11 Best Books About Serial Killers Nonfiction Update 05/2022

I was raised on my grandmother’s Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins books. I quickly moved on to Patricia Cornwell, Harlan Coben, Jonathan Kellerman, and Lee Child when I was in my teens. You might not be surprised that when you’re a grown-up, you can’t get enough of true crime stories. Serial killers have a lot of things going on in their heads. Is there a sudden mental break, or is there a lot of aggression and violence in the background? No, they can’t. When can you call it a day? How do we make sure that the people who were hurt are at the top of the list? These eleven books have made a big impression on me, even though I may not be able to find the answers to all of my questions in them.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

The death of the author and the recent arrest of the book’s main character make this a particularly moving and heartbreaking book to read. Michelle McNamara ran her own blog about true crime. She looked into each case with determination and care. If you think about how many people the Golden State Killer killed and how little there was to go on, this case seemed like a good fit for her. As she spent hours poring over every last detail and looking for the tiniest of leads, she earned the respect and support of the local police. Spending a long time immersed in this level of horror eventually takes its toll on the body and mind. Michelle’s good work helped lead to the killer’s identification and capture. The sad thing is that she didn’t live long enough to see him caught. With I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, we can see her process and experiences, and we can learn about the terror this killer caused in these communities.

The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe

Claudia Rowe’s THE SPIDER AND THE FLY is the first true crime book I’ve ever read that was written so well. This book is also part memoir, which is why it’s so interesting. My favorite quotes have a quote on them that reads, “The logic of pain wrapped itself around every thought, a bright filament that strangled interpretation and colored vision.” Claudia, a journalist who wants to learn more about the mind of a convicted serial killer, picks up a pen and starts writing to him in prison. She doesn’t expect an answer. What comes next is a tense project that will involve an exchange of minds, needs, and compulsive danger.

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

In the summer, you could read this while lying on a towel on the beach. The book is set on Long Island, where a killer is still on the loose. Craigslist has a lot of bodies of girls who are advertising their escort services, but the person who did this is still unknown. A house in particular is being looked at as a possible link, but there isn’t any real proof. We get to know a lot of different women, the people who cared about them, and the environment they lived in through Kolker’s investigation work.

Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt

It was an Australian colleague who recommended this book to me. It made me think about how controversial and interesting the case in West Memphis, Arkansas, must have been. If you want to watch a movie about the same story with Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger, you can find it on YouTube. DEVIL’S KNOT looks at the case of three teenagers who were accused of killing three children in the early 1990s. Insinuations, stereotypes, and devil-worshipping practices are brought to light as a vengeful and blame-fueled community tries to make sense of the situation.

The Man from the Train by Bill James

Like I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, this book is about a cold case from 1912. This time, it’s about a woman who was found dead in the woods. When I saw the idea of an axe murderer walking the country at the start of the 20th century, I couldn’t look away. It must have been a record amount of material for this father-daughter writing team to build a picture of the man who committed these heinous crimes.

Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Initially, I didn’t know there was a book until I saw the TV show. This turned out to be a good thing because the book was just as interesting as the TV show. Knowledge from these pages has been useful for reading other true crime books and taking part in a thrilling serial killer trivia night at my favorite bar. John Douglas and his colleagues in the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) fought to prove the legitimacy of their work and the impact of their skills. Now I know that serial killers used to be called sequence killers. You can go back in time with these early pioneers of their field by reading a book that one of my favorite authors called “remarkable and chilling.”

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

You should read this book if you’ve already seen Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. I should not need to say much more about it to get you to read it. A book and four-part documentary are now available for the lucky people who can read both of them at the same time. I’m a little bit jealous! The book “The Stranger Beside Me” is about Ann’s friend, Ted Bundy, who was a serial killer. From an emotional and unique point of view, we see Ted in both childhood and adulthood. The source still can’t believe that the man she knew could be a killer, and she’s still not sure how to deal with that idea.

Son by Jack Olsen

Ann Rule, the author of THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, gave a quote for the paperback. “A read-until-four-a.m. book!” As a reader, it makes me happy when the authors I read move in the same circles. It makes me feel like I’ve chosen the best of the many great minds that are out there. The book tells the story of a rapist in Spokane, Washington, who hasn’t been found, which makes a newspaper offer a reward for information that leads to his arrest. In a surprise twist, the elusive suspect turns out to be the son of the managing editor of that newspaper. Olsen did a lot of research, and the story’s naturally sinister clothes make it a read that will stay with you for a long time. Newsday likens it to IN COLD BLOOD.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Check out this book. You’ll see it talked about in a lot more places than just this review, because it’s a big part of this type of movie. So many movies are built on the foundation of this movie. I remember taking a college film class where we looked at this movie for a long time. Truman Capote and Harper Lee are in Holcomb, Kansas, in the early morning of 1959. Four shots are fired, and a family is dead. Capote and Lee are there to talk to the people in the town. Before they die, Capote interviews them as well. IN COLD BLOOD is a controversial book that should be read. It was first published in four parts in the New Yorker.

Secrets Can Be Murder by Jane Velez-Mitchell

“How could one person hurt so many people?” Velez-Mitchell asks this question in her foreword, where she talks about her trials and how often she’d just stare at the defendant. Now as a TV news reporter, she spent time at crime scenes and watched police and the process. In her book, SECRETS CAN BE MURDER, she talks about a lot of different crimes. She talks about emotions and buildups, consequences, and confessions. A crime fan who wants to know more about the motivations, lies, and calculations behind the cruelest, most unforgivable acts should read this book, because it talks about how these things happen. If you’re not a thief or do not break the law, Velez-Mitchell wants you to think about why you might want to be honest with one another.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

From the title alone, you can figure out that you’re in for a wild ride. He is a journalist and a filmmaker for the BBC. He is best known for THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. Taking the PSYCHOPATH TEST helps us think of psychopaths in a more general way. They are serial killers, career criminals, and emotionless manipulators. That’s right, the book looks at people like that and how people try to understand them. It also looks at people who have power and are often praised. What starts out as a quest to prove a hoax turns into a fascinating look into what makes a psychopath and how people have been diagnosed. It may not be as focused on serial killers as the other books on this list, but it’s still a good book to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.