Do you consider yourself a real true crime junkie? Then you must have (and read) these classic true crime books. The Zodiac, the Green River Killer or Ted Bundy, they cover it all.
1) Ann Rule: The Stranger Beside Me
A #1 New York Times Best Seller, The Stranger Beside Me gives us probably one of the most intimate portraits of Ted Bundy. Ann Rule who had years of experience and some of the best connections in law enforcement have been the serial killer’s friend for years, worked the night shift together at the crisis hotline and she is one of the few people who regularly kept in contact with Ted Bundy after his imprisonment. together and stayed in touch with Bundy after his imprisonment.
This isn’t an easy read, it’s dark and twisted but Ann Rule is one of the best crime writers and she pays respect to all the known victims.
2) The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
I know, I know, another Ted Bundy book… But listen, this book set me off on the path of true crime books and Robert Keppel’s relationship with Ted Bundy is pretty incredible.
July 15, 1982, they discover the first victim of the “Green River Killer” then in quick succession more and more bodies are showing up in and around Washington state’s Green River. The serial killer has been suspected in over 40 murders and the authorities are at a complete loss on who could be the perpetrator.
Then Robert Keppel receives a letter from Ted Bundy who is sitting on death row and very much interested in the details of the case, after all these are his old hunting grounds. He offers his help and in the following years, he has regular contact with the investigator helping him to understand this other monster.
It’s an interesting concept – think Ed Kemper in Mindhunters or the Silence of the Lambs – to follow the investigation through the years while the countdown is on for Ted Bundy’s execution. While Ted helps Keppel, he also reveals more and more about his dark mind. Not for the faint-hearted!
3) Robert Greysmith: Zodiac
“This is the Zodiac speaking. I like killing people because it is so much fun…the most thrilling experience…”
The Zodiac Killer terrorized Northern California and taunted the police for years with his mocking notes. It is still one of the biggest mysteries in the true crime world and any book or movie on the topic is an interest of mine, so obviously, it had to be on the list.
He was never caught. Author Robert Graysmith tells the inside story of the hunt for the hooded killer, and finally reveals his possible true identity.
4) Rober Keppel: Signature Killers
Was there ever a book about serial killers not covering Ted Bundy? Not my fault that one of the best detectives, Keppel again, wrote so much about him. But this book covers much more than that – it goes deep into the mind of serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy.
Interpreting the calling cards of the serial murderer, Robert Keppel reveals the answers hidden among the grisly evidence, the common threads that link each devastating act of brutal violence. Explore in unflinching detail the monstrous patterns, sadistic compulsions and depraved motives of the killer, and why they kill again and again.
The book is very graphic and sometimes dry, but if you are a true crime junkie you need to have it.
5) Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide From the My Favorite Murder Podcast
A light-hearted at the end. I’m obsessed with the My Favourite Murder podcast and I think Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff aren’t just incredibly funny, but very strong and sane empathetic voices in today’s crazy world.
This book is an honest account of depression, eating disorders and addiction. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll thank me for suggesting this book.
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