This is an absolute must-read. Like, seriously, you cannot miss out on this one. It's no surprise that it is the best-selling true-crime novel in history. It's written by Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor in the Manson murder trial, which took place in 1970. It tells the tale of the Manson murders, including the investigation, arrest and prosecution of Charles Manson. We also get a look into the members of his "family" (young girls who were essentially brain-washed into thinking Manson was some sort of god). Creepy, interesting and true... perfect for the true-crime lover.
Now, this one is a little different from the others. It's written by Bryan Stevenson, a defense attorney who created and worked for a non-profit legal practice. His legal practice focused its efforts on helping those who were wrongly condemned, those who were mistreated, the poor, etc. Basically, his goal was to help people who needed help the most. He took on the cases of those who were given punishments much too harsh for their crimes (including those incarcerated as children in adult prisons), those who had (for lack of a better word) shitty defense teams, etc. It may upset you with just how much corruption was and still is present in our criminal justice system, but it's fascinating and is a definite must-read.
This one tells the tale of the quadruple murder of the Clutter family in 1959. The author, Truman Capote, traveled to Kansas (where the crime took place) before the murderers were caught to write about the crime. Fun fact, Harper Lee (the author of To Kill a Mockingbird) accompanied him! They talked to the people in the area, as well as those working on the crime and took a bunch of notes. Capote spent about six years writing this novel. It is the second best-selling true-crime novel in history, right after our beloved Helter Skelter.
We all know about Ted Bundy, right? The super charming guy who murdered several young women, who they are now making a movie about starring Zac Efron as the killer himself? Yeah, that dude. Well, if you're interested in serial killer novels, I highly recommend this one. This novel is written by Ann Rule, who actually personally knew Ted Bundy before (and after) he committed his heinous crimes. Intrigued? I bet you are.
As the title indicates, this novel looks at the awful shooting massacre that took place at Columbine High School in 1999. It looks at the killers' evolution leading up the massacre. Also, since it was published ten years after the shooting took place, it looks at the victims' lives over the ten years following the crime. Super sad, but super interesting.