Non-fiction books about Serial Killers

During the course of research for my first novel, ‘Blood Related,’ I read many books about Serial Homicide, both fiction and non-fiction. In order to understand what makes a serial-killer murder others this research was heavy reading. I found myself becoming desensitized to the violence after the first ten books or so, every now and then something would turn my gut and stand out as unique behavior that differed from the other cases. The central character of Caleb Cunningham is an amalgamation of these behaviors and personality types as I read them. Once ‘Blood related’ is published, I will post a personality profile that outlines CC’s psychological status.


Here is the link to the online list I compiled, complete with Book Covers etc:

As promised, here is the Non-fiction Bibliographical source list.


1. The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story by Ann Rule

2. The Night Stalker by Philip Carlo

3. Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crimes by John E. Douglas

4. The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World’s Most Terrifying Murderers by Harold Schechter

5. Psycho Paths: Tracking the Serial Killer Through Contemporary American Film and Fiction by Philip Simpson

6. The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy by Stephen G. Michaud

7. Bobby Joe: In the Mind of a Monster: The Chilling Facts Behind the Story of a Brutal Serial Killer by Bernie Ward

8. Natural Born Killer: In Love and on the Road with a Serial Killer (Killing Time) by Sandy Fawkes

9. Garden of Graves: The Shocking True Story of Long Island Serial Killer Joel Rikfin by Maria Eftimiades

10. Bound To Die: The Shocking True Story of Bobby Joe Long, America’s Most Savage Serial Killer by Anna Flowers

11. Bad Boy: The True Story of Kenneth Allen McDuff, the Most Notorious Serial Killer in Texas History by Gary M. Lavergne

12. The Shadow of Death: The Hunt for a Serial Killer by Philip E. Ginsburg

13. Step into My Parlor: The Chilling Story of Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer by Edward Baumann

14. Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer by Stephen Singular

15. Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door by Roy Wenzl

16. Serial Killer Investigations by Colin Wilson

17. Criminal Profiling from Crime Scene Analysis by John E. Douglas

18. Unabomber: On the Trail of America’s Most-Wanted Serial Killer by John E. Douglas

19. Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives by John E. Douglas

20. The Anatomy of Motive: The FBI’s Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals by John E. Douglas

21. Journey Into Darkness by John E. Douglas

22. The Cases That Haunt Us by John E. Douglas

23. Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas

24. Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer by David Canter

25. Mapping Murder: The Secrets of Geographical Profiling by David Canter

26. Ted Bundy: Conversations With a Killer by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth

27. The St. Albans Poisoner: Life and Crimes of Graham Young by Anthony Holden

28. Clues from Killers: Serial Murder and Crime Scene Messages by Dirk C. Gibson

29. Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder by James Alan Fox

30. Panzram: A Journal of Murder by Carl Panzram

31. Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers Up Close and Personal by Jack Levin

32. My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World’s Most Notorious Murderers by Helen Morrison

33. Inside the Minds of Serial Killers: Why They Kill by Katherine Ramsland

34. Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer by Elliott Leyton

35. The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer by Jason Moss

36. Comrade Chikatilo: The Psychopathology of Russia’s Notorious Serial Killer by Mikhail Krivich

37. Couples Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis

38. The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Michael Newton

39. Killer Clown: John Wayne: The John Wayne Gacy Murders by Terry Sullivan

40. Bluebeard: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais by Leonard Wolf

41. Hunting the Devil/Pursuit, Capture and Confession of the Most Savage Serial Killer in History by Richard Lourie

42. The American Murders of Jack the Ripper: Tantalizing Evidence of the Gruesome American Interlude of the Prime Ripper Suspect by R. Michael Gordon

43. The Thames Torso Murders of Victorian London by R. Michael Gordon

44. The Search for the Green River Killer by Carlton Smith

45. The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History by Kevin M. Sullivan

46. Murder In Spokane by Mark Fuhrman

47. The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer by Robert D. Keppel

48. Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer by John E. Douglas

49. Lust Killer: Updated Edition by Ann Rule

50. The Want-Ad Killer by Ann Rule

51. The I-5 Killer: Revised Edition by Ann Rule

52. Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster by Harold Schechter

53. Fiend: The Shocking True Story Of Americas Youngest Serial Killer by Harold Schechter

54. Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America’s Most Fiendish Killer! By Harold Schechter

55. Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H.H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Turn-of-the-Century Chicago by Harold Schechter

56. The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Harold Schechter

57. Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original “Psycho” by Harold Schechter

58. Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer-America’s Deadliest Serial Murderer by Ann Rule



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  1. #1 by jmount43 on January 18, 2012 - 12:35 pm

    Serial killers are a morbid, yet fascinating subject. Just when you think that one human being could not be any more depraved, just turn the page and read about the next one.

  2. #2 by omalone1 on December 17, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    Hunting Humans was a brilliant piece that I read almost three times in order to take in the information which is especially relevant in terms of the graphic events that have recently taken place over the last few days

  3. #3 by Shadow Girl on March 23, 2015 - 7:00 pm

    One book that had a huge impact on me is KILLING FOR COMPANY: The Case of Dennis Nilsen
    ( )
    It was a case that made me see [some of these] serial killers as human beings, not just murderers or psychopaths. This guy was so sad, and lonely. No, not an excuse, I’m just saying that I learned from reading it.

    What do you think about H.H. Holmes being named as Jack The Ripper?
    Do you think the evidence holds water, or could it be just another relative trying to cash in on the family secret?

    Last question… do you have a preferred book for the West Memphis Three case?

    I could talk on this subject for days, great post! I see a couple books listed that I need to check out. Thanks 😀

  1. Non-fiction books about Serial Killers | William Cook - writer
  2. Here is my interview with William Cook | authorsinterviews

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