Number One on her list:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Writing on true crime requires a capacity to deliver a kind of psychological autopsy of both the dead and the deadly. Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," about the murder of a Kansas farm family in 1959, superbly exemplifies that skill. In a classic true-crime story the central question is not the how but the why -- why did this happen? The case must be complex, the characters -- including the detectives and prosecutors -- unpredictable. Capote's mesmerizing book, which I read when it was first published, was the inspiration that led me to try, on my own, to get inside the mind of a murderer -- which is how it happened that I did my study, 15 years later, of Ted Bundy, poster boy of serial killers. Despite latter-day criticism of Capote's ethics and technique, he continues to be the author whose singular work represented a new way of getting at the truth of so dark a crime.
Read about the other four titles on Rule's list.