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Archive > TC Books That Really Got To You Personally

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message 1: by Fishface (last edited Jun 04, 2016 11:22AM) (new)

Fishface | 11676 comments Have you ever read a TC that really hit a nerve with you, so that it left you feeling almost personally devastated by the crime or the aftermath? I have had a number of these experiences and it is one of the factors that keeps me reading them.

The most recent example came at the end of The Frankston Murders: The True Story Of Serial Killer, Paul Denyer, when the author took a sharp turn and went back and gave us an additional chapter on each of the known victims -- what their families and friends remembered about them, what it was like to know them. Far from the usual superficial "she loved teddy bears and Justin Bieber" level of information, the author gave a real sense of what these people were struggling with, what it was like to know them, what made their lives worth living and what it was like for the people who loved them to go on after their murders. When Liz Stevens' uncle found a gift-wrapped birthday present for him hidden in Liz's room, just days after someone had carved her up like a Christmas turkey, it was like a punch in my own gut.

And as someone who works with mental illness for a living, I found Legacy of Courage: A Brave Woman's Search for Her Mother's Killer and Her Own Identity really horrifying. I remember sitting in my office at the time on a lunch break, sobbing as I read it -- apparently not quietly enough because the co-worker next door asked me later if I was all right.

I have yet to find one that was too painful to finish, but Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings came pretty close. More than once I caught myself thinking, "Can I keep going with this?"

Has anyone else had TC they read hit a nerve like that?


message 2: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 1225 comments Sanford Clark, from the book The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders, stays with me. He had to endure horrific abuse and was made to participate in some awful things. We would not have been surprised if he had grown into a bitter and hateful man but he didn't. By all accounts, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. They say there were times, though, when he would become quiet and withdrawn. He was haunted by it. So sad.


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee | 130 comments Deranged

I found this a really gruelling experience,partly because of Mr Fish and his horrendous sexual kinks.The bit that got to me most was the letter Fish sent to the parents of Grace Budd,when I thought how it must feel to the parent of a missing child to recieve a letter from a killer describing the horrific killing of your own daughter made me feel ill.
It wasnt the first time I had read the letter but in the context of the book ,which reveals more about the poor kids life and her family,it really got to me.


message 4: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1260 comments The Onion Field

As a law enforcement officer, this book provided grist for a lot of discussions about how to behave in similar situations and affected a lot of policy. It was kind of the quintessential lesson in all that could go wrong 'out there' in the field - literally.


message 5: by Rita (last edited Jun 04, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Rita (crimesleuthjunkie) | 1078 comments Shelley wrote: "Sanford Clark, from the book The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders, stays with me. He had to endure horrific abuse and was made to participa..."

The Road Out of Hell had such an overwhelming impact on me because of what happened to this young boy. Just imagine having a mother who knowingly rejected her own son by sending him off to another country with this devious uncle. That alone would terrify me plus what this boy had to endure. He blamed himself and continued to all his life. He suffered terribly as dark thoughts would come and go. I was so thankful he had such a caring compassionate sister and wife to look after him. I always wish I could contact the family member such as his son but I never can.


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann Ackermann | 44 comments I used to work as a prosecutor for parole revocation hearings and the true crime books that really get to me are the ones that involve law enforcement personnel, lawyers, or judges I knew personally. All the Ted Bundy books, "Fair Game," about Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, or "Murder Myself, Murder I am."

Maybe that's because when you know someone in the case, it makes it all the more real for you. Have any of you read a true crime book in which you knew some of the people?


message 7: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1260 comments Ann Marie wrote: "I used to work as a prosecutor for parole revocation hearings and the true crime books that really get to me are the ones that involve law enforcement personnel, lawyers, or judges I knew personall..."

I don't think I have, but there is a series of books about deaths in National Parks - some of them suspicious - in which I know a number of both rescuers/rangers and victims. Here's one example: Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon: Gripping Accounts of All Known Fatal Mishaps in the Most Famous of the World's Seven Natural Wonders


message 8: by Rita (new)

Rita (crimesleuthjunkie) | 1078 comments K.A. wrote: "Ann Marie wrote: "I used to work as a prosecutor for parole revocation hearings and the true crime books that really get to me are the ones that involve law enforcement personnel, lawyers, or judge..."

Gosh, because you knew these people it would have an impact on you. So sad. Did the ones that were suspicious ever get sorted out?


message 9: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1260 comments No, not all of them. Some remain mysteries. Here's the other book in which I know a few people, both victims and rescuers:
Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite: Gripping Accounts of All Known Fatal Mishaps in America's First Protected Land of Scenic Wonders

Our next-door neighbor is in here - fell (?) into Vernal Fall.

By the way, these are fascinating books, I think, not true crime though.


message 10: by Rita (new)

Rita (crimesleuthjunkie) | 1078 comments K.A. wrote: "No, not all of them. Some remain mysteries. Here's the other book in which I know a few people, both victims and rescuers:
[book:Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite: Gripping Accounts of All Known Fat..."


I think the same because they sound fascinating but not as true crimey as I want.


message 11: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 11676 comments Ann Marie, when I read Shallow Grave in Trinity County, I was astounded to see that the murder victim was the niece of my dad's boss -- meaning that his daughter, who I grew up with, was the victim's first cousin. I really read the story with new eyes after that.


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