For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
Brilliant! I'd never heard of the Golden State Killer until the man suspected to be him was arrested recently, largely thanks to Michelle and her teams exhaustive research. Tragically, Michelle died in 2016 of an accidental overdose, leaving a husband and daughter behind. But she also left invaluable clues to help lead her team to the killer responsible 50 rapes and more than 10 brutal murders in the 1970s and 80s, a man who successfully eluded capture for thirty years.
It's a shame that Michelle did not live to see all her work come to fruition. But her legacy is alive and well in her book, which was completed and published post-humously. Not only is the information she lays out about the killer, his victims, his patterns, and the frustrations experienced by law enforcement, but Michelle's writing is flawlessly on target and riveting. Every sentence grabs you and sticks with you long after you put the book down.
I heard someone is making a TV mini-series out of this. I can't wait to see it, but I'd also like a follow up book written about how Michelle's efforts finally paid off.