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22 Mindblowing Books For Anyone Who’s Slightly Obsessed With True Crime

Real-life crimes are harrowing, but make for interesting reads. Here's the books you should add to your true crime reading list.

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"The woman who is now known as the mystery writer Anne Perry was born Juliet Hulme. At age 15, she and her schoolfriend Pauline Parker murdered Parker's mother Honora in a park in Christchurch, New Zealand, back in 1954.

Their story was the basis of the film Heavenly Creatures, starring Kate Winslet in her breakout role as Juliet, and Melanie Lynskey as Pauline.

You know how you read these mystery books for fun? The literary equivalent of a nice cup of hot cocoa? That's how I read Anne Perry, and to find out she actually murdered someone as a teenager was absolutely shocking. –rhdtmp0705

"Out of the Shadows by Anne Marie West, daughter of serial killer Fred West. She tells her horrific story of living at 25 Cromwell Street. It's hard to source but if you can get hold of it, it sheds a lot of light on what went on." –hazelw41be739bb

5. The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes

"The Minds of Billy Milligan is probably the most incredible true story I have ever read. A man with 24 personalities, all of which are described in amazing detail, and it follows Billy through life explaining how each personality came to be, the police and lawyers from arrest all the way through trial... I couldn't put it down!" –TheOnlyCeeCeeJ

6. The Damage Done: Twelve Years of Hell in a Bangkok Prison by Warren Fellows

In 1978 Warren Fellows was convicted of heroin trafficking in Thailand and sentenced to life imprisonment. He admits his guilt, and the book details the 12-year ordeal he went through while serving his sentence in Bangkok.

"I couldn't put The Damage Done by Warren Fellows down. Fellows' account of his 12 years in a Thai prison broke my heart, even though he admits he was guilty." –s4b35c160d

"It talks about the twin gangsters who ruled over London during the 1960s. Their criminal empire of organised crime has never been lived up to. The brothers swindled, extorted, and terrorised – while enjoying a glittering celebrity status at the heart of the swinging '60s scene, until their downfall and imprisonment for life. The twins were arrested for murder and jailed for life and it's one of the most incredible true stories I have ever read. I borrowed it from my uncle last year, who wasn't a fan, but I couldn't put it down. It was my main summer read and I plan to reread it over Easter!" –enchanted-dreamer

8. The I-5 Killer by Ann Rule

"It's about Randall Woodfield, aka the I-5 killer, and his backstory leading up to the murders and attempted murders. I couldn't put it down. It was my first Ann Rule book, and now I've read 10 of her books since 2011." –historyluvr92

9. A Pristine Suicide by Bart J. Allen

"Originally ruled as a suicide in the summer of 2004, Bart Allen did what he felt local police inadequately did and began independently investigating the strange circumstances of his 17-year-old son's death. He discusses the missing pieces, the pieces that were right beneath everyone's noses, and the personal tension he faced with police throughout their investigation that ultimately led to a dissatisfying and seemingly wrong verdict. More than 10 years later, the case is still open – an unsolved suicide. This all took place in smalltown USA and my hometown, Salina, Kansas. My sister and I also went to school with the Allen boys, making this all the more real." –hayrenhag

10. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

"This one's a comic but it was great nevertheless. It illustrates Jeffery Dahmer's life as a teen as seen by his friends in high school – very insightful and a unique perspective into the life of a disturbed young boy evolving into a serial killer." – skyeador

12. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

"It's about Charles Manson and his 'family' and the crimes they committed. The prosecutor for the case wrote the book and explains how he had to convince a jury that Manson was behind all the crimes that he kept his hands clean of...and his belief in a helter skelter." –kristenj49546c8ab

13. Mother's Day by Dennis McDougal

"It's a story about a woman who murders a few of her children and makes their siblings help her hide the murders. It's absolutely chilling. I read it in high school and to this day reread it every few years." –Ashsaurus

14. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed! by Patricia Cornwell

"A friend made me read this book due to my love of true crime and reading and I haven't looked back. Ms Cornwell writes about the theory that Walter Sickert, a British painter, was the 19th-century serial killer known as Jack the Ripper. Not only is she one of the better fiction crime writers, but her arguments of who Jack the Ripper was are believable. The book was released with a lot of controversy, especially in the British art world where Sickert's work is admired. A must-read for any Jack the Ripper fan!!!!" –angelad4f447e5f7

15. Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland by James St. James

"(Originally published as Disco Bloodbath.) It's written both as a coming-of-age story and a psychological thriller from someone that was actually close to the case and knew everyone involved. It raises some serious questions about fame vs infamy and power struggles between friends and how drugs can change a person. It immerses you in this culture and time that is unlike anything most people will ever experience. It's absolutely fascinating." –stephanieb149

16. Bully: a True Story of High School Revenge by Jim Schutze

"A group of troubled teens, several of whom face appalling abuse at home, decide to get revenge on a classmate who tortures his supposed 'best friend' relentlessly. Violence begets more violence begets more violence until the unthinkable happens." –caitlinm18

"The true story of a black man called Carlton Gary, arrested for the rape and murder of seven elderly women in Columbus, Georgia. It's a story about corrupt police and judges, racism in the Deep South of America, and the many critical failings in the US justice system. Despite no compelling physical evidence against him, Gary remains on Death Row today nearly 40 years after his arrest, still fighting appeal after appeal for his release. Think Making a Murderer but with a whole racial backstory of lynching and slavery!" –tushtush

20. Reasonable Doubt by Steve Vogel

"It's about the quadruple axe/knife murder of a wife and mother and her three young children in my hometown of Bloomington, Illinois, in 1983. Conveniently absent was husband and father David Hendricks, who stood trial for the brutal slayings. The conviction was later overturned and he was released, but no one else has been indicted. The book chronicles the investigation and trial in detail. Nowadays, public opinion in the community is still against him, and though he no longer lives in the area, there is a decided level of discomfort when news gets around that he is visiting." –ameliarf

"A truly fascinating book about how a group of high school athletes were allowed to spiral out of control and become absolute monsters. The book is well-written and does a great job of getting into the psychology of the town and the people in the town to explain why these horrible monsters came to be." –M.J. Cormier, Facebook

22. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

"The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston was excellent. The murders themselves were horrific, but the book mostly focuses on the ineptitudes of the investigators involved and how religion and superstition can severely bias an investigation. The lead investigator is also the lead investigator in the Amanda Knox case, and this book will put that case in an entirely different light for you too." –Mallory Christine, Facebook

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