""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 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 eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic - capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim - he favoured 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 recognise 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.
- Publication Date:
- 14 / 03 / 2018
- 153 x 234mm
This is an extraordinary true crime book, about a series of cold cases from the 1970s.
For background, the Golden State Killer (GSK) is a man who was called many different things- such as the Original Night Stalker or East Area Rapist. McNamara, in the 2010s, was operating a True Crime blog. She wanted to solve these decades old cases. McNamara worked painstakingly on this case, discovering links and evidence. Once there was an established link between all these cases, it was McNamara herself that said he should have a catchy name, so it sticks in people's heads and encompasses all the crimes he's committed in California. Thus the moniker, The Golden State Killer.
The Golden State Killer has been in the media this week, because the Police have finally caught him, after reopening the case in 2016. Sadly, Michelle McNamara passed away in April 2016. This book was a labour of, well not love, but obsession. She was very aware that she was obsessed with this case. She'd interview survivors, witnesses. She chased leads, hoping to find the one piece of evidence police missed, touring the neighbourhoods the GSK had visited and violated. Her writing is so enthralling, almost narrative like, it was easy for me to have many sleepless nights, imagining any noise in my yard at night might be someone sneaking across the grass.
I was almost finished the book when I heard the news. I was elated, finally this monster of a man who terrorized people in the 1970s was finally caught, after at least 12 murdered people and 47 rapes.
The most haunting part of the book comes at the end, where she writes directly to GSK, telling him there would be police one day knocking on his door:
"Open the door. Step into the light. Show us your face." - Karina (QBD)