One thing I can't get enough of? True crime. Whether it's a docuseries on Netflix, a book on Scribd, or a podcast on iTunes, I'm always down to invest entirely too much time into these stories. Sometimes they can be frustrating — heartbreaking, even — but sometimes they can be inspiring. If you're anything like me, you're going to love these true crime books to read this summer during those rare times the kids are out of your hair.
The following books are true crime stories that are now available on Scribd, a subscription service for audio and e-books. I am not afraid to admit that I still love the smell and feel of a good old fashioned book in my hand. But, sometimes downloading a book onto my phone is a total lifesaver. Like when I'm traveling and I've forgotten and/or finished the book, or when I'm poolside in the warm weather — in-between sunscreen lathering, obviously.
Those of you familiar with some of the more notable true crime cases will definitely appreciate the books focusing on Son of Sam and the Golden State Killer. For those of you who might not live and breathe the true crime genre but are interested in a taste: buckle up. It's going to be an extremely bumpy (but still fascinating) ride into the literary world of true crime.
Please note that all book descriptions below are courtesy of Scribd.
The Devil and Harper Lee
The legendary novelist Harper Lee left us a cold case of her own. Almost two decades after writing “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Lee returned home to Alabama to investigate a mysterious string of murders and the charismatic reverend rumored to be the killer. But she never wrote the book. In this Scribd Original, find out more about the true-crime story that haunted Lee, but that she never managed to write.
Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
From San Francisco’s Trailside Killer to Chicago’s Serial Killer Clown, FBI agent John Douglas hunted down America’s most notorious mass murderers. A founder of criminal profiling, Douglas revolutionized detective work using forensic psychology, and his interviews with serial killers are dark, disturbing, and somehow a little sad. If you’re a fan of the Netflix adaptation, read slowly to fill the long void between seasons.
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
The Golden State Killer terrorized California during the 1970s and ’80s, committing more than 12 murders, 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries across the state. Decades later, determined to solve the cold case, journalist Michelle McNamara threw herself into researching the crimes, resulting in this masterful portrait of the serial killer. McNamara died before she was done with the book, but her husband Patton Oswalt made sure it was finished and published. Two months later, police arrested a suspect. An adaptation of this book into a documentary series is in production at HBO.
Son of Sam: Based on the Authorized Transcription of the Tapes, Official Documents, and Diaries of David Berkowitz
Discover the harrowing true story of the notorious serial killer who terrorized New York City forty years ago during the summer of 1977 — David Berkowitz, otherwise known as Son of Sam — for true crime fans and viewers of The Lost Tapes: Son of Sam documentary now on the Smithsonian Channel.
The Search for the Green River Killer: The True Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer
Written before the Green River Killer was arrested, this journalistic account focuses on the decades-long search for a man who killed more than 49 women and girls in the Pacific Northwest. Smith and Guillen, two reporters who covered the murders beginning in 1982, detail the gruesome crimes and frustrating investigation as police desperately tried to put an end to a shocking killing spree that stunned the nation. Updated after police arrested the murderer, the reporters reveal that the 49 bodies were just the tip of the iceberg.
Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door
For more than 30 years, a murderer who called himself BTK (short for bind, torture, kill) terrorized Kansas. Like “The Search for the Green River Killer,” the crime reporters who covered the story wrote this well-researched book to document the chilling story in full, based on interviews with the detectives who investigated, the victims’ families, and even the killer’s brother. Almost as shocking as the grisly murders was the revelation that the man responsible was a respected member of his community — a Boy Scout dad and church president.