Adult Book Lists: True Crime: It Happened in Texas

[Printable book list]

David Berg / 364.1523 BERG
Run, Brother, Run: a Memoir of a Murder in My Family
This is a searing family memoir of a wild boyhood in Texas that led to the vicious murder of the author's brother by actor Woody Harrelson's father. In 1968 the author's brother, Alan, was murdered by Charles Harrelson, notorious hit man and father of Woody Harrelson. Alan was only thirty-one when he disappeared and for more than six months his family did not know what had happened to him, until his remains were found in a ditch in Texas.

Gary Cartwright / 364.1523 CARTWRIG
Dirty Dealing
A flamboyant family of smugglers, the assassination of a Federal judge, the costliest FBI investigation in history - these are the elements of this riveting true story. It is a tale that, as it unfolded, was front-page news across the nation.

Kathryn Casey / 364.1523 CASEY
Deliver Us: Three Decades of Murder and Redemption in the Infamous I-45 Texas Killing Fields
This is a riveting account of the brutal murders of young women in the I-45/Texas Killing Fields. Over a three-decade span, more than twenty women-many teenagers-died mysteriously in the small towns bordering Interstate 45, a fifty-mile stretch of highway running from Houston to Galveston. The victims were strangled, shot, or savagely beaten. Six met their demise in pairs. They had one thing in common: being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Marion Collins / 364.1523 COLLINS
Without a Trace: Inside the Robert Durst Case
Robert Durst, a powerful New York businessman from a wealthy family, had a secret life. He was a person of interest in both the murder of a female friend and in the disappearance of his first wife. In 2001 he was living in a small apartment in Galveston and was known as an unkempt transient who often dressed in drag. That September, a newspaper with his delivery address was found in a bag that contained body parts belonging to a headless body that washed ashore in Galveston. The body was that of Durst's elderly neighbor, Morris Black.

DVD 364.1523092 JINX
The Jinx: the Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Peter Elkind / 364.1523 ELKIND
The Death Shift: the True Story of Nurse Genene Jones and the Texas Baby Murders
Genene Jones worked as a pediatric nurse in San Antonio. When babies began dying on her shift, the hospital, though suspicious of her actions, let her leave with a good recommendation. She obtained a new job in a smaller clinic, where babies again started dying.

Kelly Fero / 364.1523 FERO
The Zani Murders
Over the course of eight years, Robert J. Zani, a graduate of the University of Texas, was responsible for 3 murders. The victims were a student ac-tivist working at a convenience store, his mother, and a real estate agent. The testimony of his Mexican wife led to his conviction 14 years later.

Donna Fielder / 364.1523 FIELDER
Let's Kill Mom: Four Texas Teens and a Horrifying Murder Pact
On September, 2008, in Roanoke, Texas, police discovered a house of horrors: poisoned pudding, a bathtub set up for electrocution, a bloody butcher knife, and a hank of chopped-off hair. The worst was yet to come... Days before, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Bailey, her thirteen-year-old brother David, and their friends Paul Henson and Merrilee White had made a gruesome pact: they'd kill their parents, steal their cars and credit cards, and flee to Canada. Paul and Merrilee's parents thwarted their fates, but Jennifer and David's mother Susan Bailey wasn't so lucky.

Donna Fielder / 364.15230976 Fielder
Ladykiller: the True Story of a Texas Cop and Wife-Killer and the Unbelievable Perversions of Justice That Almost Set Him Free
Virginia "Viki" Lozano lived in Denton with her husband, a police officer, and their 11 month old baby. On July 6th, 2002, she died from a gunshot wound. Even though it was the middle of the night and she was lying in bed, her husband, Bobby, claimed that his gun must have gone off when she was cleaning it. He was indicted for murder, but Viki's mother supported him and continued to live with him. Shockingly, the DA swore in an affidavit that the medical examiner had changed his mind and determined that Viki's death was a suicide, the indictment was vacated, and the case was closed. Six years later, a reporter discovered that the DA lied in the affidavit, and her investigation resulted in the case being reopened.

Suzanne Finstad / 364.152309 FINSTAD
Sleeping with the Devil
Barbara Pietrowski met Richard Minns skiing in Aspen. They were immediately attracted to each other, even though Minns was 24 years older. Barbra quit school and she followed him to Houston, Texas, where they had a very public affair. However, Richard had not told Barbra that he was married. When things began to fall apart he tried to have her killed.

John Foxjohn / 364.1523 FOXJOHN
Killer Nurse
For months, the DaVita Dialysis Center in Lufkin, Texas, had been baffled by the rising number of deaths and injuries occurring in their clinic. In April alone, they'd rushed thirty-four patients to the hospital. But no one expected such a horrific cause to be behind it all. Kimberly Clark Saenz was a well-liked licensed vocational nurse at the cen-ter. The East Texas nurse was a mother of two, and known for her smiles and the stories she told to help patients pass the time. But on April 28, 2008, witnesses came forward to say that instead of lifesaving medication, they'd seen Saenz adding toxic bleach to IV ports. Turns out, it wasn't the first time. Once caught, the shocking story of Saenz's murderous practices began to unravel.

Bartee Haile / 364.1523 HAILE
Murder Most Texas
This book contains a historical account of 16 murders that occurred in Texas between 1887 and 1981.

Stephen L. Hardin / 364.1523092 HARDIN
Texian Macabre: the Melancholy Tale of a Hanging in Early Houston
On November 11, 1837, David Jesse Jones stabbed Mandred Wood to death in Houston with a Bowie knife. David James Jones was a hero of the Texas Revolution and a member of a gang of vagrants. Mandred Wood was a gentleman. This account of what happened next contains many colorful characters at a time shortly after the city of Houston was founded.

Steven Long / 364.1523 LONG
Out of Control: the Clara Harris Murder Case
Over the course of eight years, Robert J. Zani, a graduate of the University of Texas, was responsible for 3 murders. The victims were a student ac-tivist working at a convenience store, his mother, and a real estate agent. The testimony of his Mexican wife led to his conviction 14 years later.

Peter Meyer / 364.1523 MEYER
Blind Love: the True Story of the Texas Cadet Murder
High school sweethearts David and Diane were honor students and model teenagers. David's sexual encounter with another student, Adrianne Jones, came between them. In order to restore their relationship the couple decided to kill Adrianne. David drove her out of town with Diane hiding in the trunk of the car. They beat Adrianne and then shot her. There were no suspects in the killing until Diane bragged to friends at military school about what she and David had done.

M. William Phelps / 364.15230976 PHELPS
Never See Them Again
On July 18, 2003, four teenagers were murdered in Clear Lake, Texas. The victims were teenagers from good families, they lived in a nice suburban commu-nity, and the shooting was extremely violent. It was three years before the police received an anonymous tip that led to an arrest. The perpetrators of the crime were Christine Marie Paolilla, a good friend of two of the victims, and her boyfriend, who committed suicide before he could be arrested.

Mark Pryor / 363.259523 PRYOR
As She Lay Sleeping: a Shadowy Figure, a Brutal Murder, an Anonymous Tip: Will Justice Prevail?
This was the first homicide case of the author, Mark Pryor, a young prosecutor. Savagely attacked as she lay sleeping on the sofa, Natalie Antonetti's skull was shattered. Bizarrely, she was able to move about her apartment, changed clothes and tried to speak to her son. Her words never came. Two weeks later she was dead. The only lead was a neighbor who claimed to have seen a shadowy fig-ure wielding a child's baseball bat an hour prior to the attack. Then out of the blue, a woman contact-ed the police claiming her husband, Dennis Davis, shockingly revealed to her he had killed Natalie.

Suzy Spencer / 364.1523 SPENCER
Breaking Point
Andrea Yates and her husband Russell, a NASA engineer, lived in a middle-class suburb of Houston. On June 20, 2001, after Russell left for work, Andrea Yates drowned their five children, ranging in age from 6 months to 7 years, in the bathtub. She then calmly called the police and confessed. During the trial that followed, Russell Yates struggled with grief over the deaths of his children and his loyalty to his wife.

Laura Tillman / 364.1523092 TILLMAN
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City
On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas, John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. This book covers the investigation into what led to them to commit this crime, and the lasting effect these murders had on their community.

Kent Whitaker / 248086092 WHITAKER
Murder by Family: the Incredible True Story of a Son's Treachery and a Father's Forgiveness
One evening in 2003, the author and his family walked into their home in Sugarland, Texas. A gunman was waiting there, and he opened fire on them. Mr. Whitaker and one son survived and were taken to a hospital. His wife and other son were killed. The investigation that followed showed the attack had been planned by Thomas Whitaker, the son who survived.