On the evening of 21 June 1958 Geneva Hilliker Ellroy left her home in El Monte, California. She was found strangled the next day. Her 10 year old son James was confronted with the news of the killing on his return from a weekend away with his father.
Jean's murderer was never found, but her death had an enduring legacy on her son who spent his early adult years as a petty criminal. Only in 1994, following the publications of a series of critically acclaimed novels, was James Ellroy ready to confront his past. He returned to LA, and with the help of veteran detective Bill Stoner, reopened the casebook of the 38 year old killing. Unflinchingly and systematically he confronted every detail, every clue and each shocking revelation.
This result is one of the few classics of crime non-fiction and autobiography to appear in the last few decades; a hypnotic trip to America's underbelly and one man's tortured soul.