There are a ton of stories and books out there that portray ruthless crimes and brutal murders but real-life crimes books should not only let you in on the hard facts of the crimes committed but also give some insight into the minds of the accused. The following books written after notorious real life- crimes are must reads:
Written in 1966 by Truman Capote, In Cold Blood details the accounts of the brutal murders of Herbert Clutter, who was a wealthy Kansas farmer, his wife and two of their children. After reading a small news clip about the murders with no motives and no suspects, Capote became interested in the case and traveled to Kansas to compile information to write the book. The book is an examination of the intense relationship between two parolees who met in jail and conspired to committ the mass murder of the wealthy family.
Written in 1974 by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, Helter Skelter became a bestseller and won an Edgar Award in 1975 for the Best Fact Crime book. The book was written about the murders committed in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers who were also known as the Manson Family. Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the the Manson trial and wrote the book based on his knowledge and accounts of what he describes as one of the most horrifying cases he had seen.
Written by Corey Mitchell, Savage Son tells the story of Bart Whitaker, who was about to graduate from college, when his family was murdered. One night after Bart’s brother opened the front door to their house a masked intruder shot him, his mother, his father and Bart; Bart and his father, Kent survived the attack. The investigation uncovered a double life and a ruthless murder for hire plot on Bart’s behalf. Mitchell became intrigued with the reputed All- American boy and looked into his and his friends, who were also involved with the murders, backgrounds to write the book.
Written in 1983, by Terry Sullivan and Peter T. Maiken, Killer Clown recounts the story of John Wayne Gacy who was convicted in 1979 of killing 33 young men. Gacy became known as the “Killer Clown” because he dressed up as a clown at children’s birthday parties and at fundraisers. Sullivan, who was the Illinois prosecuting attorney, wrote the book as he recalled the case, the interviews and the chilling discoveries of the boys all aged between 14 and 21; most were found buried in the crawl space underneath the basement of Gacy’s home.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were well known outlaws born in Texas in the early 1900′s who, with the help of their gang, notoriously wreaked havoc in the Central and Southern U.S. during the Great Depression. The book, written by Dr. E. R. Milner, tells of the daily news worthy acts of the group as well as the frustration law enforcement endured as they managed to escape out of reach every single time. Milner spent 10 years researching the crew and their 2 year crime spree.
Written by Kathryn Harrison, While They Slept recalls the story of 18 year old Billy Gilley, who bludgeoned his parents and 11 year old sister to death in 1984. Harrison writes on the alleged abuse and statements of Gilley, who believed the murder of his parents would free him from the abusive home and environment in which they lived. Gilley’s then 16 year old sister, who was in the home the night of the murders (and is now estranged from Gilley) argued the severity of the abuse and both siblings have made significant contributions with information to the composition of the book.
Written by Dave Cullen, Columbine recalls the 1999 school shootings at Columbine, in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold masterminded. Harris and Kleberg attempted to blow up their school but when their bombs didn’t ignite, they took out their guns and sprayed gunfire around the campus in every direction they could. Cullen explores the brutality of the masterminds, which were left in journals, letters, and notes, and compiled thousands of FBI pages, interviews, and files to compile the book.
Written by Pat Brown and Bob Andelman, The Profiler shows how Pat Brown started her life as a criminal profiler. After a young woman was murdered near her home in 1990, Brown quickly suspected the young man renting a room in her house was responsible. After gathering evidence, police dismissed her accusations thinking she had too much time on her hands. Six years later the young man was finally sought and Brown is now one of the nation’s few female profilers and opens up about her determinations in this book.
Written by Paul LaRosa, Tacoma Confidential tells the chilling story of David Brame, the chief of police in Tacoma, Washington who killed his estranged wife, Crystal Brame. Brame shot his wife to death in a busy parking lot a few feet away from their two children. The book explores the chain of events that led up to the murder-suicide, as Barme killed himself immediately following her murder. LaRosa also explains in the book how shocked the community was and how mishandled the investigation became.
Written by pyschotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig and Mark Birkbeck, Till Death Do Us Part presents and explores the minds of notorious killers who have murdered their spouses or intimate partners. The book brings to light the personality types of killer spouses with examples from high profile cases such as Scott Peterson, and provides an analyses of their motives for the murders.