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Amanda Knox, murderers and True Crime books

Updated on December 24, 2014

Kindle books about True Crime

What makes a best-selling Kindle book about True Crime? Not surprisingly, murder and violence are usually major ingredients.

I looked at the top best-seller on Amazon Kindle and found it to be Trial By Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case by Douglas Preston.

Knox is an American woman who was convicted of murdering a female room-mate when she was a student and living in Italy. Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s boyfriend at the time, was also charged with killing Meredith Kercher and with sexual assault. Preston’s work looked at the reaction of Internet users, fuelled by “mob psychology” in their reactions to this murder case.

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox leaves the prison in Perugia on a car with Corrado Maria Daclon, secretary general of the Italy-USA Foundation
Amanda Knox leaves the prison in Perugia on a car with Corrado Maria Daclon, secretary general of the Italy-USA Foundation | Source

Media attention for Amanda Knox

This case attracted worldwide media attention, especially in the UK, US and Italy. Knox who came from Seattle had a lot of people who supported her and thought she was not guilty. A ‘Friends of Amanda’ group was set up. Because of all this attention the case received as many as eight books were inspired by it.

Candace Dempsey’s Murder in Italy: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, and the Murder Trial that Shocked the World was one of these and was the winner of the True Crime Book 2010 Editor’s Choice.

Amanda Knox, in Her Own Words

Buy books about Amanda Knox

Book reviews about Amanda Knox

Reviews of any book are going to help it get more publicity and sales. Preston’s book has had 113 customer reviews.

One of the top reviews is by Thomas Mininger who pointed out that “A lot of work has been done during the past few decades studying the psychology of hate.” A majority of 63 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

Mentioning psychology again as an important aspect of this story, D. Edwards gave the book a 5-star rating and said in his review: “This gave a inside view of the psychological ways humans behave.” 25 out of 27 people thought this review was helpful. Edwards also commented on the “Powerful way others can control what you think.”

Where Meredith Kercher was murdered

Italian police crime scene Meredith Kercher Murder
Italian police crime scene Meredith Kercher Murder | Source

True Crime book covers

We need to know what goes into the design of a best-selling book cover, what attracts buyers? In the case of Trial By Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case, the cover features an image of Amanda Knox. We can see she is attractive so sex appeal is being used here.

Emotive and descriptive language in the title is also important. The reader’s mind is engaged by the words like “Fury” and “Savagery.”

Choice of colours used is another important factor. The cover of Murder in Italy: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, and the Murder Trial that Shocked the World has red text on a dark background.

Red is the colour of blood and passion. There are black and white photo inserts on the cover too and text advertising that the book “Includes Photos”.

Important ingredients of a True Crime best-seller

  • Good original title with descriptive and emotive imagery. Originality is important to make a book stand out from its rivals.
  • Sex appeal, such as a photo of a pretty woman
  • Use of colour and contrast, e.g. red lettering to symbolize blood and crimes of passion.
  • Psychology – readers are fascinated by what makes a murderer act that way. What makes those who are interested in a specific case act the way they do too, e.g. the response on the Internet to the Knox case.
  • Media attention – the more a subject has had the better, as long as the book is adding originality to a subject already covered in depth elsewhere.
  • Characters or main subjects in a book – how well known are they? What makes them interesting?
  • About the author – the more notable an author is, either from past works or from other aspects of his or her life the better.
  • Book length – not too long and not too short for a Kindle book. Preston’s best-seller is 23 pages.

Idea for a True Crime book about Serial Killers

Serial Killers around the World: a compendium of the most brutal and bizarre mass-murderers could be the title for a new book, and would be about killers who have gone down in history and attracted the attention of the world due to the horrific nature of their crimes.

There have been serial killers that have been caught and convicted in countries all around the world. Although those from the UK and US usually become the most notorious due to media coverage there are plenty more whose crimes are just as brutal..

It would look into theories about why it is that a minority of people can become serial killers in some cases? Many of these killers are rapists, pedophiles and cannibals too in many cases. Most serial killers are men but not all. Why should this be? What role does gender play in this?

What makes these evil people tick? The background and psychological motivation of why these people became serial killers would be included, as would the public reaction to their crimes.

Charles Manson was convicted of murders and conspiracy to commit murder and has received life imprisonment.To most people’s minds the name Manson stands for absolute evil and madness, but at the same time there are many who believe that he was not guilty and has been wrongly demonized and imprisoned. Rock star Marilyn Manson has helped fashion his own career and notoriety by using the Manson surname.

There has always been a strange fascination with serial killers and horrific murders. Why should this be and to what degree do some people go to find out more about these convicted killers or even believe they are innocent?

© 2013 Steve Andrews


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    • profile image

      Harry Rag 4 years ago

      The English translation of the Italian Supreme Court report which explains why Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's acquittals were annulled can be downloaded from the Perugia Murder File website:

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Yes, the truth often is!

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Once again, truth is stranger than fiction. This whole event is too bizarre to understand.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I think one of them might have or in recent years.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      Didn't one of the women who was involved with Manson come up for parole just lately? I suppose those women would be serial killers too. Good hub, I enjoyed the information about what would be good elements of a True Crime book.