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Goner Message Board / ???? / Good True Crime
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:00 pm
OK, it is that time of year to cozy up with a great piece of mass market trash or even a more high-falutin' bit of bloody mess...

Suggestions? Please don't be afraid to repeat yourself if you recall particpating on this thread last spring.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:02 pm
James Ellroy's autobigraphy is better than most of his novels, and his novels rule.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:16 pm
A few years back I picked up an original copy of The Profession Of Violence: The Rise And Fall Of The Kray Twins, which was interesting. I believe that they republished it a few years ago, so it's readily available and might have some new updates regarding ole Reg and Ron. Not stellar writing or anything, mostly interesting. I don't usually read true crime, mainly crime/detective stuff, but this was interesting for me anyway.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:24 pm
I don't know if it fits the exact bill you are looking for, but I've read Iceberg Slim's Pimp twice. It's true crime, set in Chicago, involves heroin, coke, violence, prostitutes, doin' time, and Pimpin'.

There was a book I read years ago that I just can't recall the title or the author, but it's sittin' on my shelf at home, and I'll look it up later. It's an auto bio of a black journalist going undercover in Detroit to investigate the black thug run Heroin rings in the 1970's. Not great, but pretty damn good, if I remember right the journalist didn't let anybody know what he was doing before he infiltrated the sumggling rings, and he get's pretty deep, and fucked up pretty good.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:25 pm
I'm reading technical specifications. I'd be happy to send you some.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:26 pm
I've said it before, I'll say it again: "Under the Banner of Heaven"!!!!!

Mormon fundamentalists on a murderin' RAMPAGE! What more could you want?!?!?!

(The word "rampage" always reminds me of that stupid Mojo Nixon song! I hate Mojo Nixon!!)
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:31 pm
Yup--read all the Krakauer. Into the Wild was my favorite--no crime except naivete in that though.

There was some guy who posted last year with the best list--it would probably take a zillion years to find it. He had some 50 year old smoking grandmom style true crime (love it) to some higher brow stuff.

There is a relatively recent book about a murder in New Orleans and a bunch of wacky police corruption down there. I will have to look it up.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:32 pm
There was a series of books called "Crime and Punishment". They had some of the most brutal, stark photographs I've ever seen. It may have been published in the 60's or early 70's.

The text treads the line between the prurient and scholarly like nothing else I've read. They even had a photograph of the remains believed to be the Lindbergh Baby that should have given me nightmares.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:35 pm
OOOH! Have you read any Patricia Highsmith? I highly recommend both her book of short stories "Eleven" and "The Blunderer" Not true crime, but they count as mysteries for sure. Additionally, i think they are more pathologicla than your typical hard boilded marlowe sort of novel.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:37 pm | Edited by: fierydrunk
Oooh. I can't handle that stuff (crime photos) anymore. I need suspense and corruption and evil people. The list I keep referring to suggested this book about Kenny and Sante Kimes, the mother and son grifter/murderers, written by her other son. That is a great story.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 4:40 pm
Robert Crais has a series of books about a hollywood detective. They're very good, but not a lot of people know about them. Start with "The Monkey's Raincoat" - if you like mystery you'll love these.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553275852/sr=8-1/qid=1144942857/ref= pd_bbs_1/103-5205276-6194230?%5Fencoding=UTF8
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 5:10 pm
"the onion field" by Joseph wambaugh (who was an LA cop - if memory serves he was still an officer when he wrote it), true story of two cops who were abducted by some lowlives, is worth picking up. kind of a nephew to "in cold blood".

"compulsion" by meyer levin is slightly fictionalized account of leopold and loeb murders and trial and all the hub-bub, with much of the f. lee bailey speech that last for days and reduced the judge to tears reprinted verbatim (and to think the rich families stiffed him on his fee, the scumbags). again, i could be wrong on this, but i think levin was classmates with leopold & loeb and was there when it all went down.

for some reason i haven't seen either movie adaptations. i should, but lately i've been content to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling as my only outlet.

i think i also am repeating myself verbatim since recommending them on a previous thread.

i am just going to stop typing now.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 5:10 pm
There was some guy who posted last year with the best list--it would probably take a zillion years to find it.


Posted: Apr 13, 2006 5:14 pm
this is on kind of a different tip, but SO INTERESTING:

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

it's about this elderly chicago socialite (heiress to the International Harvester truck and tractor fortune) who, in her twilight years, began building scale models of crime scenes (with an INSANE level of detail, like hand-knitting the socks for the figures of the victims.) she eventually used these models to teach forensics to law enforcement officials in seminars at Harvard. amazing stuff. and the book is beautifully designed by Michael Worthington (faculty in the CalArts MFA Graphic Design program, a really good designer.) veeeeeery interesting.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 5:49 pm
James Ellroy's autobigraphy (My Dark Places) is better than most of his novels, and his novels rule.

And I just found out:

Ellroy is reading from 'my dark places' friday, april 14, 2006 7:30 pm at skylight books on vermont in los feliz.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 6:34 pm
yeah - "Pimp" by Iceberg Slim is a must-read.

I finished "Public Enemies" recently - it tells of the formation of the FBI tied in with the stories of all those famous 30's gangsters like Bonnie & Clyde, Dillinger, etc. It's dry, factual stuff, but pretty interesting.

And of course, "In Cold Blood" is the best true crime ever written
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 6:39 pm
Donkey is amazing!
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 7:10 pm
I liked a biography of J.W. Gacy I read by Tim Cahill.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 7:12 pm
The Enforcer, the story about Anthony Splitoro (Joe Pescis character in Casino)
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 10:10 pm
'the enforcer' is pretty great...you should check out 'donnie brasco', that's my favorite tell-all mob book, because it's written from the inside, not just a historical account. i guess it goes without saying but it's way different and way better than the shit movie of the same name.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 10:22 pm
Everytime I see the words "Donnie Brasco", I hear it the way Biggie said it like a jillion times on his last record: (All deep) "Duhnnie Brazzco, uh".
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