Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fave True Crime

I recently finished For the Thrill of It, a story about Leopold-Loeb thrill killing. It reminded me of the very few true crime books I've read in the past.

Beyond Belief: A Chronicle of Murder and its Detection – Emlyn Williams. This classic covers the Moors Murders, a series of child killings in the Manchester, England area in the middle 1960s. The perps were Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Like Perry and Dick in In Cold Blood, they probably wouldn’t have hurt anybody if they’d never met each other, but together they were very bad. Gruesome book and dubious assertions abound, but impossible to set down.

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote. The creepy thing about this book is that it is about people that are invisible. Perry and Dick were like the two killers in Fargo - aimless, drifting, dumb, dangerous, the kind of people one is grateful one never meets in real life.

The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion – Ed Sanders. This is a narrative of the events leading up to the Sharon Tate and Leo LaBianca mass murders. Sanders obtained access to the Charles Manson family by posing as a Satanic guru-maniac and dope-crazed psychopath. It's another story of Morlocks who reach out and ruin the lives of more or less ordinary people.

Murder, Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate by Burton B. Turkus and Sid Feder. First published in 1951, this will appeal to anybody who likes noir, hard-boiled detective fiction. But what is scary is that this is true, all about off-kilter, sadistic mobsters, hired killers, and their victims who were silly-confident enough that they could deal with beasts and remain unclawed and unbloodied. Talk about mental problems, these gangsters were sick souls, that they could do unspeakble things to human beings. Anybody who entertains romantic ideas about The Godfather movies will have their notions disabused by this book.

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