s&d: True Crime! books

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Mikhail Gilmore's Shot Through The Heart & Jon Krakauer's Under The Banner of Heaven = Mormon deathcult awesomeness

Brio, Friday, 12 February 2010 16:10 (nine years ago) link

also those Best American Crime Reporting annual collections! any read the latest?

Brio, Friday, 12 February 2010 16:12 (nine years ago) link

these and big fat sleazy rock star bios are like mac & cheese to me

Brio, Friday, 12 February 2010 16:15 (nine years ago) link

seriously, nobody else?

Brio, Friday, 12 February 2010 16:37 (nine years ago) link

Not sure if it'll be what you're looking for, but As If by Blake Morrison is really excellent. It's not so much about the crime itself (the James Bulger murder in Liverpool in 1991) as about the aftermath, the societal circumstances leading to it, and the darker recesses of the author's own psyche.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 February 2010 17:07 (nine years ago) link

Jerry Bledsoe's Bitter Blood is deeply underrated. Went on about it a couple of years back via my blog here, as well as talking about my own interest in true crime stories.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 12 February 2010 17:09 (nine years ago) link

this book is NOT well written but the story is amazing

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:49 (nine years ago) link

Perfect Victim, the story of Colleen Stan, is one of the absolutely weirdest stories I've ever read.

Also, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me is a must read.

El Poopo Loco (Pancakes Hackman), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:56 (nine years ago) link

I can't remember the exact title, but J. Curtis' book about the murder of Maria Marten is so so so good. The part at the end where you can read letters from girls responding to William Corder's person ad are priceless.

The Mysterious Murder of Maria Marten, maybe?

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:58 (nine years ago) link

Also Charles Bowden's Down by the River is greeeeeeat

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:59 (nine years ago) link

person --> personals

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:59 (nine years ago) link

I'm a sucker for true crime!

it takes a lot to find stuff that doesn't get too...um, 'porny' is the word I'd use. Some of those mass-market pbs are gross, you're halfway through and you're still up to your eyeballs in long descriptions of the mind of the killer and fantasy sequences and 'putting you in the crime scene'... Ick. And it's not so much that I'm squeamish, I just don't want to read a 'how to guide'.

Will definitely rep for Shot Through The Heart - great book.

Severed by John Gilmore -- good non-trashy analysis of Black Dahlia murder, raises some new information that's pretty interesting. Gets a little Robert Graysmith towards the end but otherwise a good revision of a story that seemed like it was overdone. Could have done without the photos though: YEESH.

A Mind For Murder - The Education of the Unabomber & the Birth of Modern Terrorism by Alston Chase -- good background on Harvard experiments, also some interesting detail about his family & his brother.

I'll stan for Zodiac by Robert Graysmith because it's a good first-time read. But Graysmith is kind of a loop-the-loop about the whole thing which makes it more of an account of his obsession than meaty Zodiac analysis.

Mindhunter - John Douglas. His books get a little samey, and he's got ego for days, but his books at least don't have the leering/tabloid/porny feel. The information's often at least useful/interesting, and he does often circle back to talking about victim/the victim's family. He's got a bit of authority to his voice which is at least a little comforting. And you know, he's the real life "special agent Jack Crawford".

OTM re: Stranger Beside Me. I'll rep for some of the older Ann Rule stuff (she's still churning them out but I haven't read her stuff in years)- I feel like Small Sacrifices, STranger, and the Green River Killer book are her best, and the personal aspect of Stranger makes it really intriguing.

Oh and James Ellroy - My Dark Places? That's a good'un.

(Sorry for overdoing it...like I said, I'm a total TC nerd.

VegemiteGrrrl, Friday, 12 February 2010 21:00 (nine years ago) link

Oh, and Dave Cullen's Columbine, which is really much, much more than a true crime book, but is absolutely riveting. And terrifying.

El Poopo Loco (Pancakes Hackman), Friday, 12 February 2010 21:05 (nine years ago) link

Not exactly true crime genre, but Homicide: a Year on the Killing Streets is an excellent read. Lots of source material for the
Tv shows Homicide and the Wire.

Super Cub, Saturday, 13 February 2010 19:28 (nine years ago) link

I try to read as much Manson stuff as possible.

Right now I have a stack of these "from the pages of True Detective" books.


They are slee-zee. Some gross stuff.

Last year I read Cruel Sacrifice about this case, that was the last one that I read that was really good.

Until recently there was a bookstore within walking distance of me that had an entire wall of true crime books, I agree that some of them are boring as hell.

Also AWESOME and a must have is this:


kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Saturday, 13 February 2010 23:35 (nine years ago) link

a bit dry but extremely well researched: anything by david a. yallop

just1n3, Saturday, 13 February 2010 23:51 (nine years ago) link

Justine, thanks for the reminder about Yallop! I loved his pope conspiracy book (I love conspiracy books & I don't agree with any of them!). After I read that I wanted to read more, but didn't finish.

kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:01 (nine years ago) link

haha me too!! i love conspiracy theory stuff, even when i'm buying it at all!

the pope one was the first i read too - have you read the one about arthur allan thomas, the new zealand guy falsely imprisoned for murder?

just1n3, Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:08 (nine years ago) link

Not yet. I should read more about non-USA murders but I don't, the only one I LUV is Jack the Ripper, any and all, and a lot of them are bullshit, I think. Good bullshit, but probably bullshit.

kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:11 (nine years ago) link

I'm telling you -- the murder of Maria Marten is full of juicy parts, including, but not limited to, testimony from a murder trial bound in the SKIN OF THE MURDERER.


figgy pudding (La Lechera), Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:13 (nine years ago) link

*not buying it

just1n3, Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:21 (nine years ago) link

i believe it, but even if it's not true it makes a good story, and that's why we like this shit, no?

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:34 (nine years ago) link

no, i was xposting myself - i meant to say that i often don't buy the conspiracy stuff, but that doesn't lessen my enjoyment of it! the thing i like about yallop's stuff is that it avoids being trashy or hysterical; i think his style would make a believer out of anyone.

just1n3, Sunday, 14 February 2010 01:11 (nine years ago) link

That's true, David Yallop had me peeing my pants about the Pope and his heart attack. Then I went through this Vatican Bank phase.

kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Sunday, 14 February 2010 03:55 (nine years ago) link

FYI, Laura James' blog has been a gold mine of true crime book recommendations. (and her book is terrific too)

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 14 February 2010 07:30 (nine years ago) link

Not true crime specifically, but I watched a bit of <a href="http://www.trutv.com/shows/conspiracy_theory/episodes/index.html";> Jesse Ventura's</a> tv show today and it looked pretty good.

kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Monday, 15 February 2010 02:37 (nine years ago) link


Oops, sorry about link.

kudos, i'm yours! (u s steel), Monday, 15 February 2010 02:37 (nine years ago) link

I haven't read that account of Andrew Cunnanan, but I really loved "Three Month Fever," Gary Indiana's novelization of the guy's life.

Also, Emmanuel Carrere's "The Adversary" is a true crime favorite.

Romeo Jones, Monday, 15 February 2010 17:29 (nine years ago) link

As mentioned above, "The Stranger Beside Me" is 100% essential. Almost too scary and ominous.

Now, Monday, 15 February 2010 18:52 (nine years ago) link

This piece on a new collection of work by New Yorker crime writer St. James McKelway prompted me to check out an older anthology of his from UCI, collecting a fair number of pieces talked about as being in this new one.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 February 2010 19:15 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

Gordon Burn's two true crime books, Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son, about the Yorkshire Ripper, and Happy Like Murderers, about Fred and Rose West, are v good, intensely miserable. The one on the Wests really knocked me into a pit when it came out. But a bit literary maybe?

woof, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:45 (six years ago) link

(not 100% what I mean by 'a bit literary'. have to go out anyway)

woof, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:45 (six years ago) link

No I know what you mean. Some are told in a very tabloid way, and some are written in a way that's more about the story somehow.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:46 (six years ago) link

The Wrong Man by James Neff, about the Dr Sam Sheppard Murder case is another one I'd consider very literary in style. and god talk about gripping.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:48 (six years ago) link

I think - I dgaf about 'serious' writers pondering what nasty crime means for society. But then Burn doesn't do that much iirc, is better than that - concrete, precise, observational. But anyway, going out!

woof, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:48 (six years ago) link

intensely miserable

you are SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE! will add to wishlist.

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:59 (six years ago) link

Slightly OT, but true crime fans may enjoy this little tale:


o. nate, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 19:22 (six years ago) link

Almost done with the Ressler book (Whoever Fights Monsters)- it's pretty good!

Interestingly enough, even though Ressler and John Douglas worked together in the FBI, Douglas barely rates mention, which I find funny. I guess they're in some kind of ego smackdown these days, lol.

Douglas' Mindhunter covers similar ground to Ressler, since they both interviewed a lot of the same criminals, but the styles are different enough that you could read both and come away with something from each. Douglas is much more narrative-focused, tries to bring you into the stories he tells and definitely has a much more intense focus on the victims and their families. Much more dramatic, and he has a lot of interesting detail about his own life and involvement in the cases.

Ressler's more analytical, he's not as interested in putting you there as he is in giving you facts and data, still very much a case-study kind of guy, you feel like you're more part of a lecture series or a class than fireside chats.

Kinda feel myself going down the rabbit hole again - will have to dig up a few more books to get the curiosity sated again. It seems like once or twice a year I go on a tear. Except I find it starts to mess with my head irl, like I start looking for windowless vans and get obsessed with local missing children reports... :/

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 November 2012 19:57 (six years ago) link

One of those two wrote a book called "The Cases that Haunt Us" in which he discusses the Lindbergh kidnapping, Jack the Ripper, JonBenet Ramsey and other famous cases. I think it was Douglas, but in either case it's a really good book.

C-3PO Sharkey (Phil D.), Friday, 2 November 2012 20:06 (six years ago) link

yeah it was Douglas. It's a good one, you're right.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 November 2012 20:07 (six years ago) link

I got to meet Douglas last year at a speaking event - he's a very nice man! He signed a couple of my books for me. I found his books were more productive (?) than others because he was always at great pains, much as Ressler is too, that the killers don't get too much credit or are not made out to be more than they are. They're always very quick to remind you of their failings as humns vs their successes as killers.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 November 2012 20:10 (six years ago) link

Picked up 'Road Out Of Hell' by Anthony Flacco from the library, about the 1920's Wineville Murders. Hoooolllly fuck. I'm only a few chapters in and it's already more harrowing than anything I've read in a long time. Scary shit.

and I also got Lisa Cohen's 'After Etan'

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 5 November 2012 05:04 (six years ago) link

Not a book but True Crimers should check out the mini-series The Staircase. It's about a murder in Raleigh, NC and it is 100% amazing.

carl agatha, Monday, 5 November 2012 13:16 (six years ago) link

oh yeah that is incred

johnny crunch, Monday, 5 November 2012 13:23 (six years ago) link

And if you do decide to watch it, which you should, avoid reading anything about the documentary or the case before hand. It is so much better if you go in cold.

carl agatha, Monday, 5 November 2012 14:22 (six years ago) link

Happy Like Murderers, about Fred and Rose West

think the prob I had w/ this book - which is esp good on the way that fred and rose's home became a manifestation of their banal evil - is that the high quality of the writing turns the whole thing into an aesthetic experience, somehow - that burn had given his subjects a better book than they deserved, maybe?

Ward Fowler, Monday, 5 November 2012 14:31 (six years ago) link

Any recs for definitive books on the Night Stalker or Hillside Strangler cases? Those are two I've always wanted to read more about. (Is Ramirez unique among serial killers in being apprehended by people on the street?)

C-3PO Sharkey (Phil D.), Monday, 5 November 2012 14:32 (six years ago) link

thanks for the rec, carl -- I'm def gonna look up the Corridor!

no shit, that Wineville book gave me bad dreams last night, I've never had that happen before. Think this is a 'read in the daytime only' book.

It's not that the details are any worse than anything I've read, I think it's just that this acccount is written really WELL, and written as a firsthand account of events as they are unfolding by the nephew who was on the ranch & endured almost as much as the victims themselves. Being part of his thought process, and feeling like you're witinessing everything right along with him...it's a lot to handle.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 5 November 2012 17:29 (six years ago) link

Wait, the Wineville murders were the ones that figured in that Angelina Jolie movie, right?

C-3PO Sharkey (Phil D.), Monday, 5 November 2012 17:34 (six years ago) link

well they did find Jayme Closs obviously!

haven't seen the details but it was apparently a carefully planned murder and kidnapping, and i'm sure some details will be kept on lockdown for the time being.

it seems like there has been a decent number of cases in recent years where women or children have been kidnapped and located alive months or even years later. it seems to be more cases than i remember occurring in previous decades. maybe it's just recency bias, idk.

omar little, Friday, 11 January 2019 16:28 (eight months ago) link

So I just finished reading "Monster City: Murder, Music, and Mayhem in Nashville’s Dark Age" (which is really good) and seeing those two posts above about the Brown's Chicken massacre, apparently for quite a while investigators were sure it was committed by Paul Dennis Reid, who killed seven people in three similar robberies in Nashville.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Friday, 11 January 2019 16:44 (eight months ago) link

never heard about Reid! guys like that are terrifying.

there's a certain vulnerability to being a late-night worker at a slightly remote location of a fast food joint or convenience store. the Brown's Chicken location was on a stretch of road going through Palatine, which late at night was not very busy. It was a standalone building sitting in the parking lot of a strip mall. All off by itself, everything else was closed.

And it was particularly singular because as far as anyone knows, the killers simply committed that one massacre just for the thrills and never did anything remotely similar again. They went on to live their lives are seemingly normal family men. Til one of their exes finally confessed to her spouse what she knew about that night, then the cops took some DNA from some half-eaten chicken left at the scene, and which they had very smartly preserved just in case, and they tied it to one of the guys.

omar little, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:16 (eight months ago) link

Speaking of True Fraud, the saga of Miranda, among other names, went on for years, through the shadows of backstories of prominent men---this is quite a scroll-a-thon, but worth the effort: https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/1999/12/miranda-catfish-movie-199912

dow, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:55 (eight months ago) link

so my wife is toying with the idea of doing some research and writing a true-crime book about her dad, the J***** P3t3r referenced in this article: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bzn2gnnasoeuy8q/The_Gazette_Tue__Nov_11__1975_.jpg?dl=0

Οὖτις, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:19 (eight months ago) link

his life story (what we have been able to piece together anyway) is pretty insane. have to wait til the shutdown ends to see if she can get his FBI file.

Οὖτις, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:21 (eight months ago) link

that is nuts

omar little, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:32 (eight months ago) link

I’m very interested in how the Closs story develops. I’m wondering if this is a case of this guy grooming a child, maybe online, and then brainwashing her to believe they’re meant to be together and it’s her parents keeping them apart etc etc.

just1n3, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:50 (eight months ago) link

I heard on the news that he worked with her parents for one day three years ago, then quit. Also that the police think he was hunting, trying to retrieve her, when they apprehended him.

dow, Saturday, 12 January 2019 04:54 (eight months ago) link

The blandest-looking murderer-kidnapper yet, in his early 20s.

dow, Saturday, 12 January 2019 04:57 (eight months ago) link

The fact that she escaped at all is huge. Brave girl.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 January 2019 05:22 (eight months ago) link

Also thx for posting about Monster City, Eliza!
I have put it on my “read next” list.

Vaguely related, I had an Uber driver a couple of years back in Nashville, ex-cop who worked the downtown beat in the 80’s. He was very tight lipped for most of the ride but eventually hinted at some pretty dark stories while we talked & i started asking the right questions to show I was genuinely i interested. but I didn’t get to press him for details bc we were riding with a bunch of my idiotic coworkers who kept butting in to ask him for bullshit tourist suggestions. They all left the car saying “ugh that driver was a buzzkill” and i was like “you guys go and i’ll ride around in the car with Sgt Buzzkill til you’re done.”

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 January 2019 05:32 (eight months ago) link

Οὖτις, it took me longer than it should have to realise the photo of the screaming suspended child was nothing to do with the article you referenced on the same page. Fascinating stuff, though.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Saturday, 12 January 2019 08:37 (eight months ago) link

Haha I know, right? Just a human interest blurb/photo of a screaming kid lol

Οὖτις, Saturday, 12 January 2019 16:50 (eight months ago) link

I wasn’t sure where to put this. Yesterday was the anniversary of this horrorshow - I had never heard of it & the local news report made me cry. seeing the file footage of those little kids is so heart-wrenching.


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 18 January 2019 03:30 (eight months ago) link

I remember when it happened. There was some hand-wringing about California leading in mass shootings and then then nothing was done as usual.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 18 January 2019 09:22 (eight months ago) link

VG, after you read it, Google some of the cases because there were developments even after the book went to publication!

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Friday, 18 January 2019 14:24 (eight months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Can anyone recommend any books on street gangs / drug activity, especially ones written by people who got out of the business? I only have My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King, which I haven't started yet. I always avoided this type of literature, because there have always been gangs where I've lived, and it hits too close to home, but lately I've become friendly with a couple of people who spent their youth selling drugs and so I'm more interested in "the life".

Thanks ahead of time.

Twee.TV (I M Losted), Saturday, 9 February 2019 21:55 (seven months ago) link

I finally got around to reading Prophet’s Prey about Warren Jeffs. it was one of the rare times where I had to quit for mental health reasons. It’s thorough & well written but it’s SO heavy subject-matter wise & he is so thoroughly awful. Which I expected but I guess I wasn’t ready for the onslaught.
I mean, I was halfway through & there was even wholesale dog massacre to go along with all of the other horrors.



Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:32 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

you guys
Robert Kolker's Lost Girls
cannot recommend it enough. you gots to read this srsly
― difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl)

About 50 pages in--still backstory, but building well.

clemenza, Monday, 15 April 2019 03:10 (five months ago) link

a lot of it IS backstory, but to me that is the power of the narrative he built.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 15 April 2019 04:07 (five months ago) link

Very well written--sad. I just hope I can keep the five women differentiated; by the time the story returned to Melissa around page 60, I had to go back and skim the first chapter.

clemenza, Monday, 15 April 2019 12:27 (five months ago) link

True crime-adjacent, but I just started last night reading Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson, daughter of BTK Killer Dennis Rader.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Thursday, 18 April 2019 14:36 (five months ago) link

oh wow, let me know how it is!
i saw the 20/20 interview with her on tv a while back

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 18 April 2019 15:50 (five months ago) link

I'm only about 60 pages in but really enjoying “The Trial of Lizzie Borden,” by Cara Robertson. It doesn't try to solve the crime, but it places the murder in the context of the social issues during the Gilded Age and includes lots of interesting stuff about the family and friends, much of which I don't remember reading about before. I've always been fascinated with LB because my grandmother lived just two streets up from the Borden house at the time of the murders (August 1892), when she was 2. She said her family used to visit the home before the crime.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:41 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Anyone read Claudia Rowe's The Spider and the Fly? A little overwritten at times, but the story--very much a Silence of the Lambs relationship between the writer and the killer--is compelling and sordid.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 May 2019 21:01 (four months ago) link

"the last stone" is good if you can handle detailed descriptions of sexual abuse/violence towards kids. it's very deeply researched.

na (NA), Monday, 6 May 2019 14:32 (four months ago) link

The Kerri Rader Rawson book was . . . OK? A lot of it is religious testimony, which I expected given the title. But it also deals a lot of trauma, mourning, PTSD and other things in a way you don't normally get to read. And there are parts that are tough to read where she talks about her father being made to discuss his crimes in detail in court, and her putting together facts about their lives with where her father was and what he was doing at the time.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Monday, 6 May 2019 14:35 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

i am finally reading fatal vision. what an insane story! trying not to read anything else about it until i finish

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 7 June 2019 01:01 (three months ago) link

Yeah, I never finished it. Can only take so much stabbing and mayhem.

Oklamoma! Original Broadway Cast Recording (I M Losted), Friday, 7 June 2019 01:39 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

They convicted the guy in the McStay murder case last week, announcing the penalty shortly. Either life w/o parole or death row. ultimately what probably nailed him was they pinged his phone to the location of the gravesite. whoops.

omar little, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:43 (two months ago) link

I just recently finished Norco '80, about the 1980 Norco, CA bank robbery/shootout that involved a 25-mile chase through Riverside and San Bernardino countries, 35 wrecked law enforcement vehicles and a dead state trooper. A fascinating read if for no other reason than a) the four perpetrators were dumb as hell, and b) their defense attorneys had pure brass balls.

Oh wow! Had no idea there wa a book about that

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 7 July 2019 18:33 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Thanks to an unidentified neighbor on my block who left a copy of it on the sidewalk, I just plowed through A Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris. This is about the Jeffrey MacDonald/"Fatal Vision" case, but Morris pushes completely contradictory conclusions to the ones Joe McGinness espoused in Fatal Vision. Morris basically suggests that MacDonald was railroaded by the government, got an unfair trial in 1979, and perhaps is completely innocent.

I've admittedly never read Fatal Vision but this book certainly makes a lot of eye-opening points, while throwing a bit of critical shade at McGinniss and other journalistic sources. It appears that Morris did a good amount of legwork and was able to interview many of the people involved in the case. A lot of Amazon reviewers aren't impressed with the book's findings or hypothesis, but it seems that people have strong opinions about this case, which is a pretty inexplicable one any way you look at it. Anyway, the book's an addicting read and gave me the creeps.

Josefa, Friday, 2 August 2019 21:40 (one month ago) link

Now I see A Wilderness of Error was discussed in this thread back in Feb. 2013 (I missed this because I thought the book was more recent)

Josefa, Friday, 2 August 2019 22:43 (one month ago) link

i finally finished fatal vision and wasn't sure if i wanted to read wilderness of error maybe just because of internet reviewers. i was left convinced that mcdonald is an awful person and i don't want to hear that he's innocent. but perhaps later.

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 2 August 2019 23:44 (one month ago) link

Of this family of products I have only read Janet Malcom's The Journalist and the Murderer lol

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 23:45 (one month ago) link

lol. next thing i was gonna say is one of mcginness's afterwords responding to malcolm convinced me she was rong, but i haven't read that either. i'm just in the mood to believe what i read, i guess.

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 2 August 2019 23:48 (one month ago) link

'who killed garrett phillips?' by liz garbus on hbo was p good, reminded me vaguely of the steve avery case

johnny crunch, Saturday, 3 August 2019 00:01 (one month ago) link

I read Mark Bowden’s “The Last Stone” and man, it is a trip. and so Infuriating! they spend 3 years interrogating a compulsive liar, and even when they get conviction they still cant get all the details out of him. The self-preservation these assholes have where they withhold so much info & barefaced lie because they think it will be better for them, “aw i dont want to do more time, i need a deal” and its like YOU KNOW HOW TO FIX THAT? MAYBE DONT RAPE & MURDER CHILDREN YOU GODDAMN CREEP


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 3 August 2019 00:24 (one month ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 3 August 2019 00:24 (one month ago) link

re Jeffrey MacDonald, just reading the Morris book I couldn't make sense of why so many people think he's a psychopath (unless obv you first presume he did the killing), but I guess one of the criticisms of Morris is that he downplays or ignores the evidence of his psychopathy... still not sure exactly what that evidence is, I assume it's to be found in Fatal Vision.

Josefa, Saturday, 3 August 2019 02:07 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Not a book, but police in Korea apparently just solved the 30-year-old serial killer case on which "Memories of Murder" was based: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190918000889

About 3/4 through Casey Cep's Furious Hours--Murder, Fraud, and The Last Trial of Harper Lee. Good start, with the usually downlow Lee, unrecognized by others in the courtroom as she watches:

The defendant was black, but the lawyers were white, and so were the judge and jury. The charge was murder n the first degree. Three months before, at the funeral of a sixteen-year-old girl, the man with his legs crossed patiently beside the defense table had pulled a pistol from the inside pocket of his jacket and shot the Reverand Willie Maxwell three times in the head. Three hundred people had seen him do it. Many of them were now at his trial, not to learn why he had done it---everyone in three counties knew that, and some were surprised no one had done it sooner--but to understand the disturbing series of deaths that had come before the ones they witnessed.
One by one, over a period of seven years, six people close to the Reverend had died under circumstances that
nearly everyone agreed were suspicious and some deemed supernatural. Through all of the resulting investigations, the Reverend was represented by a lawyer named Tom Radney, whose presence in the courtroom that day wouldn't have been remarkable had he not been there to defend the man who killed his former client. A Kennedy liberal in the Deep South...
and kind of a post-modernist, fearlessly case-by-case Atticus/WASP WASPJose Baez pistol of a defender--who had first met Lee at the kind of NYC party she rarely attended, but it wasn't near a typewriter and there was free booze---so we get how she, with all her chronic insecurities, and now without the agent and editors (all dearly departed)who had steered her through Mockingbird, yet still with the talent and skills she'd developed when Capote talked her into being his investigator---also with her misgivings about what he did with her results---also with her knowledge of legal research and procedure--she'd dropped out of law school six weeks before graduation---came to this case...

Main prob: overly detailed backstories--right off, we get the whole process of a populated area becoming a man-made lake and reservoir--it took a lonngg time---during which the black Reverend was born to a life of toil, for which he was overqualified, overachieving, and overdressed. There's also a history of insurance in general, and of how blacks were exploited by it---the last part of which is relevant only by contrast, since the Rev. and his attorney were adept at gaming the system, as plaintiff and defendant: anybody could take out a policy on anybody, so he did, and then they would be found dead. The author makes some good, sometimes obvious points, but tends to take a while.

If this is your one-stop for the early-to-prime-to-twilight of Lee and Capote, personally and and professionally, and for the Age of Wallace, and all sorts of Southern Gothic historical tidbits, if you know nothing about any of that, and really want to binge, you've come to the right place. If you like to edit as you read, ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto.

dow, Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:02 (yesterday) link

The main storyline is clearly presented, and could make a good movie (w backstories in compressed flashbacks)

dow, Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:06 (yesterday) link

According to the Criminal Procedure Code at the time of the crime, the statute of limitations for the last of the serial killings ran out in 2006.

uh, wow

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:11 (yesterday) link

xp yea i read the cep book and found it somewhat disappointing overall

johnny crunch, Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:29 (yesterday) link

Guess these texts, being written, could also be considered true crime as True Crime and thus literature, Your Honor:

dow, Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:32 (yesterday) link

she was a gr8 texter, deserves release

johnny crunch, Thursday, 19 September 2019 21:43 (yesterday) link

Word. Oh I went on and finished Cep book---last 100 pages are pretty solid, esp. since I now know when to leap past her tangents. Yall might better wait for the screen or Reader's Digest version though.

dow, Friday, 20 September 2019 05:45 (thirteen hours ago) link

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