Find out the real stories behind Los Angeles's criminal history with these true crime books in English and Spanish.
Vice: One Cop's Story of Patrolling America's Most Dangerous City by John R. Baker
One of the most powerful and compelling cop memoirs ever written, former Compton police officer John R. Baker recounts the story of the city of Compton from 1950 to 2001 and the price the men and women of the overmanned Compton Police Department paid to preserve their city.
The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of "Boxer" Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer by Chris Blatchford
Award-winning journalist Chris Blatchford presents an astonishing look at the inner workings, secret meetings, and elaborate murder plots that make up the daily routine of members of the Mexican Mafia. An intense and unprecedented tale of depravity, violence, and redemption. Also available in a Spanish translation.
Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires that Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco by Robert Graysmith
The first biography of the little-known real-life Tom Sawyer (a friend of Mark Twain during his brief tenure as a California newspaper reporter), told through a harrowing account of Sawyer's involvement in the hunt for a serial arsonist who terrorized mid-nineteenth century San Francisco.
A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age by Richard Rayner
A captivating chronicle of how the City of Angels lost its soul.
Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History by Deanne Stillman
Award-winning nonfiction author Stillman offers a novelistic depiction of the Mojave Desert manhunt for Donald Kueck, a desert hermit who shot and killed deputy sheriff Stephen Sorensen when Sorensen approached Kueck's trailer on a routine check.
Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster by Tere Tereba
This biography of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen digs past the sensational headlines to deliver a remarkable story of a man who captivated, corrupted, and terrorized Los Angeles for a generation, from the 1940s to 1976.
The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 by Scott Zesch
In October 1871, a simmering, small-scale turf war involving three Chinese gangs exploded into a riot that engulfed the small but growing town of Los Angeles. A large mob of white Angelenos, spurred by racial resentment, rampaged through the city and lynched some 18 people before order wasrestored. Scott Zesch offers a compelling account of this little-known event, which ranks among the worst hate crimes in American history.
Historical True Crime
Crónicas de sucesos by Michael Connelly
Before Michael Connelly became a novelist, he was a crime reporter, covering the detectives who worked the homicide beat. In these vivid, hard-hitting pieces, Connelly leads the reader past the yellow police tape as he follows the investigators, the victims, their families and friends--and of, course, the killers--to tell the real stories of murder and its aftermath.
Spanish Language True Crime
Cadáveres exquisitos: Marilyn Monroe, Robert Kennedy, Janis Joplin, Sharon Tate, Natalie Wood, William Holden, John Belushi y otros cuerpos presentes en la mesa de disección desvelan los enigmas de sus últimos trances by Thomas T. Noguchi
More than a few Hollywood stars, rock goddesses, and politicos ended up under the practiced hands of former Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi, who chronicles their tragic - and occasionally controversial - causes of death in this memoir.
Spanish Language Memoir
La vida loca: el testimonio de un pandillero en Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez
An explosive memoir of hopelessness and resurrection that vividly portrays the brutality of barrio gang life. A timely exploration into the roots of Latino rage.
Spanish Language Memoir