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Reviewed by Anita Rodgers for Readers' Favorite
Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Los Angeles by Ron Franscell is part true crime cliff notes, part tour guide, part crime trivia. It includes a comprehensive list of many of California’s most notorious and prolific criminals, chief among them killers, from Fatty Arbuckle to Charles Manson and his followers. It could be fun to use as an interesting guide for an unusual, albeit macabre true crime buff vacation. With this book providing a summary, sometimes quite in-depth, of various cases as well as addresses and GPS coordinates of the locations of crime scenes, hide outs, and cemetery plots, you could conceivably follow your favorite criminals to their final resting place. And immortalize your tour with selfies at the crime scene locations!
As a true crime reader and buff, I found the book enjoyable and learned some interesting details I hadn’t known before about many of the more famous criminals who wreaked havoc in the Golden State. The section on Charles Manson and related criminals and their crimes was rather fascinating for this California girl. It also served as a reminder of many of the criminals and crimes I’d forgotten about that had taken place in California. For example, the heartbreaking Samantha Runyon case. The book was easy to navigate although sometimes a bit awkward in phrasing. I think that crime buffs and true crime trivia seekers would enjoy this book, whether to use as a reference, add to their true crime library, or indeed as a real life true crime scavenger hunt guide to take you on an adventure ... perhaps of a lifetime.