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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's…

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden… (2018)

by Michelle McNamara

Other authors: Gillian Flynn (Introduction), Paul Haynes (Contributor), Billy Jensen (Contributor), Patton Oswalt (Afterword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8536215,836 (3.97)71



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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
I probably wouldn’t have considered reading this before I heard they’d captured the suspect after a 40 year search, and he lived just about ONE MILE from my Grandma’s house where I’ve visited many times. I was intrigued by what I’d read about how they found him after all this time.
Let me just say I am no longer young and invincible like I felt when I used to read true serial crime books, because this book FREAKED me out. This guy was beyond creepy and sadistic and horrible. I had to read only during daylight because after dark every little noise sent my heart racing.
McNamara’s obsessive research and attention to detail made for a fascinating book. It’s heartbreaking to know she didn’t live to see it published and the creep behind bars. I couldn’t put it down, during the daytime that is, and it’ll be interesting to learn more once the suspect goes to trial. 5/5 Stars ⭐️ #18readingchallenge #justjoshinreads #2018readingchallenge #goodreads #readersofinstagram #readersofig #booksofinstagram ( )
  justjoshinreads | Mar 22, 2019 |
Somehow this book was both a memoir of the author and a true crime story. The writer’s voice is so vulnerable and human in contrast to the awful crimes she researched. The author passed before the book was completed and the parts that others put together to finish it are a bit jolting from the author’s own style but in its way that makes the reader feel her abrupt absence as well. ( )
  pdill8 | Mar 12, 2019 |
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara was unfortunately published posthumously as the author died suddenly in 2016. True Crime readers would likely know of McNamara from both her website TrueCrime Dictionary and her published magazine articles, many of which were about the Golden State Killer.

The Golden State Killer was a serial killer, rapist and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries in the state of California from 1974 to 1986. The name Golden State Killer was coined by the author to describe this monster who, before the use of DNA profiling and identification was thought to be more than one person. Many of his crimes were linked in the early 1980’s when DNA profiling was used. In fact DNA evidence was finally the nail in the coffin for Joseph James DeAngelo. The Golden State Killer was apprehended in 2018, unfortunately after the author’s death and he is currently being processed through the courts. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was written and published before the perpetrator was known and so deals more with the actual crimes and how the victims were affected.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is both informative and chilling. This book consists of very dark subject matter and the author makes every effort not to dwell on the horror or sensationalize the crimes in any way. She delivers the information in an honest and straight forward manner and includes information on how the investigations developed and how they all so often lead to a dead end. At the time of her death the book was still unfinished and consisted of legal pads full of notes and files of related research. People closest to the author helped put the book together which explains to me why the book felt a little disjointed at times. Nevertheless, this is an excellent true crime story by an author that was totally dedicated to this project. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 10, 2019 |
While perusing the New York Public Library's Winter 2018 Staff Picks (an excellent recommendations list by the way) I came across I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. Since I have somewhat of an interest in true crime and especially serial killers (see my archive for the evidence) this seemed a natural choice for me. McNamara (who sadly passed away before completion of the book) covers the history of the Golden State Killer back to his beginning when he was still referred to as the Visalia Ransacker before upping his game to become the East Area Rapist. (Michelle actually gave him the moniker of the Golden State Killer.) He began as a peeping tom before graduating into a burglar, rapist, and then finally a serial murderer. His reign of terror in California where he committed more than 120 burglaries, 50 rapes, and 13 murders spanned about a decade from the late 70s into the mid-80s before abruptly stopping. His crimes crossed jurisdictions and so for many years police did not know that all of these crimes were the work of one single man...a man that at the time of this book's publication was still not identified.

McNamara talks about her obsession with true crime and specifically with this man who she often referred to as her 'white whale'. She cultivated relationships with other true crime aficionados through online forums (and her blog) but also developed close working friendships with detectives both past and present who had worked on the case. By assembling all of the available evidence (of which there was an abundance) she began to comb through it hoping that she would see something that would help them find the man who many believed had either died or been imprisoned on unrelated charges. Although there was ample evidence including DNA there was no match in any database so detectives routinely fed his DNA markers into genealogy websites hoping for a match...and shortly after McNamara's book was published they found one.

This book is as much a true crime novel about an unidentified killer as it is the memoir of the woman who devoted so much of her time to investigating his crimes. If you like watching shows like Cold Case or really anything on the I.D. channel you'll feel right at home with I'll Be Gone in the Dark. 8/10 ( )
  AliceaP | Mar 8, 2019 |
This book was well-written "true crime" reporting; and the reader was pulled in to the often-gruesome details. Reading this book was like driving bay a car accident..."gawking" because you can't look away! This book was something different! Good stimulating reading! ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Feb 12, 2019 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McNamara, Michelleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flynn, GillianIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haynes, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BillyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oswalt, PattonAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Iriarte, EduardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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No butler, no second maid, no blood upon the stair.
No eccentric aunt, no gardener, no family friend
Smiling among the bric-a-brac and murder.
Only a suburban house with the front door open
And a dog barking at a squirrel, and the cars
Passing. The corpse quite dead. The wife in Florida.

Consider the clues: the potato masher in a vase,
The torn photograph of a Wesleyan basketball
Scattered with check stubs in the hall;
The unsent fan letter to Shirley Temple,
The Hoover button on the lapel of the deceased,
The note: "To be killed this way is quite all right
with me."

Small wonder that the case remains unsolved,
Or that the sleuth, Le Roux, is now incurably in-
And sits alone in a white room in a white gown,
Screaming that all the world is mad, that clues
Lead nowhere, or to walls so high their tops cannot
be seen;
Screaming all day of war, screaming that nothing
can be solved.

- Weldon Kees, "Crime Club"
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That summer I hunted the serial killer at night from my daughter's playroom.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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. 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 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."--Amazon.com.… (more)

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