James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman are the funny guys behind the popular Small Town Murder podcast. As part of our Guest Editor team for July, the true crime gurus are sharing the books they can’t put down.
Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets by David Simon
Homicide is a practical, day-by-day telling of what a year is like in the homicide unit of a city with a high murder rate. It’s a kind of ‘bible’ for how practical homicide investigation is done (not how it should be… just how it is done). It includes what helps and hurts the solving of an open homicide investigation. This book also shows the other side… from the non-police perspective (victims, perpetrators, the neighborhoods, the politics, etc.). The Wire is based on this book.
Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
We like this book because author and FBI agent, John Douglas and his partner traveled across the country in order to be the first people to interview serial killers and find out what makes them tick. The basis of this is the FBI’s profiling program. They basically invented psychological profiling. There is a show on Netflix based on this book which is also called Mindhunter. The book is about 30 years old… and of course, it’s way better than the show.
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
For anyone just jumping on the true crime reading train, this book is True Crime 101. The author knew and worked with Ted Bundy at a suicide prevention hotline and gives a personal insight of him, as well as chronicling his crimes.