Best True Crime Books
Nonfiction Books to Read

Best True Crime Books

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Best True Crime Books

These best true crime books shed light on some of the most horrific and complex crimes in history. The books on this list are informative and quite graphic.

Best True Crime Books

Best True Crime Books
Bringing Adam Home by Les Standiford & Joe Matthews

The abduction that changed America forever, the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh—son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America’s Most Wanted—in Hollywood, Florida, was a crime that went unsolved for a quarter of a century.

Best True Crime Books
My Story by Elizabeth Smart

In this memoir, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Best True Crime Books
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off.

Best True Crime Books
Columbine by Dave Cullen

What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror of Columbine left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we “know” is wrong. It wasn’t about jocks, goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book — widely recognized as the definitive account.

Best True Crime Books
The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens.

Best True Crime Books
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry

In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims.

Best True Crime Books
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.

Best True Crime Books
Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Molly Bloom reveals how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world—an insider’s story of excess and danger, glamour and greed. In the late 2000s, Molly Bloom, a twentysomething petite brunette from Loveland Colorado, ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen.

Best True Crime Books
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.

Best True Crime Books
The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional.

Best True Crime Books
The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy by Ann Rule

Meeting in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, Ann Rule and Ted Bundy developed a friendship and correspondence that would span the rest of his life. Rule had no idea that when they went their separate ways, their paths would cross again under shocking circumstances.

Best True Crime Books
Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of the Hunt for the Nation’s Most Elusive Serial Killer by Robert Graysmith

A sexual sadist, the Zodiac killer took pleasure in torture and murder. His first victims were a teenage couple, stalked and shot dead in a lovers’ lane. After another slaying, he sent his first mocking note to authorities, promising he would kill more. The official tally of his victims was six. He claimed thirty-seven dead. The real toll may have reached fifty.

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