One of my goals of 2019 is to read more true crime books since it’s an area of knowledge that I’m fascinated by. I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts, but I absorb information a lot more from reading or watching documentaries. I finished Helter Skelter a few weeks ago, and I feel like I’m a wealth of knowledge on Charles Manson. It reminded me of how much I love true crime, so I figured I would make a little true crime TBR list for the rest of the here. Let’s get started!
1. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
I just got this one out from the library, and I’m so excited to start reading it this weekend/early next week. Written by a crime journalist who actually died suddenly during the writing of this book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark chronicles the ten year crimes of the Golden State Killer and how he terrified the state completely. I’ve heard a lot about The Golden State Killer because of the podcast My Favorite Murder, but similar to the Manson murders and reading Helter Skelter, I think I’ll get more out of reading the book itself.
2. The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy by Ann Rule
I just watched Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile on Netflix. I have very complex feelings on (let me know if you want a full review), but it’s made me want to read a little more about Ted Bundy. The Stranger Beside Me is written by Ann Rule, a woman who worked with Bundy during his years as a psychology student in Washington. She chronicles his shockingly violent murders across the Pacific Northwest, his escapes from prison, and how he represented himself in court. I’m interested to read a book from the perspective of someone that knew a murder and had absolutely no idea (Because that’s how it always is, isn’t it?).
3. Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas
This book jumps out as me as a Criminal Minds meets 1995 FBI agent. It’s written by John Douglas, a retired FBI agent, and he goes into the processes of personality-profiling with some of the most notorious and disturbing killers like the Green River Killer, Ed Gein, and more. I had to stop watching Criminal Minds because I have a very over-active imagination, but for some reason, I can read about murders without that becoming a problem. I think Mind Hunter will be a good way for me to learn more about personality-profiling, which I find fascinating.
4. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
The Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma was one of the richest segments of people in the 1920s. And when they started to get murdered one by one, anyone that started to investigate was killed in turn. As the first big case of the recently created FBI (at the time), the Osage murders revealed one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history. Conspiracy plus murder means it’s the perfect book for me.
5. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
While this is true crime, The Devil in the White City is actually a fictionalized account of the events. It’s an account of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago that was made possible by Daniel Burnham, the architect of the event. It also features H.H. Holmes, a famous serial killer that used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths at his Murder House. I don’t know a whole lot about H.H. Holmes, but I’m excited to learn more about him in a fictionalized setting.
Do you have any true crime book recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.