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Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  699 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked. Put together the pieces. Identify the suspect.

Journalist Billy Jensen spent 15 years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common - it didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a fr
Audible Audio, Original recording
Published April 11th 2019 by Audible Studios
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4.38  · 
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 ·  699 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JanB by: Renee
True crime is having a moment. Growing up, I used to sneak read True Detective magazine under the covers. But now, those of us who are true crime fans can admit to our fascination without sounding too weird.

What drives an interest in true crime? Contrary to what some may believe, fans do not derive voyeuristic pleasure out of the misery of others. Investigative journalist Billy Jensen’s driving force is empathy for the victims and their families and the desire to make the monsters pay for their
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Sometimes a tragedy can spur one onto doing something, of taking a stand, of getting involved. With the death of his friend, Michele McNamara, the author of I'll Be Gone In the Dark, a book I read and so enjoyed, Billy Jensen becomes involved in the concept and tracking of killers who got away.

With the advent of DNA tracking, many, who were previously living among us, though that was denied the ones they killed, were fated to be found. While Ms McNamara died before the Golden State kil
RTC as per the publisher's request - but let's let the foreword (by Karen Kilgariff of My Favorite Murder) speak for me in the meantime:

It's a movie plot come to life. After years of difficult, thankless work, a reporter obsessed with justice gets the rare satisfaction of seeing justice finally served. Who doesn't want to read that immediately?
Renee (
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
If you like true crime, especially in the form of investigative journalism, this audiobook is for you! I was initially drawn to this story because of Billy’s association with Michelle McNamarra in the amazing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark book from 2018. Billy worked closely with Michelle on her Golden State Killer case and after her death he was instrumental in helping to finish and get her book published.

In his new audiobook, Billy tells of how he developed a love of true crime and justic
Jenna Bookish
My thanks to Audible for allowing me free access to this audio book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. This audio book is currently an Audible Exclusive. 

True crime can be a touchy subject. What are the ethics of consuming someone else's tragedy as entertainment? Jensen's work and the way he works to essentially crowd-source murder investigations means that this book necessarily tangles with some of the thornier ethical questions su
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I came into this book with no expectations. I've listened to My Favorite Murder since the beginning and was familar with Jensen as a result of the podcast (which he was a guest on during the GSK drama) and the book he helped complete after Michelle McNamara's death (I'll be Gone in the Dark).

In this book, Jensen takes the reader through his childhood, when his father would show him newspaper articles about criminals being caught. This was the beginning of his love of true crime, which lead to h
Jade Wright
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Billy Jensen is fantastic - need I say more? No.. but I will.
Chase Darkness With me is an in depth look into investigating / solving murder cases. It's extremely personal, inspiring, motivational, gut-wrenching and devastating all rolled into one.

He shares his story of getting to know Karen and Georgia (if you don't know who they are.... I have no words,) Paul Holes and Michelle McNamara. I read I'll Be Gone in the Dark last year and I feel as though Jensen's book is a great companion to it as
Sarah Titus
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the other side of true crime. The side without answers, the messy side. Billy Jensen is trying to do something new to solve the hard cases—creating an army of volunteers online to help fill in the gaps—to bring peace to families and justice to perpetrators. This is an amazing read. It’s inspired me to think about doing more with my time and my skillset to help. You should think about reading this. He could really use the help. All those people whose remains lay unidentified or whose murd ...more
Natasha Niezgoda
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, audiobook
Body In Cat Litter - Say What?! Billy Jensen has seen it all!! 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

By now, you all know I live for true crime and so when Billy Jensen (friends with Karen and Georgia from MFM and he helped finish Michelle McNamara’s book) came out with his own book, I was all over it!

Jensen is an incredible storyteller and his road to becoming an investigative journalist is pretty cool. Chase Darkness with Me is an autobiographical view into Jensen’s start. He shares personal stories from his upbringing
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect for an "audible original" and part of me admittedly wondered if this would somehow be less of a book. The answer is a resounding no (though I think I enjoyed this far more than I would've in regular book form--particularly due to Billy Jensen's narration). I knew that Jensen had finished I'll Be Gone in the Dark for Michelle McNamara following her death, and I knew he was a "true crime writer" but he is so much more than that. The tales of how he began using social m ...more
Jenn (The Book Refuge)
This was very exciting, terrifying, and educational. Crowd sourcing really will be the way to catch criminals moving forward. Billy did I great job moving narrating and bringing his experiences to life. It got a bit dry in places, but over all, great book.
Angus McKeogh
Pretty good stuff. The first 85% of the book or so was about the author pursuing criminals through social media and some of his successes. This section of the book was great. The last section of the book was about DIY criminal pursuit. Hmmm...not something I’m looking to jump into so a little less interesting.
Amy Morgan
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to get an advance of this book true crime addict that I am and it did not disappoint! Billy Jensen lets us see how he got started with his obsession of looking into unsolved crimes and I loved every minute of it! It was also deeply touching reading about his friendship with Michelle McNamara who has gone from this world much too soon. Billy’s passion and dedication to helping victims is very evident throughout this book. Thank you Billy for sharing your stories with us and showi ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever read a true crime story or watched something a true crime TV show and thought, I could solve that? Do you enjoy trying to spot the clues that may have been overlooked or creating your own suspect list?

Billy Jensen has always been that guy! Jensen has spent the last 15 years investigating unsolved murders and working to bring peace and justice to the victim’s families. You’ve likely heard his name in connection to Michelle McNamara, as Jensen was one of the authors who helped finish
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

***Foreword by Karen Kilgariff, co-host of My Favorite Murder podcast***

Journalist Billy Jensen has built his career on solving cold case murders, often using the information found on social media and in other places the police don’t think to look. When detective
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
billy jensen weaves his own story of becoming a true crime writer who begins to help solve crimes via the strategic use of social media with his friendship with michelle mcnamara, a true crime author and investigator following the case of the EAR/ONS who she ultimately renamed the golden state his career and hers begin to hit their stride she passed away and billy helped finish her book...ultimately billy's goal with this book is not only to tell his own compelling story but to hopef ...more
Jennifer James
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring, refreshing and raw. This book will bring you to tears, make you laugh, and reignite your passion of true crime. Billy’s honesty about his struggles and failures of solving cold cases is sometimes crushing but the victories and way he writes about Michelle McNamara/GSK really brings this book full circle.

The addendum is inspiring and very instructive, and the ending will give you full body chills.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
self-aggrandizing mediocre drivel
Tonya Walker
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Billy Jensen is truly someone special. He deeply cares about people and has taken his journalistic and sleuthing skills and put them into action in a way that actually makes an impact into unsolved murders/missing people. I first learned about him during a MFM episode focusing on Michelle McNamara and her posthumously published true crime novel on the Golden State Killer 'I'll Be Gone In The Dark.'
I loved learning about his past and how he arrived at this point in his career. As a ke
Interesting but dry
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting tale. But tone teeters on bombastic. Persisted because of the true crime element. And there is the engaging idea that crowd sourcing can work for crime solving.
I first became familiar with Billy Jensen when I was reading I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, as he helped finish the book after Michelle McNamara passed away. I've also heard him speak as a guest on various podcasts, and on his own podcast THE MURDER SQUAD. It was pretty clear when I heard that he'd written his own book and was going to perform it in an Audible exclusive that I would be getting that book. And after waiting not so patiently, I finally got CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME on publication day.

Natalie Alsis-Benninghoff
Realistically, I would give this 3.5 stars. I really enjoy Billy on the Podcast “The Murder Squad” with the Mirderino’s collective imaginary boyfriend, Paul Holes, bit I found myself really put off at times during this book.

I loved the parts where Billy talked about his father and how his father fed his love of true crime and his sense of wanting justice for victims. I admire that he used so much of his own money on targeted ads meant to help identify murder suspects. I appreciate his love of t
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Billy Jensen is another of the key players in the Golden State Killer saga, alongside Michelle McNamara and Paul Holes, which is where I first learned of him. And similar to 2018's Evil Has a Name, Chase Darkness with Me is an unputdownable audio-only read. Autobiographical Chase Darkness with Me not only gives us more insight into Jensen's personal and professional history, it details some fascinating mostly unsolved cases (which, though it's the reason why Jensen does what he does as an invest ...more
Crystal Zavala
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Admittedly, I went into this audio book with zero expectations. Initially I tried to order a physical copy before I discovered that it is being released as only an audio book at this time. I am an avid reader and podcast listener (predominately true crime).

I discovered Billy Jensen because of My Favorite Murder (#SSDGM) and Michelle McNamara's book, I'll Be Gone In the Dark. Billy Jensen is a crime writer and citizen detective. Billy Jensen and Michelle McNamara were friends and colleagues in th
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part true-crime book, part how-to, and part memoir, Chase Darkness with Me is a diverting and often heartbreaking read. Jensen writes with sensitivity and humanity, foregrounding the victims in a way that few true-crime efforts do. Never sensationalistic and often sad, the book recounts his journey from newbie crime reporter to crowd-sourcing crime solver, along the way giving the reader brief glimpses into the lives of the people whose murders he tried to (or did) solve. The true heart of the b ...more
Emily Hill
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Chase Darkness With Me" is for true crime fans. If you don't already know who Billy Jensen is, honestly it's probably not for you. If you can't relate to his intense obsession with cold case murders, it's probably not for you. If you aren't familiar enough with the Golden State Killer investigation to tear up when he discusses his friendship with Michelle McNamara and his work on finishing her posthumously published book "I'll Be Gone In The Dark," it's probably not for you. If all those things ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galley-copy
Fascinating! With the explosion in popularity of all things true crime, especially podcasts, there is also a booming interest in how cold cases are solved, and how "regular people" can get involved. How Billy Jensen got to where he is now, doing the work he is doing, is a very organic process, which makes it all the more interesting to me. He also shares, in a very detailed (and therefore compelling!) way how he has taken modern tools (hello, social media!) to take years- and decades-old cases t ...more
Anthony Fitzsimons
I don't often read true crime, but with a few audible credits, I decided to give this a go. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Billy goes into detail about things like his upbringing and his relationship with his Dad, which actually made me tear up a little.

He also talks about his relationship with Michelle Mcnamara who wrote I'll be gone in the dark (which is my next audiobook) who was paramount in the capture of the GSK (Golden State Killer)

I found the techniques he used to find suspects really
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