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Great True Crime Books

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1 Great True Crime Books on Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:11 am

Manfred von Assenhammer

Learning My Way Around
Learning My Way Around

hey, seeing as how most of us here are very interested in true crime(how did i guess that, lol), i thought i'd start a thread where we can talk about some good true crime books. so if you're also into this genre, post your recommendations. i read quite a few of these, and am always looking for some good new ones. i think it's a safe bet i'm not the only one here interested.


2 Re: Great True Crime Books on Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:20 am


The end-all and be-all of true crime books probably is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

Not all of Ann Rule's books are worth reading, but I'd definitely recommend Small Sacrifices (creeped me the fuck out) and The Killer Beside Me.

Jack Olsen wrote a number of books, a number of them true crime books. One that is personally meaningful to me is The Man with Candy, about Dean Arnold Corll, who killed young men and boys in Houston in the early '70s. I remember my mom talking about the case and driving me by where some of them were found. However, he wrote quite a few, not all of which I've read. There's a list of them at

3 i'll start if off on Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:41 am

Manfred von Assenhammer

Learning My Way Around
Learning My Way Around

i have always been fascinated by the unusual and disturbing story of Aileen Wuornos. this is the female serial killer that the film Monster was about. i saw the documentaries about her and then read several books about this. the best by far was Lethal Intent by Sue Russell. not only did this book talk about her crimes, it gave a very in-depth look into her screwed up abusive childhood, how she first started hooking and getting into trouble as a young woman, and the long-term lesbian relationship she was in before and during her killings. there is so much more than you see in Monster or even the docs.

imo, obviously nothing in this book excused her or made her sympathetic. however, her messed up past probably contributed something to what she became, along with her mental problems and her violent tendencies. it was fascinating to read such a comprehensive look into the history and crimes of one of the few female serial killers. i'd recommend this to almost anyone with an interest in this kind of stuff. if you saw and appreciated Monster or Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer, it's a must read.

the link is for the paperback version from Amazon. if you're at all interested, it's well worth the $6.50.

Lethal Intent

like i said i read quite a bit of this stuff, so i'll think of some of the other good ones i've read and post them later if anyone's interested. of course, i just read loads of books about all kinds of things, so i'll have to go through my collection to remember everything right.

4 Re: Great True Crime Books on Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:58 am


Pretty Much Settled in
Pretty Much Settled in
I think The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi was very good and quite interesting
[/quote]When author Douglas Preston moved his family to Florence he never expected he would soon become obsessed and entwined in a horrific crime story whose true-life details rivaled the plots of his own bestselling thrillers. While researching his next book, Preston met Mario Spezi, an Italian journalist who told him about the Monster of Florence, Italy's answer to Jack the Ripper, a terror who stalked lovers' lanes in the Italian countryside. The killer would strike at the most intimate time, leaving mutilated corpses in his bloody wake over a period from 1968 to 1985. One of these crimes had taken place in an olive grove on the property of Preston's new home. That was enough for him to join "Monsterologist" Spezi on a quest to name the killer, or killers, and bring closure to these unsolved crimes. Local theories and accusations flourished: the killer was a cuckolded husband; a local aristocrat; a physician or butcher, someone well-versed with knives; a satanic cult. Thomas Harris even dipped into "Monster" lore for some of Hannibal Lecter's more Grand Guignol moments in Hannibal. Add to this a paranoid police force more concerned with saving face and naming a suspect (any suspect) than with assessing the often conflicting evidence on hand, and an unbelievable twist that finds both authors charged with obstructing justice, with Spezi jailed on suspicion of being the Monster himself. The Monster of Florence is split into two sections: the first half is Spezi's story, with the latter bringing in Preston's updated involvement on the case. Together these two parts create a dark and fascinating descent into a landscape of horror that deserves to be shelved between In Cold Blood and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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