I see that Leslie Van Houten is up for parole again [for the 19th time]. This made me think of the book Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. Man, did that book make an impression. I read it in about three days when I was in High School.
It’s hard to describe the fascination these books have for me. I’m talking about true crime books. If you, yourself, are a true crime reader, you probably know what I’m talking about. It’s a little embarrassing to admit you read these kinds of books. I just guess I think people are judging me. I think the reason I find them so interesting is the whole “train wreck” effect. Also, I just cannot imagine how people can do these kinds of thing. The whole “man’s inhumanity to man” thing. Where does that kind of compulsion come from?
Okay, so I am going to tell you some of my “favorite” true crime books. I already mentioned Helter Skelter which I read very quickly and then had to get out of my house! It was sooo scary, and creepy. Another not able to put down book was The Stranger beside me by Ann Rule [about the serial killer Ted Bundy]. The Boston Strangler by Gerold Frank, and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote..That is a different kind of book, they called it a true crime novel, which seems to be a contradiction in terms.
Just recently I read a good book called For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz. It tells the story of Leopold and Loeb who committed a murder just to see if they could pull off the perfect crime. The Last Innocent Man by John Grisham was a very good book. The Perfect Victim was very much a page turner, especially because it took place in Red Bluff. I guess geography makes an impression because you just don’t think of these things happening around where YOU live! There was also a pretty interesting book called The Bone Garden about Dorothea Puente from Sacramento.
If you come in and browse our true crime section you are sure to find some very interesting reading material. Just make sure your doors are locked and your night lights on, because you may have just a teeny-tiny problem going to sleep.
posted by Estel