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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Review: I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone In The Dark:
One Woman's Obsessive Search
for the Golden State Killer
by Michelle McNamara
Introduction by Gillian Flynn
Afterword by Patton Oswalt

Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: February 27, 2018
352 Pages
Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime, Memoir

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 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, 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 eighteen and thirty, 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 her 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.

My Review:

As an avid reader and lover of all kinds of fucked up serial killer type of books, I rarely get that shivery, goose bumpy feel that leaves you checking to make sure your windows and doors are locked and even when they are, looking over your shoulder or jumping at every shadow movement or tiny noise.   Because hey, it's fiction... right? But when it comes to true crime and a case like the Golden State Killer... well, if this doesn't shiver your timbers, then I don't know what will.

"He loses power when we know his face."

I remember being fascinated by this case.  Why wasn't this guy caught yet? What was happening in this world?!  I have meant to pick this up for quite some time now... and then he GOT CAUGHT! WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT! If you're a part of the book community on any social media then you saw this BLOW up in conversation.  And rightly so. FINALLY. And I"m saddened that McNamara wasn't alive to see this finally come to conclusion.  And I applaud Patton's response to the life sentence that this killer received.  

This killer was brazen.  The part where he placed a 2 year old on the floor while he raped the mother... I just can't.  The psychological warfare he imparted on his victims.  The confidence of not getting caught.  The disregard of everything other than his own agenda. Even knowing he's behind bars now, I felt my blood boiling.  Thank you, Michelle, for your fortitude and obsession with finding justice. 


1 comment:

  1. Lovely review!! This case is absolutely terrifying! I love what Michelle was able to accomplish with it. And how darn powerful is this book?!