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Afterword by Patton Oswalt
A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade - from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.
"You'll be silent forever, and I'll be gone in the dark."
For more than 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated 10 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.
At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of 18 and 30, Caucasian, and athletic - capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim - he favored suburban couples - he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.
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. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by Michelle's husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle's lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic - and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.
- Chapter 2
- A dogged digital sleuth, McNamara was consumed by the Golden State Killer—a name she coined herself.
- Chapter 6
- “I need to see his face. He loses his power when we know his face.”
- Chapter 7
- The killer, also known as the “EAR,” was thought to have a military and/or police background.
- Chapter 27
- McNamara suspected DNA was the key to the case—particularly ancestral DNA stored in genealogy databases.
- Chapter 28
- McNamara’s husband predicted her work would hook readers—and hoped it would lead to an arrest.
- Chapter 29
- “This is how it ends for you.” McNamara’s afterword was addressed directly to the Golden State Killer.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kat - Audible on 03-02-18
A haunting masterpiece
As a fan of the true crime genre and Michelle's fantastic blog, I was so excited for this book -- and devastated to learn of Michelle's sudden death in 2016, when she was still writing it. As Gillian Flynn notes in the forward, a lot of us grapple with our fascination with true crime, and one way to approach it is by seeking justice, truth and compassion rather than voyeurism, misinformation and shallow answers. Michelle was always a crusader of the highest order, and her obsessive sleuthing and thoughtful reckoning of her own motivations (“We, who hunt him, suffer from the same affliction. He peered through windows. I tap ‘return.’ ”) shine through here with fierce humanity. If you don't about the Golden State Killer, also known as EAR/ONS, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" will pull you into the story of the faceless monster behind one of America's most notorious and horrific unsolved cases, but it is Michelle's voice that stays with you in the end. This book is a rare gem of dogged research and masterful writing that elevates it to the top tier of true crime. A special benefit of the audio version is hearing Gillian Flynn’s forward and Patton Oswalt’s moving afterword in their own voices. (It is also thanks to Oswalt, researcher Paul Haynes, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen that the book was completed.) I hope its legacy leads to what Michelle wanted most of all: an answer, and justice for the victims.
153 of 165 people found this review helpful
By Trixie Runnin' on 03-04-18
Wonderful Listen to Scare Yourself in the Dark
Loved it! It was like listening to a police documentary with a soap opera story in the undertones. It is definitely a "foreground" book--I made the mistake of trying to do some work and cooking while listening... wound up with a pot of burnt noodles, a flashing cursor burnt into my retinas and three chapters in need of a complete rewind!
This is definitely a "coffee and cold rainy window" type listen.
84 of 91 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By donna on 08-03-18
Couldn't get enough!
Loved it, Michelle McNamara was some woman for one woman. Paton should be very proud (of course he is!) Couldn't stop listening, will be re-listening. The narrator was great; easy to listen too.
By Anonymous User on 06-16-18
Kept me wanting more
Loved it, kept me excited and wanting more. Sad ending since you feel like your geting to know the author.