True Crime Books That Are Sure to Keep You Up at Night

If you like getting caught up in the mystery or exploring some of the most unsettling crime stories, these books are for you.

From books, to podcasts, to documentaries, the world of true crime is as fascinating as it is disturbing. If you like getting caught up in the mystery or exploring some of the most unsettling crime stories, these books are for you.

PS. You might have to sleep with a light on.

Trigger Warning: these books provide detail descriptions of crime scenes and, because of the nature of the genre, discuss sensitive topics such as murder and sexual assault. If you are sensitive to these topics please proceed with caution.



1. IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote


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This book basically revolutionized the genre, and any True Crime fan has to read it. This book tells the story that took place on November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, where four members of the Clutter family were brutally murdered by close range gunshots to their faces. The murder had no apparent motive and no clues were left behind. Truman Capote reconstructs the case and what led to the capture and execution of the murderers.



2. The stranger beside me by ann rule


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This one surrounds one of the most well-known serial killers of all time: Ted Bundy. Ann Rule, a writer hunting for one of America’s most brutal murderers, tells the story of this hunt because, little did she know, the man that she had been tracking down, identified as Ted by the police, was the same Ted she worked side by side with in the Seattle crisis clinic. The man who had become a close friend and confidant.


3. People Who Eat Darkness by richard lloyd parry


People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up de [Richard Lloyd Parry]

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Tokyo, Japan is one of the safest cities in the world. Yet, in the summer of 2000, Lucy, a 21-year-old woman, vanished from the streets only for her dismembered remains to be found buried in a seaside cave the following winter. Richard Lloyd Parry, over the course of ten years, covered her disappearance, the long investigation, and the even longer trial. In doing so, he gets close to Lucy’s family and friends and gets a unique insight into Japan’s convoluted legal system, as well as the mind of the man accused of the crime, Joji Obara.



4. I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK by michelle mcnamara


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A string of sexual assaults and violent murders terrorized the people of Northern California for over a decade. The perpetrator of these crimes vanished, eluding capture by the police and some of the best detectives. Over three decade later, Michelle McNamara pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities to find the criminal she called “the Golden State Killer.”

Michelle McNamara died before she could finish her research and this book, but her investigation fulfilled her mission of helping unmask the Golden State Killer. After you read his book, you can go watch the HBO’s docuseries of the same name.


5. Invisible Darkness by stephen williams


Invisible Darkness: The Strange Case Of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka de [Stephen Williams]

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To the naked eye Paul and Karla were the perfect couple. Good-looking, in love, and holed up in a fashionable dream house in the suburbs. But they harbored a dark secret, and that was their lust for violence. This book tell the story of their crimes, which include the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of several high school girls.

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