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

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

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 sexu...

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Title:I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Author:Michelle McNamara
Rating:
Edition Language:English

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

  • viktoria

    :

    I'm not crying. You're crying.

    :

    Confession: I'm what you would call a murderino.

    I listen to My Favorite Murder religiously, I watch the hell out of Investigation Discovery (City Confidential is amazing), and I listen to a few other

    :

    I'm not crying. You're crying.

    :

    Confession: I'm what you would call a murderino.

    I listen to My Favorite Murder religiously, I watch the hell out of Investigation Discovery (City Confidential is amazing), and I listen to a few other podcasts. Sadly, I never read Michelle McNamara's work until after her death. After reading a few articles, I saved reading the rest until after I read this book.

    I'm going to try not to fangirl all over the place, but this was stunningly amazing.

    It was such a personal story. McNamara shared so much of herself in this book without overwhelming it, and you really feel her dedication in the text. Her personal touch helps distract from the dehumanizing brutality of the crime very effectively. In a weird way, I almost felt like I had gained a friend during the book, like I was in the car driving with her or scanning through text-filled databases in the middle of the night, too, and that's a difficult feeling to evoke, especially in this genre.

    Likewise, the story focuses on the many of detectives (both law enforcement and less official sleuths) who worked the case and the victims as much as it does the killer. While you get to know McNamara and her story, you also get to know the generations of detectives and their tenacity, frustration, heartbreak, and courage. The suspense builds and falls as the investigators chase leads, then stall, and all the while, you hope for the big break in a way they've learned to not bet on so earnestly.

    The ending, however, is a little bittersweet. You know going in that the GSK remains uncaught and about McNamara's death, but both still hit me hard. Yet, throughout both McNamara's text and the ending by follow-up authors, there's an unwavering conviction that they'll catch the responsible one day, and when I finished the final page, that sense of resolve was the strongest emotion I felt.

    A few random things I loved worth mentioning:

    1. McNamara's unmistakable empathy for the victims, the detectives and LEOs, and the communities;

    2. She was never gratuitous describing the rapes or murders, yet she didn't sacrifice attention to detail or suspense;

    3. Likewise, she acknowledged the complexity of the crime and how difficult it's been to catch the GSK because of it, but never festishized him, either.

    4. (This might sound weird, but I've heard and read some accounts where they make rape sound like erotica or it's uncomfortably detailed and you want to throw the book across the room and clean it in bleach);

    5. She had such truly excellent, beautiful, and suspenseful writing.

    : Seriously, I'll Be Gone in the Dark shows such exceptional, suspenseful writing and beautiful dedication. I cried at the end in the best of ways.

    : Of course, when I have four freaking books with a holds list that I have

    to read, you, my beautiful love, come into my life, after I've been pining after you for

    . You're only the book I've been most looking forward to ALL YEAR.

  • Erin

    UPDATE: An arrest has been made, 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo a former police officer. Press Conference at 3 pm EST.

    This book is easily one of the best True Crimes books I have ever read.

    The first time I remember hearing about Michelle McNamara was on an episode of 48 Hours and the only reason I watched that episode was because I recognized her husband Patton Oswalt. His first name is my last name and for that reason I've always liked him. The 48 Hours episode was about his wife Michelle a

    UPDATE: An arrest has been made, 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo a former police officer. Press Conference at 3 pm EST.

    This book is easily one of the best True Crimes books I have ever read.

    The first time I remember hearing about Michelle McNamara was on an episode of 48 Hours and the only reason I watched that episode was because I recognized her husband Patton Oswalt. His first name is my last name and for that reason I've always liked him. The 48 Hours episode was about his wife Michelle and her dogged pursuit of a prolific serial rapist/killer which she named The Golden State Killer. I had never heard of this killer but I was instantly intrigued. Unfortunately by time the episode aired Michelle had tragically passed away but what she left behind may one day lead to the capture of one of the most vile serial killers in history.

    I'll Be Gone In The Dark is part True Crime, part memoir and in my very very humble opinion it is a masterpiece. Michelle spent nearly a decade intricately researching and playing amateur detective trying to weave together 40 years of evidence in an herculean effort to discover the true identity of The Golden State killer. A killer who's crimes weren't even connected until the early 2000's. His were originally thought to be separate crimes. From 1976-1979 he was in parts of California known as The East Area Rapist. From 1974-1975 in parts of California he was known as The Ransaker, from 1979-1986 he was The Original Night Stalker. It took DNA to connect all the cases back to one offender. This book ends with a cliffhanger, we don't know who the killer is but we are much much closer. As I read this I wondered if the killer himself had read this book.

    After I finished I'll Be Gone In The Dark I felt sad that this wonderful woman isn't here to reap her rightful praise for this amazing piece work. I couldn't help but feel GSK had taken Michelle as his latest victim. I hope he's caught not just because of the vile crimes he's committed but as tribute to the life of Michelle McNamara.

    A Must Read!

    2018 Around The Year In 52 Books: A book rated 5 Stars by at least 1 friend.

  • Megan Abbott

    I've been waiting for this book for a long time, having been a fan of McNamara's True Crime Diary blog (

    ). While she hadn't finished it before her death, it is a remarkable book--both in terms of its investigative power and its superb, precise prose (and an excellent intro by Gillian Flynn and a poignant afterword by Patton Oswalt). But what makes it so special is how it becomes this living testament to the drive, strength and power of its author, a portrait of how h

    I've been waiting for this book for a long time, having been a fan of McNamara's True Crime Diary blog (

    ). While she hadn't finished it before her death, it is a remarkable book--both in terms of its investigative power and its superb, precise prose (and an excellent intro by Gillian Flynn and a poignant afterword by Patton Oswalt). But what makes it so special is how it becomes this living testament to the drive, strength and power of its author, a portrait of how her ample mind operated, and how her heart interpreted. And for all of us who loved true crime from a similarly young age and for whom the fascination has never left, it feels like a lovesong from a fellow pilgrim.

    Don't miss it.

  • Heidi The Hippie Reader

    Michelle McNamara was obsessed with the subject of this book. She believed that by using modern technology, a rapist and killer could finally be brought to justice.

    She created maps and chased leads. She ran a true crime blog and this was one of her topics.

    It haunted her. Then, tragically, Michelle died before this masterwork could be completed.

    Her fellow researchers put

    together from her notes. It is a chilling but thorough portrait of the perpetrator of a series of unso

    Michelle McNamara was obsessed with the subject of this book. She believed that by using modern technology, a rapist and killer could finally be brought to justice.

    She created maps and chased leads. She ran a true crime blog and this was one of her topics.

    It haunted her. Then, tragically, Michelle died before this masterwork could be completed.

    Her fellow researchers put

    together from her notes. It is a chilling but thorough portrait of the perpetrator of a series of unsolved crimes.

    It also includes some autobiographical chapters to explain Michelle's obsession with the man she named, "The Golden State Killer," but also why she loves writing.

    She writes about why she couldn't stop researching and examines her complicated relationship with her mother:

    pg 41

    It is an amazing book. And, I believe, it has enough details that, if someone who reads this book knew that guy, he will be brought to justice at last.

    pg 61

    Gillian Flynn writes a stellar introduction:

    Introduction.

    This killer, whoever he is, is terrifying not only for the carnage he left, but the meticulous way he planned and carried out the murders.

    He was organized and unhinged, as compared to other murderers whose passion and disorganization are their downfall:

    pg 14

    I read this book in one sitting. It is that compelling.

    But I paid for it during the night. Each creak, any small sound in the house and my heart would leap into my throat.

    "He's here," my over-active imagination declared. "This is the end."

    It made it all too easy to understand the terror the murderer inflicted on his victims and the community he plagued. Multiple states away and decades removed from the crimes and I was petrified as well.

    Recommended for brave readers, fans of true crime and anyone who wants to help solve an unsolved mystery.

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    My queen, Gillian Flynn, starts this book with a Midwestern twang and down-to-earth introduction; Patton Oswalt ends with a heart-rending final chapter and I was spellbound the entire time by Michelle McNamara's non-fiction novel.

    A mind-blowing mountain of evidence to sift through and present in one novel only slightly frightened Michelle McNamara. What truly frightened her and kept her awake at night was the fact that the Golden State Killer has gotten away with his 10 year reign of t

    My queen, Gillian Flynn, starts this book with a Midwestern twang and down-to-earth introduction; Patton Oswalt ends with a heart-rending final chapter and I was spellbound the entire time by Michelle McNamara's non-fiction novel.

    A mind-blowing mountain of evidence to sift through and present in one novel only slightly frightened Michelle McNamara. What truly frightened her and kept her awake at night was the fact that the Golden State Killer has gotten away with his 10 year reign of terror and is possibly blending into society as someone's husband or dad now.

    Yes, McNamara was obsessed with her search for the monster. If you read even a small item about this killer/rapist, I doubt you can remain content to leave it at that. It is impossibly frustrating in this day of DNA instant matching that the creep could still be walking the streets. She rightfully felt until the day she died that she was on the verge of identifying the killer, probably through an Ancestry.com like site.

    A true-crime blogger, McNamara knew she was obsessed with GSK and does not hold back the introspective criticism. She knows herself and she understands people on a level that most of us don't. The seasoned and weary criminalists on the case came to appreciate, even rely on her skills. She, in turn, relied heavily on crowd-sourcing and advanced technology to help in the relentless search.

    She writes impressively about the victims, the survivors and the detectives involved. She articulates the many (50) cases in bite-sized chunks and does not glorify nor hold back the details. It is a terrifying book, yet full of compassion and understanding for the victims.

    If you are interested to check out a sample of the book, you can read her magazine article here.

  • Larry H

    Since its publication earlier this year, some have asked whether Michelle McNamara's utterly engrossing true crime book,

    , would be as popular if McNamara, the wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, hadn't died suddenly while writing the book in 2016. While that tragedy certainly raised the book's profile, the fact is, this is a tremendously well-written and compelling book, worthy of every bit of acclaim it's gotten. It's just sad McNamara isn't around to appreciate

    Since its publication earlier this year, some have asked whether Michelle McNamara's utterly engrossing true crime book,

    , would be as popular if McNamara, the wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, hadn't died suddenly while writing the book in 2016. While that tragedy certainly raised the book's profile, the fact is, this is a tremendously well-written and compelling book, worthy of every bit of acclaim it's gotten. It's just sad McNamara isn't around to appreciate the response to her years of hard work.

    "Violent men unknown to me have occupied my mind all my adult life—long before 2007, when I first learned of the offender I would eventually dub the Golden State Killer. The part of the brain reserved for sports statistics or dessert recipes or Shakespeare quotes is, for me, a gallery of harrowing aftermaths: a boy's BMX bike, its wheels still spinning, abandoned in a ditch along a country road; a tuft of microscopic green fibers collected from the small of a dead girl's back. To say I'd like to stop dwelling is beside the point."

    Unsolved crimes—particularly murders—were an obsession of McNamara's from when she was 14 years old. Growing up the youngest of six children in Oak Park, Illinois, in the mid-1980s, a young woman from her neighborhood was murdered one night while jogging. Even though some boys she knew might very well have seen the murderer shortly after he committed his crime, the murder was never solved, and from that act of senseless violence, a fascination which turned into an obsession and a career was borne.

    "I was a hoarder of ominous and puzzling details. I developed a Pavlovian response to the word 'mystery.' My library record was a bibliography of the macabre and true. When I meet people and hear where they're from I orient them in my mind by the nearest unsolved crime."

    McNamara created the true crime website TrueCrimeDiary.com, where she enjoyed rehashing unsolved cases with the police and others originally involved in them, as well as other armchair detectives. But nothing gripped her like the havoc wreaked by the man she dubbed the "Golden State Killer," a man who terrorized Northern California for more than 10 years in the 1970s and 1980s, committing 50 sexual assaults and 10 brutal murders, before disappearing without ever being caught.

    In

    , McNamara laid out the grisly, disturbing trail this killer and rapist left behind. Buoyed by painstaking research, she provides stories about his victims and those who got away lucky, the dogged police officers and detectives tasked with hunting down this criminal mastermind. It's fascinating but frustrating, in that without the technology used today in solving crimes, without the kind of knowledge about serial killers and serial criminals that exists today, this criminal was able to escape.

    While that in and of itself makes for an interesting read, McNamara wasn't afraid to talk about herself as well, and how this obsession affected her life. Reading this book brought you closer to the mind of a fascinating woman, one who will never be able to tell her own story in greater detail, nor will she be able to see how people reacted to her book. She was a great writer, and her research and interpretation was top-notch. There was a reason that police detectives were willing to talk with her and rehash the crimes they couldn't solve—because they knew she

    them.

    In his blurb for the book, Stephen King said it best: "What readers need to know—what makes this book so special—is that it deals with two obsessions, one light and one dark. The Golden State Killer is the dark half; Michelle McNamara is the light half. It’s a journey into two minds, one sick and disordered, the other intelligent and determined. I loved this book."

    Yep.

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

  • Kemper

    **Update 4/26/2018 - When this book was published it was an unsolved mystery. It got a

    **

    I'd heard about Michelle McNamara before I even knew her name or that she was a true crime writer. She was married to comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, who I’m a big fan of, and several of his bits over the years have involved his wife. Per Patton’s descriptions in his routines she was a brilliant woman, far smarter than him, who was always operating at a whole other level.

    Now I know what

    **Update 4/26/2018 - When this book was published it was an unsolved mystery. It got a

    **

    I'd heard about Michelle McNamara before I even knew her name or that she was a true crime writer. She was married to comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, who I’m a big fan of, and several of his bits over the years have involved his wife. Per Patton’s descriptions in his routines she was a brilliant woman, far smarter than him, who was always operating at a whole other level.

    Now I know what he was talking about after reading this book. It’s about a pure monster that should be one of the best known unsolved crime cases in American history, but many people have probably never heard of the Golden State Killer. It began in 1976 with a serial rapist terrorizing the suburbs of Sacramento. His MO was to break into homes in the middle of the night and surprise sleeping victims who he’d threaten with knives or guns. He often targeted couples or families and would rape a woman while her husband or boyfriend was tied up helpless in the next room. He’s also believed to have shot and killed a couple who had the misfortune to encounter him while out walking their dog.

    His attacks spread to communities outside of San Francisco, but seemed to stop in mid-1979. Unfortunately, GSK had just moved south to the LA area where he started up again, but his first known attempt was thwarted when the couple fought back, and he narrowly escaped capture. Instead of scaring him off this triggered an escalation after which GSK would kill those he attacked until stopping in 1986, ten years after he began.

    The full extent of the damage he’d done wasn’t known until DNA typing of cold cases was done in 2001. This confirmed what several detectives in various jurisdictions had suspected for years. The man called the East Area Rapist (EAR) during his crime spree in northern California was the same man who’d become known as the Original Night Stalker (ONS) in the southern part of the state. The statistics of his victims alone are staggering with 50 women sexually assaulted and 12 murders, and those are just the ones that are confirmed. He may have also been responsible for a series of break-ins in Visalia a few years earlier, and if so there’s another murder to hang on him there for shooting a man who stopped an intruder from abducting his daughter in the middle of the night from their home.

    It was Michelle McNamara who branded him the Golden State Killer after she began writing about the case on her blog and in magazine articles. She had became interested in true crime as a teenager after an unsolved murder of a young girl happened near her home. A big part of this story is about how this case came to obsess her, and she does not make an attempt to gloss over how much it took over her life. She has one story of asking her husband to leave a movie premiere party because of a new lead she was given that she couldn’t wait to get back to her laptop to start working on it. There’s another heartbreaking moment when she describes an anniversary dinner with Patton where she realized that not only had he given her gifts two years in a row based on her on-going work on GSK, but that she had been so consumed that she’d forgotten to get him anything at all.

    Unfortunately, Michelle died unexpectedly in 2016 while in the middle of writing this book. Two of her fellow researchers finished it at Patton’s urging, and I’m incredibly glad that happened because it would have been a shame if the work she did on this hadn’t been revealed so fully.

    She was an incredibly gifted writer who can provide detail about GSK’s crime in such a way that we feel the full weight of what he did, and how incredibly scary this story is. It’s there as she details the evidence the police found that showed that GSK was a relentless night prowler who crept over fences, through backyards, across rooftops, and peeped windows from the shadows. It’s in the way she tells us the stories from the victims who were very often sound asleep in their beds and were awoken by a man wearing a ski mask shining a light in their eyes, showing them a knife, and telling them that he’d kill them if they didn’t do exactly what he said. While it never feels exploitive she conveys all the ways that the surviving victim’s lives were changed by the attacks on them. When she describes a detective’s years of chasing dead ends you can feel the frustration, and when she tells the story of a new lead you also start tapping into the hope that this might be the one to break the case.

    In addition to being a great writer Michelle was a relentless researcher. I sometimes have issues with books or documentaries about true crime cases because I think it too often it shows confirmation bias or prefers wild conspiracy theories to more likely mundane facts and scenarios. She avoids those by imposing clear and logical standards to this which depended on fact checking and interviews rather than indulging in hunches or pet theories.

    It’s very clear from what she wrote here that Michelle believed that this case could be solved with technology. The cops have the DNA of the Golden State Killer to use as the ultimate determination of guilt or innocence. Geo-Mapping his crime scenes should give an approximate location of where he lived. Scanning old case files and using key word recognition and data sorting can bring previously hidden connections to life. DNA databases are growing all the time, and all it takes is one hit from a relative to narrow it down to the family. Michelle was convinced that GSK’s identity was in the existing evidence somewhere, and it’s just a matter of sifting through all the clues to find it.

    Because of her death there several parts that rely on her early drafts, notes, old magazine articles, and even a tape she made of the conversation between her and a police detective while showing her some of the GSK’s crime scenes. That gives the book a bit of a disjointed feeling and makes you wish even more that she’d been able to finish it herself, but considering the circumstances it’s unavoidable and doesn’t prevent the full story from being told.

    This will be going on my Best-of-True-Crime shelf, right next to

    And if they do ever catch the Golden State Killer I’ll bet it’s going to be due in no small part to the work of Michelle McNamara.

  • Trudi

    I probably would have been drawn to this book eventually no matter what. Well-written true crime that unfolds like the best of a police procedural with all the markers of a gripping horror suspense nov

    I probably would have been drawn to this book eventually no matter what. Well-written true crime that unfolds like the best of a police procedural with all the markers of a gripping horror suspense novel all rolled into one are a siren song for me. But due to the tragic circumstances surrounding the author --

    -- the book had been on my radar for quite some time, a book Michelle dedicated the last years of her life obsessively researching that she would not live to finish.

    Though there is a sense of incompleteness at the end, an abrupt cutoff in the road indicating Michelle still had so much more to write, so many more dark avenues to explore, what we are presented with is nevertheless compelling, frightening, heartbreaking stuff. The book is just as strong covering the killer's compulsions as it is covering Michelle's own.

    The human propensity to be drawn to and

    these stories can often seem unhealthy and aberrant. But for those of us who sometimes find ourselves disappearing down the rabbit hole into a labyrinthine cold case with so many unanswered questions, I don't think it's the darkness we're chasing, but the light. It's a quest for illumination -- the solving of the puzzle (its own deep satisfaction) is a hopeful act of throwing on the lights, a brightness from which the boogeyman can no longer move amongst us in faceless, nameless anonymity.

    Before picking up this book I had never heard of the

    (EAR/ONS) (renamed the Golden State Killer by Michelle), yet he is one of the most prolific serial offenders in US history (50 known sexual assaults and at least 10 murders) and who remains at large. The Golden State Killer terrorized the state of California from 1976 to 1986, but for all that time lead investigators spanning multiple counties and jurisdictions, wouldn't even know they were hunting the same monster. That shocking revelation would come years later through cold case DNA testing and a new generation of dedicated detectives and forensic scientists.

    Having the killer's DNA profile however, did not miraculously lead to his arrest. The hunt was also complicated by the fact the trail had been cold with no new victims or crime scenes since May 1986. So is the Golden State Killer dead? Serving a long prison sentence? Did he get married like Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway, a living arrangement that made it too difficult to continue his double life as a serial murderer?

    In her quest to finally unmask the Golden State Killer's true identity once and for all, McNamara shows the heart-wrenching toll on all parties who share in this consuming need

    -- the victims families of course -- but also the retired detectives who carried the burden for decades and those who were forced to take that burden to the grave with them. Another aspect I loved is how McNamara talks about the "confirmation bias" that sneaks up on real and armchair detectives alike. Anyone involved with the hunt will eventually uncover a suspect they become certain is "The One" -- the circumstantial evidence piles up and so much of the suspect's background and personal life fits the FBI profile. He lived in the right area at the right time, is the right height and weight and age. Was a peeping tom as a teenager, or broke into houses to steal. It's GOTTA BE this guy, he's "The One." When DNA testing finally eliminates the suspect it can be a devastating blow, and it may take a while for the mind to let go of what it was so certain to be true.

    I'm reminded of Robert Graysmith's obsessive quest to hunt down the identity of the Zodiac Killer -- Graysmith's "The One" was Arthur Leigh Allen, and for very good reasons. Yet in 2002 DNA testing of saliva from the stamps the Zodiac used to send his letters to the San Francisco Chronicle were not a match for Allen. This did not deter Graysmith however, who still believes Allen is the Zodiac (someone else could have licked the stamps or the original DNA sample might have been too small or degraded). It's a dangerous kind of tunnel vision that's resulted in a disturbing amount of innocent people going to jail (or death row) for crimes they didn't commit. Thanks to the rise of DNA testing and organizations like The Innocence Project, many wrongly convicted persons have been freed, though too many still remain incarcerated to this day, or have been killed by the state. It's a chilling reminder that despite what we've been told, just because something walks and talks like a duck, still doesn't mean it's a duck.

    The nature of the the Golden State Killer's m.o. -- that he was so brazen to break into homes as people slept -- will leave you unnerved and paranoid. After spending a night reading, I couldn't help take a really hard look at my patio sliding doors and wonder how easy it would be for someone to get through them. But we could all stand to be a little more careful and alert these days anyway, right? Because you just never know who's prowling in the shadows of your backyard, or peering into a back window, waiting for you to turn off the lights and get into bed.

    Michelle McNamara and husband Patton Oswalt

  • Julie

    I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara is a 2018 Harper publication.

    I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara is a 2018 Harper publication.

    What a fitting epigraph!

    This book sincerely scared the crap out of me. I grew up in the seventies, one of the creepiest decades, filled with terrifying serial killers and rapists, but I was not familiar with this case. This book reminded me of how taut the atmosphere was in those days, as the author details her hunt for a prolific serial rapist, which eventually escalated to murder, who went on a virtually unchecked rape and murder spree in California in the seventies.

    The author dubbed the killer ‘The Golden State Killer’, as she slowly pieced together the evidence and the many victims, working tirelessly to put a face and a name to the moniker she’d give him. Michelle was a true crime journalist, who started the website, ‘TrueCrimeDiary.com, as this case became an obsession with her.

    The crime wave and the horrifying details sent chills down my spine and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck on more than one occasion. The rapist was smart, and planned his attack down to the smallest detail, having stalked the unsuspecting victims for a good while, knowing them intimately before making his move.

    Eventually, the crimes ceased, but no one knows exactly why. The author has her theories, and I would have to agree with her assessment.

    The disheartening thing here is the feeling that McNamara was closing in, making progress, despite the roadblocks, setbacks, and dead ends that comes with this type of investigation. As everyone knows, Michelle died before this book was completed, which adds yet another haunting layer to this book.

    Her passion seeps through the pages, along with her single- minded determination, that did border on obsession. I can see how that could happen, as this case was never solved and there is a sense of urgency about the book. The clock is ticking, and the feeling is one of being ‘so close, yet so far’, with time is running out for justice.

    Michelle's private life musings, added a more personal touch, something that might not always come off so well in the true crime arena, but I think the author was attempting to share with readers how her obsession and desire to see the case solved influenced and bled over into her personal life, taking up her every waking thought. It lends a poignancy, and occasionally a little humor, to the book that does offset the gruesome revelations unearthed about the crimes and the victims.

    One quick note about how the book was written, since it was published posthumously, and Michelle had not completed the book before her death. It is my understanding that her lead researchers pieced the book together using what Michelle had already written, along with her extensive notes. Unfortunately, the organization, and presentation, is not great. In true crime, disorganization is a huge pet peeve of mine and I would, under ordinary circumstances, have been more than a little exasperated and disappointed. In this case, I was a lot more forgiving, but I still think someone should have polished it up a little better. I would not let that deter you from reading this book, however, as, despite the bumpy ride, it is still quite an effective read.

    Unless you have nerves of steel, I don’t recommend reading this book alone at night, because it will certainly give you the heebie jeebies. But, I do hope the book generates enough attention that someone might come forward with new information or will pick up the torch and continue the search for the elusive ‘Golden State Killer’.

    4 stars

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