Best True Crime

Nonfiction books about crime
1

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4.03 avg rating — 113,287 ratings
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4.14 avg rating — 59,305 ratings
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3.99 avg rating — 454,933 ratings
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5

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4.28 avg rating — 61,749 ratings
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6

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3.92 avg rating — 202,237 ratings
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7

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4.23 avg rating — 22,615 ratings
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8

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4.16 avg rating — 102,889 ratings
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9

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4.10 avg rating — 21,524 ratings
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10

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4.06 avg rating — 17,404 ratings
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11

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4.07 avg rating — 25,157 ratings
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12

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3.91 avg rating — 17,326 ratings
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13

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4.14 avg rating — 17,914 ratings
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14

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 143,640 ratings
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15

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4.38 avg rating — 14,046 ratings
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16

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3.94 avg rating — 11,390 ratings
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17

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3.78 avg rating — 87,495 ratings
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18

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3.97 avg rating — 9,111 ratings
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19

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3.95 avg rating — 13,975 ratings
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20

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4.17 avg rating — 12,086 ratings
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21

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3.74 avg rating — 28,215 ratings
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22

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4.13 avg rating — 8,206 ratings
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23

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3.81 avg rating — 57,274 ratings
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24

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 8,717 ratings
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25

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3.45 avg rating — 17,194 ratings
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26

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3.98 avg rating — 6,932 ratings
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27

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4.19 avg rating — 42,906 ratings
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28

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5,948 ratings
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29

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3.89 avg rating — 5,481 ratings
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30

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4.09 avg rating — 90,731 ratings
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31

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4.09 avg rating — 5,244 ratings
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32

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3.70 avg rating — 33,804 ratings
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33

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3.99 avg rating — 1,016 ratings
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34

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4.14 avg rating — 20,460 ratings
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35

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4.08 avg rating — 6,063 ratings
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36

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4.15 avg rating — 5,397 ratings
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37

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4.03 avg rating — 4,279 ratings
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38

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4.06 avg rating — 6,742 ratings
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39

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 25,540 ratings
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40

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5,805 ratings
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41

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3.94 avg rating — 3,865 ratings
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42

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4.03 avg rating — 7,003 ratings
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43

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4.12 avg rating — 3,359 ratings
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44

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4.04 avg rating — 7,611 ratings
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45

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4.11 avg rating — 6,904 ratings
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46

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3.90 avg rating — 2,334 ratings
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47

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4.02 avg rating — 6,185 ratings
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48

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3.89 avg rating — 5,708 ratings
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49

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4.02 avg rating — 5,391 ratings
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50

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3.94 avg rating — 7,552 ratings
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51

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3.76 avg rating — 13,557 ratings
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52

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4.05 avg rating — 3,714 ratings
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53

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4.12 avg rating — 4,188 ratings
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54

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3.49 avg rating — 387 ratings
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55

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3.83 avg rating — 144,126 ratings
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56

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3.98 avg rating — 3,196 ratings
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57

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3.84 avg rating — 88,990 ratings
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58

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,516 ratings
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59

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4.13 avg rating — 27,034 ratings
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60

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3.69 avg rating — 4,188 ratings
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61

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3.44 avg rating — 31,161 ratings
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62

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4.09 avg rating — 3,288 ratings
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63

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4.22 avg rating — 8,780 ratings
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64

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3.95 avg rating — 1,878 ratings
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65

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3.92 avg rating — 1,490 ratings
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66

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4.14 avg rating — 7,079 ratings
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67

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3.77 avg rating — 3,031 ratings
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68

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3.92 avg rating — 1,693 ratings
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69

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3.91 avg rating — 5,567 ratings
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70

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3.87 avg rating — 1,111 ratings
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71

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3.96 avg rating — 981 ratings
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72

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3.88 avg rating — 1,416 ratings
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73

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3.94 avg rating — 4,520 ratings
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74

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3.96 avg rating — 1,688 ratings
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75

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4.08 avg rating — 2,567 ratings
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76

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3.78 avg rating — 1,833 ratings
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77

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4.02 avg rating — 4,051 ratings
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78

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3.85 avg rating — 4,504 ratings
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79

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3.78 avg rating — 6,141 ratings
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80

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3.99 avg rating — 2,505 ratings
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81

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3.95 avg rating — 1,421 ratings
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82

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,242 ratings
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83

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3.62 avg rating — 585 ratings
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84

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3.97 avg rating — 2,972 ratings
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85

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4.12 avg rating — 3,937 ratings
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86

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3.69 avg rating — 3,001 ratings
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87

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3.97 avg rating — 3,775 ratings
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88

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,381 ratings
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89

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3.96 avg rating — 1,661 ratings
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90

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4.02 avg rating — 6,329 ratings
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91

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3.92 avg rating — 1,359 ratings
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92

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4.29 avg rating — 1,876 ratings
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93

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4.09 avg rating — 36,760 ratings
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94

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4.06 avg rating — 1,402 ratings
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95

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3.80 avg rating — 287 ratings
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96

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3.94 avg rating — 700 ratings
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97

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4.38 avg rating — 1,305 ratings
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98

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4.18 avg rating — 2,363 ratings
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99

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4.25 avg rating — 3,664 ratings
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100

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3.76 avg rating — 573 ratings
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999 books · 1,453 voters · list created October 4th, 2008 by Spm (votes) .
541 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul Voorhies Some great picks there.

Here are my Top 10 True Crime Books. As a psychotherapist in private practice who deals with all sorts of human behavior, it is the behaviors of serial killers and cult leaders that fascinate me most in the realm of abnormal psychology.

Here we go:

1. Seductive Poision - Deborah Layton - It's not your typical true crime, but man is it ever one hell of a read. How did 900 San Franciscans move to the jungles of Jonestown, and why did they drink the Kool-Aid? Layton, who just narrowly defected in time to escape death, really allows us to see straight into the inner workings of Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple. This is one frightening read that you simply can't put down!!

2. Helter Skelter - Vincent Buglosi - First read it when I was 12, and well, let's just say that, as the preface said, the book scared the ever living hell out of me. Probably the most classic book in terms of its effects on how true crime novels were approached and formatted.

3. The Night Stalker - Not particularly well-written, but the horrific Satanic natures of the crimes as well as the sheer number which occurred in the LA area in a most random fashion makes this a much scarier read than it would have been otherwise. Richard Ramirez is just pure evil.

4. The Stranger Beside Me - Ann Rule. Bundy was among the smartest of our serial killers, and his cunning prowess makes his crimes all the more horrific.

5. Killer Clown - John Wayne Gacy kills 30something young boys and stashes them under his house. Because the police have no evidence (all the bodies are underneath Gacy's house): they shadow him for months on in and what develops is a bizarre relationship between killer and the detectives who were around him for months, waiting for a break in the case.

6. Devil In The White City - Erik Larsen - HH Holmes was a real sicko, and his creation of a house of terror is just downright freaky. Also ties in the Chicago's World Fair which is fund to read about as well.

7. The Crime of the Century - Richard Speck kills nine nurses in one night--or did he??? The fact that he was able to kill so many so fast is amazing, and the chase to find him is filled with suspense.

8. Small Sacrifices - Diane Downs kills her kids in her car and then claims that they were gunned down by a madman on the side of the road. Most disturbing that she could do this to her own kids as their mother.

9. Deranged - Albert Fish abducts and eats little kids. Really despicable stuff.

10. The Jeffrey Dahmer Story - Creepy of course, but somehow didn't affect me as strongly as the above 9.

Paul Voorhies
New Orleans




message 2: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Wow, I really love your list. Helter Skelter, Seductive Poison and The Stranger Beside me were amazing! I actually read them one after another. And I'm currently looking for most of the other books on your list. Great taste!


message 3: by Cathy (new)

Cathy DuPont Ditto with Kelsey's comment. Read about half of the books on the list and your background added to the interest of the post. Great job.


message 4: by John (new)

John HI Paul, THE BTK killer is also a great read and if you like Harold Schecter, Deviant is a pretty good, yet extremely disturbing book as well. -JR


message 5: by Rita (new)

Rita I just finished Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen. Quite compelling. I don't understand how people could agree to the treatment, and when they could see the impact on their lives, not try to leave. Perhaps they were no longer able. Always wonder about the makeup of those who come up with schemes like this.


message 6: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Ummmm...what is Cornered Coyote doing on this list?


message 7: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Miss M wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Ummmm...what is Cornered Coyote doing on this list?"

Huh. Isn't that by that author who got kicked off Goodreads for spamming?
;)"


I thought she sound familiar, but let's talk about author behavior and get ourselves banned :/


message 8: by Cathy (new)

Cathy DuPont Misfit wrote: "Miss M wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Ummmm...what is Cornered Coyote doing on this list?"

Huh. Isn't that by that author who got kicked off Goodreads for spamming?
;)"

I thought she soun..."


Hey Guys...enjoying the conversation about something I never heard about.

Get you banned? You think so? I can ask someone who knows...should I or would it just draw unwanted attention? Be banned because we're talking about an author? Interesting. That too is new information!


message 9: by Miss M (new)

Miss M You're right...I guess there are just 52 clueless list voters with reading comprehension issues. Sad, really.


message 10: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Miss M wrote: "You're right...I guess there are just 52 clueless list voters with reading comprehension issues. Sad, really."

I will remove it as it is a fictional novel and does not meet list criteria.

@ Cathy, apparently so.


message 11: by Miss M (last edited Feb 13, 2015 11:10AM) (new)

Miss M Cathy wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Miss M wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Ummmm...what is Cornered Coyote doing on this list?"

Huh. Isn't that by that author who got kicked off Goodreads for spamming?
;)"

I t..."


We-elll...difficult to know anything definitively since GR has never had the guts to actually update its TOS, instead relying on commentary in the Feedback Group to inform one very small part of the community that it revised policy towards review content. Reviews based on authors/author behavior are not permitted.

Anyway, within the last few days RUMINT has it that a Goodreads member was banned (without warning) for simply putting a book on a 'Nope' shelf she created--no review, no rating, simply shelved.. I don't know the member, but I've seen her blog on the issue on Booklikes where she posted the msg from Goodreads and she appears credible (to me.) People are now starting to assume that any discussion of author behavior may get one banned.

PS - I deleted my original comment.


message 12: by Miss M (new)

Miss M Ha- Misfit is much quicker and to the point! :)


message 13: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Sometimes I wonder if a member is targeted by excessive flags and this happens. I have a no-thank-you shelf, but I mix it up - I'll shelve a book I've decided not to read due to a review I've seen here, or even for the identical book art that I like to keep track of. Since some of those look alike covers are on my read or to-read shelves, I can't make book cover dejavu exclusive, hence them being on the no thank you shelf.


message 14: by Cathy (new)

Cathy DuPont Miss M wrote: "Cathy wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Miss M wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Ummmm...what is Cornered Coyote doing on this list?"

Huh. Isn't that by that author who got kicked off Goodreads for spam..."


Thanks for that, Miss M. Makes me want to create a "Nope" shelf and put that book on it! Very interesting.


message 15: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Miss M wrote: "Ha- Misfit is much quicker and to the point! :)"

Prolly a good move.


message 16: by Cathy (new)

Cathy DuPont Misfit wrote: "Miss M wrote: "You're right...I guess there are just 52 clueless list voters with reading comprehension issues. Sad, really."

I will remove it as it is a fictional novel and does not meet list cri..."


Thanks for that. Will go back to site when I return but please keep the conversation going. :-)


message 17: by Miss M (last edited Feb 13, 2015 11:26AM) (new)

Miss M I actually deleted the one 'negative' shelf I had, on 1 January to make a fresh start - tired of having crappy books by crappy authors mixed in with my lovely book collections, even on an 'exclusive' shelf. :D Probably a good thing, since I did have private notes on why I wanted to avoid those in particular.


message 18: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Miss M wrote: "I actually deleted the one 'negative' shelf I had, on 1 January to make a fresh start - tired of having crappy books by crappy authors mixed in with my lovely book collections, even on an 'exclusiv..."

From the convo I glanced through, it may be the private notes that did some peeps in. I do have a due-to-author shelf, but IIRC only Mein Kamph is on it.

*clicks to take off feeds* (view spoiler)

*end rant*


message 19: by Miss M (new)

Miss M @Misfit
It just keeps getting worse and worse...the fact that it could be Private Notes is really disturbing. I can understand there are reasons for monitoring even private groups,but notes are just for one individual's use.
Meh.


message 20: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Miss M wrote: "@Misfit
It just keeps getting worse and worse...the fact that it could be Private Notes is really disturbing. I can understand there are reasons for monitoring even private groups,but notes are jus..."


I agree, although that's still just guessing by several members. If GR would just come out and set a policy and stick to it and announce it to all members so they all know...


message 21: by Jlsimon (new)

Jlsimon Did anyone else think of adding "My Story" by Elizabeth Smart? I was surprised it wasn't in this list.


message 22: by Jlsimon (new)

Jlsimon Paul wrote: "Some great picks there.

Here are my Top 10 True Crime Books. As a psychotherapist in private practice who deals with all sorts of human behavior, it is the behaviors of serial killers and cult le..."


Nice list. I've read a few of those, think I'll check out some of the others. Thank you for the recommendations.


message 23: by Dina (new)

Dina Di Mambro True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders

Please don't delete from list. Definitely nonfiction. Recent interview with Mickey Cohen's right hand man. Bugsy Siegel and mob stories. True Hollywood crime from the 20s to Robert Blake in 2001.


message 24: by Donna (last edited Oct 24, 2016 06:44PM) (new)

Donna Davis Removed for being out of genre: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9... f Christian Atheists

And Great Britain at War: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Ashes and Blood:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Blood Red Desert Sand:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

Viv and Geordie Volume 2
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Removed as fiction: Identity Crisis, #499
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

How did multiple titles of British military history get dumped into this list? It's almost as if someone ran a search for books with the word "blood" in the title and decided to go for it.

The system found and removed 3 duplicates.

If you find a title that doesn't belong on this list and want someone else to remove it, please indicate what page it's on, and it will speed the process. If you want to add a book, just add it. Please don't use this thread to promote your own books, as those comments will be flagged.


message 25: by Agnieszka (new)

Agnieszka The Shack by Young is fiction


message 26: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Fulks This is a really good list except Amity Horror by Jay Anson is fiction.


message 27: by Booklovinglady (last edited Sep 15, 2017 08:06AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Although as a librarian I can, I'm not going to remove The Shack (#186) and The Amityville Horror (#98). I don't know either of the books. Sorry... The last one sounds to me like fiction though, but as I said, I don't know either.


message 28: by Booklovinglady (last edited Sep 16, 2017 12:24AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Agnieszka wrote: "The Shack by Young is fiction"

You're a librarian, why don't you remove the title you mentioned ? If you're sure it is fiction, feel free to do so, as fictional titles do not fit the description ("Nonfiction books about crime") of this Listopia.


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Fulks Elizabeth wrote: "This is a really good list except Amity Horror by Jay Anson is fiction."
I have read the book and know it's fiction.


message 30: by Booklovinglady (last edited Sep 16, 2017 12:28AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Elizabeth wrote: "This is a really good list except Amity Horror by Jay Anson is fiction."

Elizabeth wrote:
"I have read the book and know it's fiction."


I was a bit loath to do so, but as you've read the book and are certain, it has been removed from the list.


message 31: by Eliza (last edited Dec 28, 2017 08:27PM) (new)

Eliza Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil isn't a true crime book it was never written with the intent to talk about the murder the author was in the middle of writing about Savannah GA when the murder happened just thought i'd clear that up


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