I’m a true crime nerd. I read the books. I watch the shows. I bitch about the crappy lifetime movies. But it can be hard to find books that have the right…balance. No one wants to read something that’s 100% gruesome details, but at the same time no one wants to be bored with nothing but court drama. Here are a few books I’ve come across that seem to balance everything really well! If you have any suggestions feel free to add them to the comments!
I’ve actually read this book a few times, that’s how interesting I found it. It does a really solid job of telling a story that could easily be hard to swallow. Honestly, after reading it I found myself angry over the fact he got away with his crimes for so long, especially after being caught pretty much twice! The book has 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with most of the issues being the lack of “bloody details.”
Was eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr serial killer Ted Bundy’s first victim? She disappeared from their Tacoma, Washington neighborhood early on a summer morning in 1961. Her body was never found, there were no clues, no ransom demand and no arrest. Was Bundy telling the truth when he told a hypothetical story about killing Ann and dumping her into a muddy pit? With new information about Ted Bundy’s childhood, interviews with those who knew him best, and the memories of the Burr family, “Ted and Ann – The Mystery of a Missing Child and Her Neighbor Ted Bundy,” has been called “fascinating” (Ann Rule).
I stumbled across this book while trying to find something new to add to my Kindle for a flight and I’m glad I found it. There are a ton of Bundy books out there but this one is different. It focuses on his teen years and if he could have possibly been involved with the disappearance of a neighborhood girl. Don’t be fooled though, the book mainly focuses on the missing child case and is a fantastic read just for that reason alone. It does make you wonder how many other murders he was involved with. This book has 4/5 stars on Amazon!
Richard Ramirez is the subject of this very well researched book. The author managed to secure almost 100 hours worth of interviews with Ramirez and is able to tell a very compelling story. It touches on everything from his childhood to the court case that ended with him sitting on death row (He died of natural causes in 2013). This is another book that I’ve read a few times, until a friend borrowed it and never gave it back! Unlike some true crime books, there are no photos of the victims. This book has an Amazon rating of 4.5 stars.
This is a book I finished earlier in the year. I was hooked right away. I will warn you that the victims in this book are children. It hit a little harder than most books but it mainly focused on the case and investigation into the crimes. You could tell that the officers and detectives that were assigned to the case were not going to give up. These children mattered. They weren’t, as the killer called them, “throw away kids.”
Sam Amirante had just opened his first law practice when he got a phone call from his friend John Wayne Gacy, a well-known and well-liked community figure. Gacy was upset about what he called “police harassment” and asked Amirante for help. With the police following his every move in connection with the disappearance of a local teenager, Gacy eventually gave a drunken, dramatic, early morning confession—to his new lawyer. Gacy was eventually charged with murder and Amirante suddenly became the defense attorney for one of American’s most disturbing serial killers. It was his first case.
I finished this book a few months back. The reason it caught my eye was because it was from a different perspective. Anyone can gather facts and throw together a book about a high profile case like this. But only the actual lawyer who worked the case can write this version. It’s a really interesting read on a case that we all know. It was filled with information I wasn’t aware of which is something. I mean, as you can tell I read a lot of true crime, whether it’s books or articles online. Plus it doesn’t focus on the gruesome aspect of things. It’s more about the confession and the case which can be hard to find. I’d actually be interested in more books written by lawyers and those who had personal experiences with cases like this.
Honestly, this look could probably be even longer but I didn’t want to bore anyone. I’ll probably do another post later on with a few more options. I know there are others like me who like reading about this sort of thing and it can really be “hit or miss” with true crime books. I mean, this year alone I probably read 2-3 that didn’t impress me and turned out to be waste of time.
Do you read any true crime? Any suggestions?