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Top True-Crime Books

Mark Harris
The list author says: "I love true-crime books, but I often get bored with the last part of the book dealing with the trial. These books below have either no trial sections, or have trial sections that held my interest."
Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster
Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster
"Simply one of the most gripping stories of a madman ever told.  The great bonus to this book are the many insights about life in the 20's.  You feel transported and can imagine so many details of things, mannerisms and customs of the time.  Then there is the hunt for the killer.  Fantastic."
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
"So much more than a crime book!  America's first serial killer (or first one caught, anyway), and he was a horrible one, but history buffs will also eat up all the 1890's setting.  A great book."
Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw
Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw
"Amazing story!  The hunt for the world's biggest drug lord."
Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief
Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief
"So that's how it's done!  A mesmerizing look at a real professional thief."
The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
"A disturbing and riveting story."
Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall of an All-American Boy and His Multimillion-Dollar Cocaine Empire
Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall of an All-American Boy and His Multimillion-Dollar Cocaine Empire
"Title says it all."
Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang
Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang
"Title says it all."
Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
"Better than the movie."
The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
"Twisted and twisted.  Makes you double check your locks."
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
"You only think you know this story."
The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders
The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders
"One of the most wicked of all serial killers. This book walks the line between non-fiction and historical novel due to the amount of dialog written, though it is all based on factual events.  It is hard to put down and hard to grasp as something that once happened."
Education of a Felon: A Memoir
Education of a Felon: A Memoir
"A fascinating memoir about this man's life and a glimpse into the criminal world of decades ago."
Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder
Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder
"Amazing and horrible in so many ways."
In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood
Finders Keepers: The Story of a Man Who Found $1 Million
Finders Keepers: The Story of a Man Who Found $1 Million
"The story of what an idiot does after finding $1 million bucks."
AN Invisible Man: The Hunt for a Serial Killer Who Got Away With a Decade of Murder
AN Invisible Man: The Hunt for a Serial Killer Who Got Away With a Decade of Murder
"It's not just what this man did, it's how the law kept missing their chances to catch him."
Crash Out: The True Tale of a Hell's Kitchen Kid and the Bloodiest Escape in Sing Sing History
Crash Out: The True Tale of a Hell's Kitchen Kid and the Bloodiest Escape in Sing Sing History
"A good full account of an escape gone wrong."
Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho
Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho
"Well told and simply spooky."
Columbine
Columbine
"If your memory relies on news coverage at the time, then you do not know what really happened or what drove the boys to do what they did.  Much of that was completely wrong or incomplete.  Through detailed research, this tells all."
Son of a Grifter: The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the Most Notorious Con Artists in America
Son of a Grifter: The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the Most Notorious Con Artists in America
"His mom was not a nice person."
Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box
Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box
The Stranger Beside Me
The Stranger Beside Me
"A view of the Bundy saga by someone who knew him well at the time."