The best books on true crime and corruption

The Books I Picked & Why

In Cold Blood

By Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

Why this book?

A great read from a former special agent with the Department of Justice. The author thoroughly describes the principle roles of how the justice system works and the functions of law enforcement in America. The author emphasizes the importance of the judicial system of due process in maintaining clear and impartial legal standards for both the victim and criminal. The author's ability to focus on how each part of the judicial provides clear legal standards for both the law enforcement and the public.


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In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent's Relentless Pursuit of the Nation's Worst Predators

By Jeffrey L. Rinek, Marilee Strong

In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent's Relentless Pursuit of the Nation's Worst Predators

Why this book?

This is an excellent reading about a former FBI agent not giving up on their search to find predators. I truly honor this agent for how he never gave up on the search. From my former experience as a Special Agent with The Drug Enforcement Administration, the writers did a thorough job to focus on how the FBI Agents unselfishly dedicated long investigative hours to target the predators of children. The writers described how the FBI agent’s moral beliefs and his dedication to helping the sexually abused children; perseverance, and creative innovative investigative techniques that enable him to find the predators.


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If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

By Gregg Olsen

If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

Why this book?

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen is a true evil event where he explains the story of a kind and loving mother as described by her community; but they failed to see the evil that Shelly Knotek was torturing and murdering her friends and relatives for the fun of it, while her three daughters watched in horror. Abused by their parents, the sisters watched the victims begging for their lives as their mother tortured them for the fun of it in cold blood, murdering them. The sisters were frightened that they might be next to die at any moment in the hands of their mother, found the strength to tell others the horrible acts committed by her. Based on the direct evidence from the sisters, their mother was sentenced to prison. Later, the sisters provided a detailed description to the author of how they witnessed the deaths of their friends and relatives.


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The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder

By John Glatt

The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder

Why this book?

This book is about the horrific murder of Chris Watts' wife and children. Many details of the case give the reader a birds-eye view of the situation, without dramatizing the events. Living in Southern California, I remember hearing the news about these murders and cannot understand how someone could do it. Such a sad story.


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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

By Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Why this book?

Living in Southern California during the time of the Golden State Killer's escapades made this book an interesting read. As I heard about the murders over the years, I was scared, as most of my friends were, to go anywhere without a buddy and always looked around to be sure there was no stranger following us. The author explored the cases with detail and presents them to the reader to vividly view the rath created by this serial killer. This book is well-written. The killer, Joseph DeAngelo, was out there committing rape and murder for many years since the 1970s and 1980s. DNA evidence led to his arrest in 2018. DeAngelo pled guilty in June 2020.


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