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11 True Crime Books For Music Lovers

From black metal murders to Charles Manson and the Beatles

10 True Crime Books For Music Lovers

Rave murders, black metal church burnings and the Son of Sam are just a few of the topics covered in the best true crime books for music lovers.

We’re living in a golden age of true crime narratives right now. Podcasts like In the Dark, Serial and S-Town have taken an expansive approach to telling crime stories, and have found an enthusiastic audience along the way. Television shows like American Crime Story have turned real-life cases into thrilling drama and books like David Grann’s recent Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I. have been widely acclaimed.

So what if you’re looking for a gripping crime story that dovetails with the world of music? Well, there are plenty of those to go around as well. What follows is a look at eleven notable books that bring together the worlds of true crime and the music industry. 

'LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implications of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal' by Randall Sullivan

‘LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implications of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal’ by Randall Sullivan

Randall Sullivan’s book on the killings of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. focuses on former LAPD detective Russell Poole, who had been involved with the investigation of the latter’s death. Sullivan’s book explores corruption in both law enforcement and the music industry, and the deaths that have taken place as a result of it. 

'Under the Bridge' by Rebecca Godfrey

‘Under the Bridge’ by Rebecca Godfrey

Rebecca Godfrey’s acclaimed book explores the circumstances of, and history surrounding, the killing of a fourteen-year-old girl, Reena Virk, by a number of her fellow students in British Columbia in 1997. Godfrey’s book provides an in-depth look at the social circumstances and societal and cultural influences that led to this horrific event. 

'Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders' by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry

‘Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders’ by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry

Besides his position as one of the most abhorrent human beings of the Twentieth Century, Charles Manson also had a foothold in the music scene: he was a singer-songwriter for a time, as well an associate of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Bugliosi and Gentry’s true-crime study of the killings Manson was responsible for takes its title from Manson’s delusional theory of a coming war along racial lines, which itself took its name from a Beatles song.  

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