Best Books

The Top 23 Serial Killer Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

December 17, 2015

“What are the best serial killer books?” We looked at 17 articles and 137 different books in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find our results of the 23 top serial killer books of all-time (Fiction and Non-fiction). Click here to see the methodology used.

Things That can be Found in a Best Serial Killer Books Listicle
  • Mentions of Serial (the podcast)
  • The Phrase “won’t be able to sleep”
  • “Terrifying” but “Interesting”
  • The color red
The 23 Top Fiction/Non-Fiction Books About Serial Killers:

Total Lists Consulted: 17
Unique Books found in lists: 137 (look below the ranked items for a full list)


23.) Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder by James B. Stewart

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Blind Eye- The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder by James B. Stewart


22.) Deviant: The Shocking Truth of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho  by Harold Schechter

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Deviant- The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psychoby Harold Schechter

 


21.) Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss


20.) Lucky by Alice Sebold

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Lucky by Alice Sebold


19.) My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

 


18.) People Who Eat Darkness: the Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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People Who Eat Darkness- The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry


17.) Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper – Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Portrait of a Killer- Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell


16.) Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter #1) by Thomas Harris


15.) The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer


14.) The Last Victim by Jason Moss

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Last Victim- A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer by Jason M. Moss

 


13.) The Misbegotten Son by Jack Olsen

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Misbegotten Son by Jack Olsen


12.) The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) by Thomas Harris


11.) Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Under the Banner of Heaven- A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer


10.) Killer Clown by Terry Sullivan

Appeared On: 3 Lists
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Killer Clown- The John Wayne Gacy Murders by Terry Sullivan, Peter T. Maiken, Peter Maiken


9.) The Innocent Man by John Grisham

Appeared On: 3 Lists
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The Innocent Man- Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham


8.) The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

Appeared On: 3 Lists
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The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston


7.) Columbine by Dave Cullen

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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Columbine by Dave Cullen


6.) Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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Green River, Running Red- The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer by Ann Rule


5.) The Night Stalker by Philip Carlo

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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The Night Stalker by Philip Carlo


4.) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Appeared On: 5 Lists
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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


3.) The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Appeared On: 5 Lists
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The Devil in the White City- Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson


2.) Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry

Appeared On: 7 Lists
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Helter Skelter- The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry


1.) The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy, the Shocking Inside Story by Anne Rule

Appeared On: 8 Lists
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The Stranger Beside Me- Ted Bundy, the Shocking Inside Story by Anne Rule


The 114 Other Serial Killer Books Only Appearing on a Single List
  • 99 days By writer, Matteo Casali ; art, Kristian Donaldson ; letters, Clem Robins.
  • A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer
  • A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
  • A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt
  • A Mind for Murder by Alston Chase
  • A Question Of Doubt John Wayne Gacy
  • A Stolen Life (Jaycee Dugard
  • A Wilderness of Error by Jeffrey MacDonald
  • Acceleration By McNamee, Graham
  • Akata Witch By Okorafor, Nnedi
  • All the President’s Men, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  • An Innocent Man by Pamela Colloff
  • Ballad of the Whiskey Robber (Julian Rubinstein
  • BIND, TORTURE, KILL, BY ROY WENZL, TIM POTTER, HURST LAVIANA, AND L. KELLY
  • Black Butler By Toboso, Yana
  • Blood and Money, by Thomas Thompson
  • BODY DUMP, BY FRED ROSEN
  • Careless Whispers
  • Catch Me If You Can (Frank W. Abagnale
  • Coronado High by Joshuah Bearman
  • Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Criminal by Karin Slaughter
  • Delivered From Evil by Ron Franscell
  • Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt
  • Die for Me: The Terrifying True Story of the Charles Ng & Leonard Lake
  • Escaping the Arroyo (Joyce Nance
  • Filth by Irvine Welsh
  • Final Truth Donald Gaskins
  • For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz
  • Forensics by Val McDermid
  • FOREVER AND FIVE DAYS, BY LOWELL CAUFFIEL
  • Fred & Rose: The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors Howard Sounes
  • Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano
  • Graceling By Cashore, Kristin
  • Homicide: a year on the Killing Streets, by David Simon
  • House of Secrets by Lowell Cauffiel
  • How to Get Away With Murder in America by Evan Wright
  • I : The Creation of a Serial Killer by Brian King
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer By Wells, Dan
  • I Don’t Want To Kill You By Wells, Dan
  • I Hunt Killers By Lyga, Barry
  • INTENSITY by Dean Koontz
  • Jack the Ripper A-Z by Paul Begg, Keith Skinner, Martin Fido
  • Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopedia
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer : the family man By Jamie Delano, Dick Forman, writers ; Ron Tiner … [et al.],
    artists.
  • Killer arl Panzram
  • Killer Fiction G.J. Schaefer
  • Like a sniper lining up his shot By adapted by Jacques Tardi ; from the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette ;
    [edited and translated by Kim Thompson].
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Lost Girls by Robert Kolker
  • LOVE ME TO DEATH, BY LINDA WOLFE
  • Lustmord by Brian King
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Mercy by David Lindsey
  • Midnight in Peking (Paul French
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt
  • Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • Monkeewrench by PJ Tracy
  • Mr. Monster By Wells, Dan
  • Murder in Mississippi by John Safran
  • Night Games by Anna Krien
  • No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  • Nobody’s Women: The Crimes and Victims of Anthony Sowell, the Cleveland Serial Killer” by Steve Miller
  • Perfect Murder, Perfect Town by Lawrence Schiller
  • Popular Crime by Bill James
  • Psycho by Robert Bloch
  • Ripper By Petrucha, Stefan
  • Rites of Burial Tom Jackman and Troy Cole
  • Rusty Nail by JA Konrath
  • SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
  • SILENT RAGE, BY MICHAEL NEWTON
  • Slice Of Cherry By Reeves, Dia
  • Small Sacrifices (Ann Rule
  • Son Of Hope David Berkowitz
  • Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz
  • Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
  • Tenderness By Cormier, Robert
  • The Angel Of Death By Ferguson, Alane
  • The Body Finder By Derting, Kimberly
  • THE BONE COLLECTOR by Jeffrey Deaver
  • The Christopher Killer By Ferguson, Alane
  • The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann
  • The Dexter Series by Jeff Lindsay
  • The Dying Breath By Ferguson, Alane
  • The Gates Of Janus Ian Brady
  • THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson
  • The Good-Bye Door (Diana Britt Franklin
  • The Great Train Robbery (Michael Crichton
  • The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heistby Rich Schapiro
  • The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm
  • The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
  • THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold
  • The Making Of A Serial Killer Danny Rolling
  • The Name Of The Star By Johnson, Maureen
  • The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
  • The Professor and the Madman (Simon Winchester)
  • The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World’s Most Terrifying Murderers” by Harold
    Schechter
  • THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes
  • The Strange Case Of Dr. H.H. Holmes Herman Mudgett
  • The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
  • The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  • The terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans By music and lyrics by Rick Geary.
  • The Trials of White Boy Rick by Evan Hughes
  • The Trinity Of Superkidds Charles Kembo
  • The True Crime Files of Arthur Conan Doyle (Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The True Story of the Manson Murders (Vincent Bugliosi
  • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
  • TWISTED TREE by Kent Meyers
  • When She Was Bad by Jonathan Nasaw
  • Where Serpents Lie by T Jefferson Parker
  • Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler
  • Without Conscience by Robert Hare
  • Zekka Sakakibara Seito
  • Zodiac(Robert Graysmith)

The Article Sources Arranged by Publish Date

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