I'll Be Gone in the Dark

By Michelle McNamara,

Book cover of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Book description




Washington Post | Maureen Corrigan, NPR | Paste | Seattle Times | Entertainment Weekly | Esquire | Slate | Buzzfeed | Jezebel | Philadelphia Inquirer | Publishers Weekly | Kirkus…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked I'll Be Gone in the Dark as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Michelle McNamara waded into a new area of criminal investigation—hive investigation.

McNamara, a crime writer, got crime buffs together online, each using specific talents to search for the burglar-kidnapper-murderer who terrorized Californians for 12 years. With their help and DNA from an ancestry website, police were able to arrest ex-cop Joseph DeAngelo.

He pled guilty to 13 counts of murder and kidnapping in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. Prosecutors called DeAngelo a poster boy for the death penalty.

Mc Namara's dogged detective work helped nab him and she is credited with the appellation Golden State Killer.

Obsession. It’s a hazard of the PI profession. I know a little bit about that, but no book will ever be as heartbreaking on this subject as I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Although Michelle McNamara was not a private eye when she started on the trail of the Golden State Killer, her clue-by-clue work to solve the case is an astounding portrayal of tenacious investigation – and of the toll obsession exacts. At times this book was so painful for me to read that it felt like picking through broken glass, but Michelle’s courage, her humanity, and her…

McNamara’s account of the long-unsolved case of the Golden State Killer is gripping by itself, but her decision to include the story of her obsession with solving the case is what really sets this book apart. You feel like you’re right there with her as she pursues theories of the killer’s identity. The timing of the book was also noteworthy as the GSK’s identity was at last determined through familial DNA testing almost contemporaneously with the book’s publication.

Like the Ellroy book, this one recounts a very personal journey for the author, who chronicles her years-long immersion in the case of the serial rapist and murderer known as the Golden State Killer, who, for ten years, terrorized California, from the Sacramento area all the way south to Orange County. A sad coda to the story was McNamara’s untimely death before the killer was finally apprehended, through DNA testing, in 2018. 

From Rick's list on unsolved murders.

Living in Southern California during the time of the Golden State Killer's escapades made this book an interesting read. As I heard about the murders over the years, I was scared, as most of my friends were, to go anywhere without a buddy and always looked around to be sure there was no stranger following us. The author explored the cases with detail and presents them to the reader to vividly view the rath created by this serial killer. This book is well-written. The killer, Joseph DeAngelo, was out there committing rape and murder for many years since the 1970s…

From Dianne's list on true crime and corruption.

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