I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (5 out of 5)

I don’t know how long this book was on the New York Times bestseller list when it was out in hardcover. Feels like it took forever for it to come out in paperback, so it had to be awhile. Michelle McNamara, if you aren’t aware, passed away before this book was completed. It was culled together, with mastery, by her lead researcher and a colleague. Michelle was a child of true crime, ensnared in her teens when a neighborhood girl was murdered and the killer never caught. She took her true crime fascination/fixation seriously, running a successful crime website, TrueCrimeDiary.com, for many years. But of all of her true crime cases, The Golden State Killer was the crowning jewel. The case consumed her for hours, days, eventually years. It’s horribly bittersweet that McNamara passed away before she could see her hard work lead to renewed interest in the case, the victims, the DNA and evidence trail, and finally- justice- for the victims and the families and friends left behind. I haven’t been this sucked into a true crime book in quite some time. The GSK, as Michelle termed him, was behind 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders during his reign of terror. The towns in which the crimes occurred weren’t often far apart, but often they were. It was Michelle shining her light onto the case in her media platforms that brought detectives attention closer to the case, ultimately making some of them realize the cases could be connected, due to the MO that appeared at the crime scenes. Had Michelle not brought this to the attention of the masses at large, who knows if this would have ever been solved? I honestly don’t think it would have. Her loving attention to detail, along with the advent of DNA testing as years progressed without progress in the case, helped blow the SOB’s crimes wide open. And not long after the book’s publication, an arrest was finally made, a story that Michelle’s husband, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, recounts in his afterword to the book. More than simply recounting the crime spree of some homicidal kook in California, Michelle was able to do something that is not often done with true crime books; she makes you care about every single victim, by sharing stories of their lives, not just the grisly way they exited this world. Not an easy feat, but she was one hell of a writer. One of the best true crime books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.

~ by generationgbooks on March 29, 2019.

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