Reading Guides: True Crime

Printable Guide With Library Holdings

True Crime

Suggested Titles

Albarus, Carmeta / The Making of Lee Boyd Malvo: The D.C. Sniper --- HV6248.M2747 A43 2012
Albarus met with Malvo numerous times and repeatedly traveled back to his homeland of Jamaica, as well as to Antigua, to interview his parents, family members, teachers, and friends. What she uncovered was the story of a once promising, intelligent young man, whose repeated abuse and abandonment left him detached from his biological parents and desperate for guidance and support. In search of a father figure, Malvo instead found John Muhammad, a veteran of the first Gulf War who intentionally shaped his protégé through a ruthlessly efficient campaign of brainwashing, sniper training, and race hatred, turning the susceptible teen into an angry, raging, and dissociated killer with no empathy for his victims.
Anderson, Devery / Emmett Till: The Murder that Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement--- HV6465.M7.A63 2015
Emmett Till offers the first truly comprehensive account of the 1955 murder and its aftermath. It tells the story of Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old African American boy from Chicago brutally lynched for a harmless flirtation at a country store in the Mississippi Delta. His death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and spurred on the civil rights movement.
Bugliosi, Vincent / Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders --- HV6533 .C2 B83 1974
The #1 selling crime book of all time, this is the true story of the Manson slayings and the Manson family.
Burleigh, Nina / The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox --- HV6535.I83 P438 2011
Presents an account of the highly publicized 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher that examines the controversial prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of her American roommate while critiquing vulnerabilities in the Italian legal system.
Capote, Truman / In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences --- HV6533.K3 C3 2007
Two two-time losers living in a lonely house in western Kansas are out to make the heist of their life, but when things don't go as planned, the robbery turns ugly. From there, the book is a real-life look into murder, prison, and the criminal mind.
Cornwell, Patricia Daniels / Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed --- HV6535.G43 L653 2002
In this new work of nonfiction, Cornwell turns her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise on one of the most chilling cases of serial murder in the history of crime—the slayings of Jack the Ripper that terrorized 1880s London. With the masterful intuition into the criminal mind that has informed her novels, Cornwell digs deeper into the case than any detective before her—and reveals the true identity of this elusive madman.
Douglas, John / Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind Thirty Years of Hunting for the Wichita Serial Killer --- HV8079.H6 D684 2007
This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history.
Earley, Pete / The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers --- HV6515.E17 2012
From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley—the strange but true story of a man who suffers a traumatic brain injury and as a result is given the ability to converse with the world's most terrifying criminals. Tony acted on a whim and wrote to an imprisoned serial killer. To his astonishment, the killer wrote back. Tony's hobby eventually turned into a full-blown obsession, and soon he was corresponding with dozens of serial killers who revealed heinous details about their horrendous crimes—even those they'd never been convicted of.
Elliott, Martha / The Man in the Monster: An Intimate Portrait of a Serial Killer --- HV6248.R675 E55 2015
Michael Ross was a serial killer who raped and murdered eight young women between 1981 and 1984, and several years ago the state of Connecticut put him to death. His crimes were horrific, and he paid the ultimate price for them. Over the course of his twenty years in prison, Ross had come to embrace faith for the first time in his life. He had also undergone extensive medical treatment.
Gallo, Marcia / No One Helped: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy --- HV6534.N5.G35 2015
In No One Helped, Marcia M. Gallo examines one of America's most infamous true-crime stories: the 1964 rape and murder of Catherine Kitty Genovese in a middle-class neighborhood of Queens, New York. Front-page reports in the New York Times incorrectly identified thirty-eight indifferent witnesses to the crime, fueling fears of apathy and urban decay. Genovese's life, including her lesbian relationship, also was obscured in media accounts of the crime. Fifty years later, the story of Kitty Genovese continues to circulate in popular culture.
Garbarino, James / Listening to Killers: Lessons Learned from my Twenty Years as a Psychological Expert Witness in Murder Cases --- HV6529.G37 2015
Listening to Killers offers an inside look at twenty years' worth of murder files from Dr. James Garbarino, a leading expert psychological witness who listens to killers so that he can testify in court. The author offers detailed accounts of how killers travel a path that leads from childhood innocence to lethal violence in adolescence or adulthood. He places the emotional and moral damage of each individual killer within a larger scientific framework of social, psychological, anthropological, and biological research on human development. By linking individual cases to broad social and cultural issues and illustrating the social toxicity and unresolved trauma that drive some people to kill, Dr. Garbarino highlights the humanity we share with killers and the role of understanding and empathy in breaking the cycle of violence.
Glatt, John / The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus --- HV6602.C54 G53 2015
The Lost Girls tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro, and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world.
Haugen, Brenda / The Zodiac Killer: Terror and Mystery --- HV8079.H6 H38 2011
In the late 1960s, the Zodiac Killer terrorized the area near San Francisco, California, killing at least five people. The killer mailed letters to newspapers written in code, daring police to discover his identity. He taunted the police and spread fear around San Francisco and beyond. Would the police and the public, working together, find this terrifying monster?
Innes, Brian / Fakes & Forgeries: The True Crime Stories of History's Greatest Deceptions --- HV6675.I55 2005
Did you know that The Shroud of Turin, the most famous religious artifact in history, was really created over 1,000 years after Christ? Or that the famous Figure of the Sleeping Cupid by Michelangelo, adored by art lovers the world over, is almost certainly a forgery? Find the truth behind these and dozens of the other most ingenious "fakes."
Kolker, Robert / Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery --- HV6533.N5 K573 2013
A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five Craigslist prostitutes, whose bodies were found on the same Long Island beach in 2010. Based on the New York magazine cover story
Langman, Peter F. / Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters --- HQ799.2.V56 L365 2009
In the ten years since the school massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, school shootings have become an alarming epidemic. While sociologists have attributed the trigger of violence to peer pressure, such as bullying and social isolation, prominent psychologist Peter Langman argues here that psychological causes are responsible.
Larson, Erik / The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America --- HV6248.M8 L37 2003
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his "World’s Fair Hotel" just west of the fairgrounds torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.
Leovy, Jill / Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America --- HV6529.L46 2015
On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man was shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of hundreds of young men slain in Los Angeles every year. His assailant ran down the street, jumped into an SUV, and vanished, hoping to join the vast majority of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case was assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shifted.
Michaud , Stephen / The Devil's Right-Hand Man: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert Charles Browne --- HV6248.B753 M53 2007
In a chilling, if sometimes meandering, account of alleged serial killer Robert Browne, Michaud and Price paint a grisly portrait of a man with no remorse or regard for human life.
Morrison, Helen / My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers --- HV6515.M653 2004
Over the course of twenty-five years, Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than eighty serial killers around the world. What she learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious criminals known to man.
Rule, Ann / The Stranger Beside Me --- HV6248 .B773 R84 1989
The story of serial killer Ted Bundy, the handsome charming man who confessed to 35 different murders nationwide.
Ryzuk, Mary S. / The Gainesville Ripper: A Summer's Madness, Five Young Victims; The Investigation, the Arrest and the Trial --- HV6534.G18 R9 1994
A series of random, vicious murders of five college students in August 1990 spread fear and panic at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
Schildkraut, Jaclyn / Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities --- HV6515.S35 2016
What critical points are we missing when the media focuses on only what "people want to hear"? This book explores the media attention to mass shootings and helps readers understand the problem of mass shootings and public gun violence from its inception to its existence in contemporary society.
Schwarz, Ted / The Hillside Strangler: A Murderer's Mind --- HV6248 .B453 S38
The dramatic psychological study of a brutal killer, whose crimes of rape and murder were gruesome secrets he kept even from himself.
Willman, David / The Mirage Man: Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War --- HV6433.35 .W55 2011
The anthrax mailings of 2001 triggered the FBI's biggest and most complicated investigation since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Now, for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Willman tells the gripping story of the hunt for the anthrax killer—a case that consumed the FBI and became a rallying point for launching the Iraq War.

Last Updated: April 2017

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