain" (forgot the author) A mentally ill Amish man brutally murders his wife infront of his children. This one was eerie, probably the only book that really creeped me out!

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 845
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Devil in the White City is very good - one of my new favorites. The serial killer in there was in Chicago during the World Fair in the late 1800's. I would say 1/2 the book is on that and the other 1/2 is about the world fair itself, which proved just as interesting.

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2005
Posts: 1,273
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Under the Bridge- Rebecca Godfrey

Stolen into the night -  Gary C King

My Name is Katherine- Joe Treen

Wages Of sin- Suzy Spencer

Dead Center - Frank Daniels

The Missing Girls- Linda O'Neal

The Blood Of Innocents - Guy Reel

I'm reading now- By Their Father's Hand - Nonte Francis - very good new TC book ..

I have read over 250+ TC books  and Have over 100 that I need to read - There are lots more good TC books to many to list here .. If you think of one you would like or like to know about any TC book just PM me I will be glad to help you out  if I can .... Glad to see I'm not the only TC Junkie here ..

Last Edited on: 8/1/07 6:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2007 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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To The Last Breath : Three Women Fight For The Truth Behind A Child's Tragic Murder
  This is on my bookshelf and is an excellent book.  I cried for the little girl in this true heartbreaking story. Check out my bookshelf!

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 1
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Anything by Ann Rule is good.  I just finished Della's Web by Aphrodite Jones and it was good too.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 80
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           Thanks for the heads up on And the Sea Will Tell. I had never heard of this one. I just ordered it!

 jody  CR: Seduced by Madness: True Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case


Date Posted: 8/22/2007 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 4
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I: The Creation of a Serial Killer by Jack Osten is a great read as well.