Published by Harper
Publication date: February 27, 2018
Genres: Book Clubs, Crime, Non-fiction
I finally joined the hordes of readers I know who have been held hostage by Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, a true crime thriller. And I won’t bury the lede: If you haven’t read it you should, especially given the recent news. But not alone at night. Despite taking place in the days before smart phones, home security, and new forensic technologies, this book reads like a novel. McNamara creates fear without resorting to gruesome details.
From 1976 to 1986 one man, in northern California committed 51 rapes before moving to southern California where he escalated to rape and murder, killing twelve people. After 1986 there were no reports rapes or murders that fit his profile. Despite leaving DNA and other evidence at the scenes of his crimes his DNA has never been matched in any database and he’s never been caught. McNamara was a true crime junkie and ended up spending the last years of her life (she died unexpectedly in 2016) as obsessed with the man she dubbed the Golden State Killer, as he was with his victims. She compiled a staggering amount of documentation and found information that even the police had missed, leading her to be considered a valuable asset to the cold case investigation. The book is a tribute to an advanced investigative mind and an extraordinary amount of determination.
If this isn’t enough to pique your interest, consider this: the Golden State Killer was arrested two days ago (April 25, 2018). A 72-year-old man who still lives in Sacramento. Those are the only details I’ll share, but if you’ve read the book you’ll know there are so many questions to be answered. It almost makes the book even more engrossing—was the arrested man anyone the police or McNamara had considered? Read and find out.