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Top 10 True Crime Books About Psychopathic Killers

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About.com Crime Guide Charles Montaldo's "Top Pick List" of true crime books that not only chronicle the crime but dig deep into the criminal mind and uncover the bizarre and disturbing thoughts of serial killers.

1. The Misbegotten Son by Jack Olsen

Young man reading a book in the park
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Author Jack Olsen accomplishes the task of delving deep into the mind of serial killer and cannibal, Arthur J. Shawcross - the man responsible for one of the worse killing spree's in history of New York State. The delivery of Olsen's chronicles of Shawcross' life mixed with the captivating psychological mental autopsy of this madman, makes this one of the all time great "true crime" books to read.
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2. Lustmord by Brian King

Brian King offers this compilation of essays, short stories, confessions, letters, poetry, photos and more, all created by 40 killers, cannibals and psychopaths, and presents the reader with insight into the mind of each of the criminals studied.
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3. I : The Creation of a Serial Killer by Brian King

The last book of crime journalist Brian King delves into the life and mind of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, the "Happy Face Killer," who was driven by a rage one hopes never to encounter.
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4. Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopedia

There are many books on Jack the Ripper but this one offers the reader a comprehensive study of each of his victims and logical arguments for who was and who was not a victim. He also approaches the subject of the true identity Jack the Ripper with the same analytical style. At the end of the book, readers learn how to conduct their own "Ripper Walk" through the East End of London.
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5. Jack the Ripper A-Z by Paul Begg, Keith Skinner, Martin Fido

A must for anyone devoted to the subject of Jack the Ripper. This is the leading reference book in the field, offering a detailed listing of everything having to do with the Whitechapel killings of 1888.
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6. Careless Whispers

The story of policemen, Truman Simons, who found three tortured teenagers dead in a Texas park and vowed to find their killer. The books shares Simons' odd relationship he developed with one of the killers, while working as a prison guard. Careless Whispers is an emotionally moving classic that won the 1987 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime.
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7. Without Conscience by Robert Hare

Robert Hare offers an effective comparison of the characteristics of "psychopaths" with those who eventually kill due to being inflicted with an "antisocial personality disorder." He gives the reader a checklist of common characteristics of a psychopath based on his 25 years of research on the topic. He also provides tips on what to do if one encounters one of the many psychopaths that walk amongst us.
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8. Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler

A look at the career of FBI man Robert Ressler who is accredited for creating the system used today for profiling violent criminals. Through out his career Ressler interviewed the worst of the bunch including Ted Bundy, John Joubert, and John Wayne Gacy. In his book he recounts the interviews he had with notorious killers as they disclose their private thoughts, childhood traumas, and thoughts about their crimes.

9. Die for Me: The Terrifying True Story of the Charles Ng & Leonard Lake

The reason this book has been listed is not necessarily because the writing is spell bounding or even overly captivating but because of the thorough job of author Robert D. Hare as he shows readers how the mind of Leonard Lake worked as he began to act out what he had so long fantasized. Leonard called his acts "project Miranda", named after a girl in the book "The Collector". For true crime readers with tough stomachs; this book is a "must have."
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10. House of Secrets by Lowell Cauffiel

This is a story of Eddie Sexton and the psychopathic control he had over his wife and their 12 kids. Author Lowell Cauffiel does an excellent job of sending chills up the spine of even the most hardened true crime readers, as he tells this tale of the twisted, grotesque events of incest, control, and murder that this family participated in, just to keep good old Dad happy. It's sad, it's sick, but it's true crime at its best.
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