The 10 Most Popular True Crime Books, According To Scribd Data

by Sadie Trombetta
Patrick Harbron/Netflix

From Criminal Minds to American Crime Story, In Cold Blood to Killers of the Flower Moon, Serial to My Favorite Murder, it is no secret that Americans have a serious true crime obsession, but there is one particular area of the subject we can't get enough of: serial killers. Whether we are watching real criminal investigations play out on the news, listening to journalists try to solve cold cases on a podcast, or reading the most popular true crime books from the comfort of our own homes, it is clear that we are absolutely hooked on true crime. Luckily, there's plenty of material to keep us interested.

According to recent data from Scribd, a reading subscription service that offers access to books, audiobooks, magazine articles, Americans aren't just casually reading true crime, but are in fact obsessed with serial killer stories. Based on their reader data, which pulls from their over 500,000 subscribers and over 100 million active monthly readers, Scribd's list of surprising and oh-so-addicting serial killer books reveals a lot about what interests everyday readers. The answer: shock, awe, violence, and mystery.

Is an evening filled with dark-and-twisty true crime stories your idea of a fun Friday night? Get ready to read the 10 most popular serial killer books on the subscription service — preferably with all the lights on, and all the doors locked.

'Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit' by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Now a Netflix original series starring Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, Mindhunter is practically required reading for true crime obsessed. The book chronicles the incredible life and career of Special Agent John Douglas, a distinguished law enforcement professional whose groundbreaking work studying and profiling serial killers lead to the capture of some of the America's most vicious criminals. A true behind-the-scenes look into the minds of the most notorious murders, including Charles Manson, Ed Gein, and Ted Bundy, Mindhunter is a fascinating true crime memoir mashup.

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'The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition' by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

If you read a lot of books about serial killers, it is hard not to get a little paranoid that, at any second, you could become the victim of a horrible crime. Luckily, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook is here to help you, no matter what kind of psycho crosses your path. Featuring tips and tricks for how to survive everything from a Turkish prison to being buried alive, this is the perfect comforting companion for the true crime reader who is worried about becoming the next new story.

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'Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History' by Tori Telfer

The most infamous serial killers may be men, but that doesn't mean women aren't capable of true evil — just ask Tori Telfer, whose Jezebel column on obscure female murderers became the basis for this fascinating book. In Lady Killers, readers get acquainted with some of the most cold-blooded women in history, including Mary Ann Cotton, who poisoned many of her husbands and children, and Nannie Doss, who earned famous nicknames like the Black Widow and the Lonely Hearts Killer for murdering several her husbands, among others. An engrossing collection that flies in the face of our assumptions of women and their capacity for crime, Lady Killers is a unique read that will change what you thought you knew about true crime.

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'Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars' by Juan Martinez

Speaking of infamous murderesses, Conviction takes readers behind-the-scenes of one of one of the most high profile female killer cases in modern history: the murder of Travis Alexander at the hands of his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Arias. Featuring never-before-shared details of the investigation, trial, and crime itself, this authoritative account of the trials that captivated the country will change the way you see the infamous Arias case.

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'My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King' by Reymundo Sanchez

In My Bloody Life, Reymundo Sanchez takes readers on a harrowing journey through childhood, drug use, alcohol abuse, and violence in a remarkable narrative that reveals how a young boy is driven into the arms of gangs. With raw honesty and remarkable detail, Sanchez explains the intricacies of life as a member of the Latin Kings in a no holds barred account that will leave readers shaken.

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'The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers' by Pete Earley

When Tony Ciaglia suffered a traumatic brain injury at age 15, he became a completely different person, one inexplicably drawn into the dark world of violence, murder, torture, and serial killers. Feeling alone and alienated from his friends, Tony began to write to the nation's most dangerous criminals, and soon discovered that he had an incredible insight into their minds that, although shocking, could be used for good. An incredible story about a young boy's ability to turn tragedy into a crime-solving triumph, The Serial Killer Whisperer takes you into the minds of murderers in a unique way that will leave readers trembling.

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'Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crimes of Andrea Yates' by Suzanne O'Malley

When news broke that Andrea Yates murdered her five children in a bathtub in their Houston home in 2001, onlookers everywhere had the same question: how could she, a mother, do something so horrific? In her insightful account of the infamous crime, author Suzanne O'Malley tries to uncover what exact circumstances could have lead to such a tragic series of events. Drawing of of interviews, sworn testimonies, and correspondence with both Andrea and Rusty Yates, O'Malley paints a full-color picture of one of the most puzzling, and horrifying, cases in recent American crime history.

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'Killer Book of Serial Killers: Incredible Stories, Facts and Trivia from the World of Serial Killers' by Michael Philbin and Tom Philbin

For the seriously true crime obsessed, this ultimate collection of serial killer history has everything you've ever wanted to know about the world's most infamous killers, all in one book. Featuring stories, facts, quotes, photos, and trivia about everyone from John Wayne Gacy to The Green River Killer, The Killer Book of Serial Killers is the one volume you need to quench all those true crime cravings.

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'Slow Death' by James Fielder

In this haunting volume, readers get acquainted with David Parker Ray, the infamous Toy-Box Killer who was suspected of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering over 60 women in his a twisted soundproofed truck trailer that served as a chamber of sexual and sadistic torture. Featuring gruesome details taking from the scenes of Ray's "snuff" films and 16 pages of photos, this serial killer chronicle is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

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'Evil Beside Her: The True Story of a Texas Woman's Marriage to a Dangerous Psychopath' by Kathryn Casey

What would happen if you woke up one day to discover your partner was a psychopath? In this startling true story, author Kathryn Casey one woman's real-life experience of uncovering that her husband was a dangerous and violent rapist. Terrifying and suspenseful, Evil Beside Her will make readers question everything — and I mean everything — they thought they knew about their own lives.

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