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Old 03-20-2013, 12:55 AM
 
2,646 posts, read 4,068,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
I need this thread. I have read so much true crime that I can rarely find good books anymore that I haven't already read. Poorly written ones, yes, but well-written, well-researched ones on interesting cases - much harder to come by. I will browse through the titles others have mentioned here and see if I can find some new titles to read.

I got hooked on true crime early in life, perhaps a bit too early. For some strange reason, at the book fairs at my elementary school in 6th grade, they sold John Saul books, which are fiction, but about people who've been murdered. So I started reading those. Then one day in 7th grade, I was out with a friend and her dad, and we stopped in a book shop, and I bought two true crime books with my own money. They were SUPER scary, and not ones I would read today because the crimes were so horrific (I do not like to read about crimes that include torture).

Anyway, my mind got warped at that point and I've been reading true crime ever since!

These two would be in my top ten:

1. Bitter Harvest by Ann Rule - written back when she put a ton of detail and research into her books. Now that she is older, you can tell that these elements (detail/research) have decreased in her books, but I don't blame her -- she has written so many and I just appreciate her earlier works much more.

2. And the Sea Will Tell- also by Vincent Bugliosi - this is an incredible book about a US couple that gets murdered while stopping on their yacht at a small island in between California and Hawaii. I think this is my all-time favorite true crime book.

I would also recommend the now-deceased true crime author Jack Olsen - I've read many of his books and they are a combination of excellent writing and research.
I'm so similar to you. I started being interested in true crime from an early age. Those 2 books are great. I agree with you about Ann Rule her early stuff is great but her later books are not of the same high standard. Jack Olsen's Salt of the Earth is a great book. I don't think I've read all of his yet.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:03 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your contributions. I won't reply to everyone as that would make this thread tedious but I appreciate your suggestions. Please keep them coming.

Some other great reads that I've thought of are the books by the FBI Criminal Profilers. I've read nearly all the books by John Douglas. They are all great especially his first book Mind Hunter.

Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler is also a fantastic book.

John Douglas and Robert Ressler are former FBI Criminal Profilers who were instrumental in starting up this fascinating area of crime solving. They are the pioneers in this field and their insights into the minds of murderers are fascinating.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bernie20 View Post
The Onion Field is another great book by Joseph Wambaugh.

I don't blame you at all. I still get nervous reading a good true crime book at night. That first chapter in Helter Skelter is so creepy.
Before I would go in the house at night I would make hubby check the closets and under the bed ... that is why I gave up on True Crime. This is real stuff!!!
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Area 51.5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie20 View Post
The Onion Field is another great book by Joseph Wambaugh.

I don't blame you at all. I still get nervous reading a good true crime book at night. That first chapter in Helter Skelter is so creepy.
OMG, Yes. The Onion Field was one of the first true crime books I remember reading and it got me hooked on true crime. And of course Helter Skelter.

In Cold Blood was especially horrifying for me. I was raised on a farm in Kansas. I don't think doors even had locks back then. If they did, we sure didn't use them. When that family murder happened, my Dad started locking doors.

I'm loving the suggestions. With books available for Kindle, you can get a free sample that usually covers the first 3 or 4 chapters. Just to see if you like it well enough to buy. Love that option.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Cooper View Post
OMG, Yes. The Onion Field was one of the first true crime books I remember reading and it got me hooked on true crime. And of course Helter Skelter.

In Cold Blood was especially horrifying for me. I was raised on a farm in Kansas. I don't think doors even had locks back then. If they did, we sure didn't use them. When that family murder happened, my Dad started locking doors.

I'm loving the suggestions. With books available for Kindle, you can get a free sample that usually covers the first 3 or 4 chapters. Just to see if you like it well enough to buy. Love that option.
I don't have Kindle so I'll have to look into it. That is a great deal to be able to get the first few chapters.

In Cold Blood would really resonate with you. They were such chilling murders and out on that isolated farm with no help.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:32 AM
 
2,646 posts, read 4,068,048 times
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A couple of other good reads that I've remembered are Before He Wakes which is another one by Jerry Bledsloe, Poisoned Blood by Philip E Ginsberg (about Marie Hilley) and The Death Shift by Peter Elkind (about a murderous nurse Genene Jones).

These are all about women who kill. I think some of the books on women killers are the most fascinating. Women usually kill by poisoning.

Nearly all of Ann Rule's earlier books are terrific. Another one of Ann's great reads is Everything She Ever Wanted which is another one about a murderous woman.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
The Ultimate Evil by Maury Terry. It's about David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam.

Be sure to get the paperback version which includes some updated information.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Columbus, Indiana
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The Stranger Beside Meby Ann Rule was so creepy. There were so many things Ted Bundy did that seemed so normal, yet he was killing all these women. Really makes you think about people. The fact that it's true crime makes it really scary.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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The scariest book I've ever read was written by Terry Maury...."Ultimate Evil" It is the book that started me reading true crime back in the early 80's. I scared the you know what outta me...primarily because I live in the upper Midwest where lots of the story took place. I've read Anne Rule books almost faithfully since the 80's. I'd like to hear from others some more good authors names.

P.S. Speaking of Anne Rule....Anyone know what has happened to the subject of this book...Small Sacrifices – Ann Rule Is this mother still in prison??

Last edited by JanND; 03-20-2013 at 09:28 AM.. Reason: added text
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,408 posts, read 28,896,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
The scariest book I've ever read was written by Terry Maury...."Ultimate Evil" It is the book that started me reading true crime back in the early 80's. I scared the you know what outta me...primarily because I live in the upper Midwest where lots of the story took place. I've read Anne Rule books almost faithfully since the 80's. I'd like to hear from others some more good authors names.

P.S. Speaking of Anne Rule....Anyone know what has happened to the subject of this book...Small Sacrifices Ann Rule Is this mother still in prison??
Yes. Last parole hearing for Diane Downs was in 2010 and it was denied.

Parole board keeps Diane Downs locked up | Local & Regional | KATU.com - Portland News, Sports, Traffic Weather and Breaking News - Portland, Oregon

Quote:
Downs will not be eligible for parole for another 10 years under a new Oregon law, although she could ask the board to reconsider in two years, according to the parole board's executive director.
Hopefully she stays there for the rest of her life.
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