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Get ready to see the darkest side of humanity.

It is a morbid curiosity that compels us to learn more about serial killers. It’s not because they are people to be “admired”—by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, we are compelled by the horror of it. These are human beings who, for reasons unknown to most of us, decide to do the worst possible things to other human beings. We read about them to find out why. What would make someone commit such heinous crimes? What leads someone to take away the most vital agency of another—their right to life? We read about serial killers because we want to reassure ourselves: this could never be us. But also because we fear: …could it?

Have you ever wanted to get into a mind of evil? Serial killers are notorious for their atrocious, unthinkable crimes against humanity—it’s only natural to want to get a better understanding of how the minds of killers work. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Kemper, the Zodiac Killer, the Golden State Killer—men like these and many more have been the focus of cultural fascination ever since they first made headlines. Curiosity is a powerful force, and if you’re dying to learn (pardon the pun) about the individuals behind top news stories, serial killer books are a fantastic way to dive into the deep end.

Here are some chilling places to start:

And once you’ve read those, peruse the stories below for more suggestions on fascinating books on serial killers.


Disturbing Correspondence: This Author Goes Deeper Into the Psychotic Minds of Serial Killers

Read an unnerving excerpt from Christopher Berry-Dee’s Talking with Psychopaths: Letters from Serial Killers.

A Killer Comes Back to Finish the Job in The Angel Maker

Katie Shaw's blossoming world was wrecked once... can she survive the horrors again?

Characters in You, Ranked from Harmless to Horrible

Because some serial killers we just love to hate.

A Chilling Look at Ted Bundy and the World’s Most Savage Killers

Peer into the minds of murderers in this fascinating true crime read.

32 Most Horrifying Serial Killer Books

Get ready to see the darkest side of humanity.

Die for Me: Charles Ng, Leonard Lake, and Their Torture Dungeon in the California Hills

The story behind the duo's depraved murder spree is straight out of your worst nightmares.

33 True Crime Books About the World’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

From the never-caught Zodiac Killer to charming-but-deadly Ted Bundy, there’s always more to the story.

51 SCARIEST Books of the Last 200 Years

Because a truly scary story is timeless.

Sit Down With John E. Douglas and The Killer Across the Table

The author of Mindhunter's latest book brings his most terrifying cases to new light.

The Collector Longs for Your Bones to Keep

Fiona Cummins's serial killer horror novel will invade your nightmares.

The Terrifying Truth About Serial Killer Belle Gunness

Workers turned their attention to the hog pen, where they unearthed a grisly scene...

Nightmare Fuel: A Serial Killer Stalks One Man’s Dreams

A murderer once thought to be dead is very much alive in this thriller. 

The Killer Encyclopedia: A List of Real-Life Murderers, from A-Z

Twenty-six books that reveal the twisted minds of killers.