From criminal psychology to forensic science, True Crime Magazine covers 10 books every true crime fan must read.

Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas

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A chilling behind-the-scenes chronicle of John Douglas‘ twenty-five-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals.

“This book was an in depth, excellent, and fascinating look into the minds and crimes of violent criminals.”

“This is one of the most significant books on societal ills I’ve ever read. Law enforcement’s new ability to profile and find serial killers is nothing short of amazing.”

“A must read, great book. Very detail and well organized. Unable to put book down for 4 days straight.”

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William R. Maples and Michael Browning

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In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, forensic anthropologist Dr. William R. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations.

“Having long been interested in the forensics of crime solving, this book had me totally mesmerized.”

“I was truly impressed by the easily conveyed information that both of the authors’ presented for us laypeople!”

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid

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Val McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one’s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It’s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

“Fascinating… A gripping history of the anatomy of crime. Each of the chapters—which examine themes such as fire scene investigation, toxicology, fingerprinting, DNA and blood splatter and facial reconstruction—contains a wealth of surprising information… If McDermid is ever stuck for inspiration for her novels she could do worse than turn to her own book of the dead for inspiration.”

— The Independent (UK)

Through the Eyes of Serial Killers: Interviews with Seven Murderers by Nadia Fezzani

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Journalist Nadia Fezzani recounts exclusive, groundbreaking, uncensored interviews with 7 serial killers behind bars.

Through the Eyes of Serial Killers pieces together chilling interviews, psychological research, criminal profiling, and genetic studies in a quest of understanding those who have committed unthinkable crimes.

“This is one of the best-researched and most-revealing books on the subject that I’ve ever read.”

Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science by William M. Bass

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Forensic anthropology pioneer, founder of the Body FarmDr. Bill Bass dissects the methods used by homicide investigators every day, leading readers on an extraordinary journey into the high-tech science that it takes to crack a case.

“Forensic anthropologist Bass nicely complements his memoir, Death’s Acre, with this unnervingly cheerful collection (ably co-written by science journalist Jefferson) of case studies and anecdotes from the field of corpse identification. With careful attention to detail and the occasional darkly humorous aside, the authors describe charred maggot cocoons; the grotesquely dismembered victims of a fireworks factory explosion; and the forensic uses of sonar, scanning electron microscopes and computer databases.”

– Reed Business Information

Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler

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FBI veteran Robert Ressler, who coined the phrase “serial killer”, takes you on the hunt for the most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.

“I loved this book. Ressler takes you step by step through his interviews, why he asks the questions he does, why he responds to the killers the way he does when he gets a certain kind of answer, and it is readable by a layperson.”

“This was a great insight into how the FBI started their behavioral analysis unit. The high points are when Ressler presents a case and profiles the suspect and the interviews he does with serial killers in jails to help further strengthen the profiling methods and patterns.”

Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders by Anna C. Salter

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What motivates sexual abusers? Why are so few caught? Drawing on the stories of abusers, forensic psychologist Anna C. Salter shows that sexual predators use sophisticated deception techniques and rely on misconceptions surrounding them to evade discovery. Arguing that even the most knowledgeable among us can be fooled, Salter dispels the myths about sexual predators and gives us the tools to protect our families and ourselves.

“This book should be required reading for anyone who is charged with the safety and well being of children. Teachers, social workers, police officers and parents all stand to benefit from the sound advice and practical information contained within. Despite it’s distasteful subject matter, this is an interesting and enlightening read.”

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare

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Based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.

“This book, along with several others, helped me make sense of a long puzzling relationship. It is necessary, it’s essential, to be willing to give up one’s fixed ideals in order to move forward.”

The Big Book of Serial Killers: 150 Serial Killer Files of the World’s Worst Murderers (An Encyclopedia of Serial Killers) by Jack Rosewood

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Easy to follow collection of 150 files on the world’s most heinous serial killers, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez, and not to mention the women who kill, such as Aileen Wuornos and Martha Rendell. Each file includes information on when and how they killed the victims, the background of each killer, or the suspects in some cases such as the Zodiac killer, their trials and punishments.

“What a truly great serial killer encyclopedia. It covers so many serial killers. Some well known, others not so well known. There were a few I did not know. It not only covers the basics (number of victims, ages, method, status, etc.) but he provides background information, murders, arrests, trial and sentencing. Very complete info, including trivia as well!”


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