I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
By Michelle McNamara
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
Full disclosure: I have been on a HUGE True Crime/Cold Case kick. I blame Netflix. Making a Murderer. The Staircase. Cold Justice. The Ted Bundy Tapes. It hasn’t been this bad since around the year 2000, where A&E showed true crime shows practically 24/7. (City Confidential was always my favorite. Oh my gosh, Paul Winfield was the best narrator.)
So this of course has been the perfect time for me to dive into Michelle McNamara’s search for the Golden State Killer. The thing I loved most about this book was Michelle’s unrelenting (and, she admits it – obsessive) quest for justice. She did not want to stop digging until she uncovered enough evidence to finally put a face (and name) to this serial killer. And hopefully help bring some closure to the families.
Unfortunately, Ms. McNamara died unexpectedly before her mission (or her book) was finished.
The unfinished portion of her book was completed by her researcher, based on notes and articles that she had written. Which I think is ultimately what made this journey a 4 stair versus 5 stair read for me. I wondered how the book would have turned out if she could have finished her research and completed the book the way she wanted to.
The Golden State Killer had many, many victims. As the years went on, his crimes escalated from rape to murder. He terrorized his targeted communities for years, no one knowing when or where (or who) he would strike next. Sometimes the crimes were difficult to read about. But at the same time, Ms. McNamara investigated and wrote with a compassion to the victims and their families. And that thirst for justice was always present.
I did listen to the audio book, and while the narrator was good, I would really recommend reading this one. There were just too many victims, and too much time hopping in the book to easily keep track of while listening. I found myself having to rewind and relisten quite a bit to get the facts straight.
If you like true crime, you will enjoy going on Ms. McNamara’s quest for the Golden State Killer.
Also, I highly recommend listening to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: The Podcast, which talks about the story behind the book.