Mizuki's Reviews > I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
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it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction, disappointment

Edited@18/05/2018: Pre-review: I'd just ordered this book from the library!

Edited@12/09/2018:DNF-ed@page 208.

Rating: 2 overhyped stars. The success of book is just the matter of good timing: if the death of the author isn't sensational enough, then the arrest of the Original Night Stalker is enough to get people to talk about this book and buy it, that's it.

In my opinion, the success of this book doesn't have much to do with the book's quality or the author's research skills.


Since the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo as the Original Night Stalker, I'll Be Gone in he Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer receives a lot of hype, and I'm one of those people who jumped onto the hype train---all for the love of true crime. But as soon as I read into the first 30 pages of the book, I started to have second thought about the quality of this book and its author, the more I read, the more my doubts also grew...

Note: In this review I will call the serial killer 'the Original Night Stalker' (ONS) instead of the 'Golden State Killer' (GSK), which McNamara had so famously coined the killer to be. Because when I first heard of this case a few years ago, people were calling him 'the Original Night Stalker' instead of GSK, the title 'GSK' means nothing to me (I understand this name might mean a lot in America but I don't care)...and honestly the name also GSK doesn't mean much in this book itself neither, because for most of the time, the investigators and the cops referred the killer as either ONS or 'EAR' (for 'the East Area Rapist'), plus even McNamara herself rarely refereed the guy as GSK in the book neither...although her co-authors, the people who finished this book for her, did use the term GSK a great deal, just in order to highlight McNamara's supposed importance to the case.

(1) The author, Michelle McNamara, seems to have no significant training or schooling on the fields of crime-fighting, crime-investigation and at the very least...journalism; and trust me, it shows.

(2) She had a MFA on creative writing and she ran a website called 'True Crime Diary'.......huh...I hate to say it but to be honest, everyone can open and ran a website, right?

Secondly, do you guys remember in what style people tends to write when they are writing in their diary? They write a great deal about themselves, they write about what they had done through the day, they write about the things they are interested in, blah blah blah. And that is exactly the kind of style that McNamara tended to write, the same kind of ME ME ME ME AND ME style, you know what I mean.

I understand that not everyone is bothered by this kind of style, but I personally don't like this kind of writing style in a true crime book. I only gave 3 star to John Edward Douglas' famed Mindhunter book because of the same reason, because in this first Mindhunter book, I found Douglas' constant mention of his experiences in the FBI a bit too distracting.

(3) Due to all the hype surrounding the capture of the Original Night Stalker, there are some wild claims (on the newspaper, no less) about how this book and its author helped to identify the killer, and I'm like..."Wait, you mean to say an amateur blogger actually did what professional police investigators had failed to do for over 4 decades!?"

Don't get me wrong, some cold cases were decoded due to the involvement of amateur investigators or untrained citizens, but...........is it also the case here!?

Plus, I read the Afterword written by Patton Oswalt (McNamara's widower) and I found it highly ironic that in this afterword Mr. Oswalt never said one word to thank the interviewees and investigators and anyone else who had helped his wife to write this book, but meanwhile he accused the police for not giving his wife (and any other people) any credit for catching the killer.

(4) What's wrong with this book's timeline anyway!? This book begins NOT with the ONS's first known crime of burglary or rape, instead we are thrust right into the murder of a couple in 1981--right in the late-middle of the serial killer's career, then we jump back to year 1980, then to the present day Oak Park to see what the author was doing in her daily life, then right back to year 1976....trust me, if you weren't familiar with the activities of the Original Night Stalker, then these chapters honestly CANNOT help you to get a clear picture of the ONS's 10 full years of crime spree.


(Iink: https://giphy.com/gifs/cartoonhangove...)

(5) Gillian Flynn--a novelist who I never care about (she also claims she has no interest in the ONS and thinks he would only turn out to be some cliched 'I hate my mother' villain)--is the person who wrote the foreword for this book, and so far McNamara's writing reeks of the same thing that makes Ms. Flynn's novels difficult to bear for me--too much navel-gazing, too much using gruesome murder and tragedies as a backdrop to tell the tales of some uninteresting MCs.
Ms. Flynn even claims McNamara wrote with 'grace' and 'a deep understanding' to the victims, which I totally didn't sense when I read this book.

I mean, I thought I would be reading a true-crime book, not a book about where McNamara's parents first met, how the McNamaras put their roots down, how things are going on among Michelle McNamara, her husband and daughter, or her own personal life.


(link: https://giphy.com/gifs/nfl-football-l...)

I understand some readers don't mind reading about McNamara's personal life at all; but I once thought I would learn more about the killer's crime, the victims and the investigators when I walked into this book, but even after I read 3/4 of this book, I still know so little about the crime and the people who have been affected by it. I never get the whole picture.

(6) On the other hand, I asked myself: am I being too harsh on Michelle McNamara when I can enjoy other true crime non-fictional books like The Devil In the White City just fine (I truly adore TDitWC!). I will have my conclusion when I am (hopefully) finished with this book.

Updated: no, from my experience with this book I know I'm not being too harsh on McNamara; comparing with TDitWC, this book is just too disorganized, unfinished and disjointed for me to find it enjoyable. I think something is really wrong with the writing when McNamara didn't bother to offer us much detail to know about the crime. For example, for many times she only said a victim was 'attacked', but what does it mean? Was the victim killed? Raped? Escaped with her life? Did she fight back? I never know because McNamara didn't bother to be a bit more specific.

(7) I believe some of my problems with this book are also caused by me going into it with a wrong foot: at the very beginning of this book, the author, Michelle McNamara, was doing some computer-investigation (which included the use of Google Map to look at crime scenes from more than 30 years ago) with her laptop, within her daughter's playroom in the middle of the night. Then she was researching a pair of cuff links which were stolen by the ONS from one of his victims' house.

Then she went to eBay and look at various pairs of secondhand cuff links in hoping that the ONS (or someone else who had gotten it from him) would somehow, after stealing said cuff links from more than 30 years ago, would decide to sell his stolen items on eBay.

Guess what happened when she found a pair of cuff links which she believe to be the same pair stolen by ONS and then ordered the item right away for US$40? She woke her husband up and told him: "I think I found him."


(link: https://giphy.com/gifs/police-upset-u...)

So, do forgive me for putting McNamara's judgement and research skill into question.

(8) Although I gave up on this book at around page 200, still after skipping a few really boring chapters, I managed to skim to page 310 and then I was shell shocked to learn that someone, or some people within the Orange Country Sheriff's Department had allowed McNamara and her assistant to look through sixty-five boxes of case files and then the two were allowed to borrow those case files home all the way into McNamara's daughter playroom, scanned those files and sent them out to other investigators.


(link: https://giphy.com/gifs/Bounce-TV-blac...)

My point is...why in the world would the cops allow untrained citizens with no position in the police force to take case files (and God know what materials are inside of them) away right from their office!? Are these cops really that lousy? Is this a normal practice in USA and it wouldn't have any negative side effect on the case when said case is submitted to the courtroom?

I mean...wouldn't the suspect (Joseph James DeAngel)'s defense lawyer claim those case files and materials had been handled by outsiders so they can't be used in the courtroom? I mean...murderers are known to be able to get off the hook due to mistakes/loopholes/flawed evident which are even smaller than this!

(9) When reading this book, I started to worry for the author's mentality:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

--Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


Well, people who fight monsters and gaze long into an abyss can become monsters themselves, or.......they can also very well be just broken by what they had experienced.

Okay, point no. 9 isn't a remark on McNamra's skills as an author nor a researcher. But the more I read about how obsessively McNamara had invested herself into the case of ONS, the more I had questions at the back of my mind: 'is it really okay for a person to soak herself or himself that fully into a series of crime which is that gruesome and violent? What it would do to a person's mental health if said person let so much darkness into his/her life and mind without taking a step back and focus on other aspects of his/her life?!'

Just try to imagine all the stress it would cause, and please do remember even trained cops and FBI agents are known to suffer mental breakdown and stress-related illness after exposing themselves to gruesome cases and evil criminals for too long. So why would anyone believe an untrained citizen can handle all this stress by herself?

(10) I don't mean to say there is nothing good about this book: some of McNamara's writing is in fact very nice and spot-on (for example, the few victims' interviews she had done at the early part of the book), but honestly the latter parts inserted into the book by her editors/co-authors do look awfully disjoint and choppy; and trust me, her editors/co-authors really did go out of their way to try shoving McNamara's importiance to the ONS' case down your throat and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Extra:

Here is an awesome review by Kristina: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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Reading Progress

May 5, 2018 – Shelved
May 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 1, 2018 – Started Reading
September 1, 2018 –
page 6
1.7% "I don't know what's with me, but why I can't find a book about the Golden State Killer interesting? Is it because the author wants to talk more about herself than the killer and the victims?"
September 2, 2018 –
page 6
1.7% "I don't care about how much she invested herself into finding the killer, I don't care!"
September 2, 2018 –
page 13
3.69%
September 2, 2018 –
page 22
6.25% "Huhh....I noticed this author held no degree on journalism and criminology...

Okay..........I am not sure how much I can take her book seriously now."
September 2, 2018 –
page 23
6.53% "I don't get it..........how could this woman, with no training and schooling for police work and how to catch a serial killer, can go after a killer by..............using Google Search and Google Map!???

I think something is wrong here."
September 2, 2018 –
page 24
6.82% "I am into true crime myself, but how this woman talked about the Golden State Killer and how she spent visibly all of her spare time to obsesses over the killer really does look unhealthy."
September 2, 2018 –
page 24
6.82% "I can partly understand why Gillian Flynn would recommend this book: because McNamara's writing and attitude is familiar with Flynn's: the book is more about the narrator and her daily life than the actual murder case.

Flynn pretty much admits she doesn't really care about the killer and who he is, that pretty much sum up my point."
September 2, 2018 –
page 24
6.82% "Plus I don't really understand why would the first crime in the book would be a case in the middle of the killer's career instead of his first case damn it!

Does anyone remember the first case for a serial killer always reveals the most of his signatures/personality/motive?!"
September 3, 2018 –
page 34
9.66% "stop it just stop it! no one wants to hear about you having to walk down the red carpet with your actor husband, or where your family came from!!!"
September 3, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 3, 2018 –
page 34
9.66% "I want to say that to everyone who claims: "true crime novels are not about the serial killers, the killers are not important, it is the victims and the investigators who are."

My reaction: LOL you are just kidding yourself. The victims and the investigators are indeed important, but to claim the killers are not important IS A JOKE."
September 3, 2018 –
page 34
9.66% "What I really don't like is: it is supposed to be a book about a serial killer, but now she turned it into a book ABOUT HERSELF."
September 3, 2018 –
page 45
12.78% "for goodness' sake, is it really a good idea to include a girl's murder into this book when said murder seemingly isn't related to the Original Night Stalker at all?"
September 3, 2018 –
page 64
18.18% "The narration of the victims and the investigators is indeed good, I can only hope the author will not put her personal life into the text!"
September 4, 2018 –
page 64
18.18% "Why can't the author simply tell us the victims were raped? *sighs*"
September 4, 2018 –
page 70
19.89% "I just do get it.....how come the author can write about one scene of the killer attacking a lone woman or a couple, then she just couldn't bother to tell you what are the outcomes of these attacks? Did anyone die in these attacks? Was the women raped? Or did they fight back? Or did they escape?

Plus, why would the author only mention about the attacked husband but not his wife? Is she still alive anyway!?"
September 5, 2018 –
page 100
28.41% "To be honest, I don't understand what is going on with those cops' interview parts."
September 5, 2018 –
page 120
34.09% "and how on earth an untrained and unqualified citizen can pay to get her hands on box and box of evident?"
September 5, 2018 –
page 140
39.77% "Okay, this chapters would have made really great online crime-blog's entries, but as a book, it lacks analysis and insight. Or perhaps these are saved for the latter?"
September 7, 2018 –
page 150
42.61% "Isn't it a bit too late when the first somewhat-coherent and easy-to-understand chapter arrives only at the middle part of the book?"
September 7, 2018 –
page 156
44.32% "I found after rearing 150+ pages, I still have no idea what was the social and political textures of the time peroid, all I can tell is, well, DNA test was invented later on."
September 9, 2018 –
page 177
50.28% "The part about the investigators is interesting."
September 9, 2018 –
page 177
50.28% "well well well, she said she believed one day an amateur is going to solve the serial murder/rape case!

I am skeptical about this............not that I like the polices very much.........but still."
September 9, 2018 –
page 180
51.14% "I honestly don't think what McNamara had done for the ONS's case is healthy, I mean............even trained cops and FBI agents are known to suffer mental breakdown or other work-related illness after years of subjecting themselves to gruesome cases and details of the victims' suffering. So why would we believe an untrained woman can handle all these graphic details on her own?"
September 10, 2018 –
page 188
53.41% "These cuff links again, god...no."
September 10, 2018 –
page 204
57.95% "Paul Holes is a long time investigator of the ONS case, but honestly the chapters with him and the author together to go site-visiting are kind of........dull."
September 11, 2018 –
page 208
59.09% "To be honest, Michelle McNamara seems to have done a great deal of intensive and through research on the serial killer ONS's case, but this book doesn't do a good job organizing all these research, at least it's how it seems to me."
September 12, 2018 –
page 208
59.09% "I'm about to give up..."
September 13, 2018 –
page 210
59.66% "I am shell shocked to learn that some people in the Orange Country Sheriff's Department had allowed McNamara and her assistant to sixty-five boxes of case files and then the two were allowed to borrow those case files home all the way into MaNamara's daughter playroom, scanned those files and sent them out to other investigators.

I mean...why in the world would the cops allow citizens to take evident away!?"
September 13, 2018 –
page 211
59.94% "am I the only one feeling puzzled and alarmed when McNamara's assistant claimed case files started trickling to her? Where did these material come from? Who give her these things? Why isn't there any Reference pages or even a Thank You Note anywhere in this book?"
September 13, 2018 –
page 212
60.23% "btw, the information about geographical profiling is really educational."
September 20, 2018 – Shelved as: disappointment
September 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Kristina I had some of the same concerns--she's not a trained journalist or investigative reporter. I don't know what she did for money (apparently just married Patton Oswalt, a comedian/actor) but she's not even a professional writer. While her conclusions about where the killer lived were proven right, you have to remember she based her "investigation" on years of detective work. She was able to put it all together, but that's years later when there was more evidence for her to piece together the patterns of all the crimes. Later in the book, a detective does say that her theories were helpful in that she kept the investigating moving forward, but she never came up with anything that hadn't already investigated and discarded. When the (alleged) killer was caught, her husband said it was due to his wife's efforts and this book. (It's a tweet, you can look it up.) No one in the police depts involved agree with that. I think Oswalt loved his wife and wanted this book to be some kind of memorial to her. Personally, I think she was kind of sad and disturbed to be so obsessed with death and murder that she allowed it to control her life.


message 2: by Mizuki (last edited Sep 03, 2018 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mizuki Kristina wrote: "I had some of the same concerns--she's not a trained journalist or investigative reporter. I don't know what she did for money (apparently just married Patton Oswalt"

Yup, if she somehow got herself to study journalism or investigative reporting, (hell, her husband seems to be doing fine enough so she could have gone studying, unlike many of us who doesn't have the luxury!), I would have a bit more respect for her on her quality of 'researching' on this serial killer, but now.........no.

Later in the book, a detective does say that her theories were helpful in that she kept the investigating moving forward

There are many more bloggers/Youtubers are trying to keep the interest to these cold cases alive, so it just doesn't seem fair for her to claim all the credit.

for example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIAzG...

I always respect those men and women who devote their time to make videos and write articles about cold cases and unsolved mystery and share it with us for free, but I don't think I can have this same respect for Michelle McNamara.

She was able to put it all together, but that's years later when there was more evidence for her to piece together the patterns of all the crimes.

*nod nods* even the fact that EAR and ONS are the same person is something that the police had came up with in the first place.

Personally, I think she was kind of sad and disturbed to be so obsessed with death and murder that she allowed it to control her life.

I swear I love true crime too and I spent much of my nights watching/listening to cold cases/ghosts/unsolved mystery and whatnot on Youtube, but you are correct to say what Michelle McNamara had done is kind of unhealthy. I mean, at one point she mentioned her daughter is having nightmares rather frequently and I'm like "well whose fault do you think it is?"


Kristina Mizuki wrote: "Kristina wrote: "I had some of the same concerns--she's not a trained journalist or investigative reporter. I don't know what she did for money (apparently just married Patton Oswalt"

Yup, if she ..."


You seem to have a personal dislike/problem with McNamara which I do not share. The amount of research she put into this one case was outstanding and she does credit (at least mention) how often she worked with/talked with the true crime blogging community about her investigations. I don't think she was "claiming all the credit." Remember, she died well before this book was even half-completed so she couldn't really "claim" anything. I think her husband claims she solved the crime and she certainly can't stop him from saying it now!

My criticism of McNamara isn't even really against her, it's more about the police depts who allowed her, a crime-blogger with no legal clearance or professional training, to take home a lot of the evidence. I think that's nuts.

Det. Holes credits McNamara for her persistence in following the GSK case with keeping interest high and in the public view. I don't think he is saying other bloggers didn't, but he certainly felt that she was the most persistent and knowledgeable of the pack.

Oh, I need to correct myself--her blogs were good enough and well-known enough that they caught the eye of Dateline NBC, an investigative tv show. They hired her to interview suspects in a cold case.


message 4: by Mizuki (last edited Sep 03, 2018 07:10PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mizuki Kristina wrote: "You seem to have a personal dislike/problem with McNamara which I do not share. The amount of research she put into this one case was outstanding and she does credit (at least mention) how often she worked with/talked with the true crime blogging community about her investigations. I don't think she was "claiming all the credit." ."

Yes, I have problem with the quality of her writing and her 'research' very much, and to think such kind of writing is receiving all sort of hyper because of good timing (of the killer's arrest) and the author's untimely death...

I agree she didn't literally 'claiming all the credits' , it seems to be the fault of her husband and his PR term or even the publisher (who went out of their ways to claim she helped the arrest of ONS) rather than her fault. It might not be her fault but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

My criticism of McNamara isn't even really against her, it's more about the police depts who allowed her, a crime-blogger with no legal clearance or professional training, to take home a lot of the evidence. I think that's nuts.

Oh yes these cops are idiots for allowing her to get her hands on those evident, if I were the defend lawyer of Joseph James DeAngelo I would sink my teeth right into this piece of information and claim that the evident had already been tainted so it cannot be considered accountable.

Det. Holes credits McNamara for her persistence in following the GSK case with keeping interest high and in the public view. I don't think he is saying other bloggers didn't,

I am not saying her blog isn't good enough or anything like this, it seems her blog did bring a lot of attention to the case, but according to this article:

officials have tamped down the suggestion that McNamara’s book played a role in the suspect’s apprehension.

“That’s a question we’ve gotten from all over the world in the last 24 hours, and the answer is no,” Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters.

Authorities did acknowledge that the work built public interest in the case, which can have the effect of lending an old investigation more urgency and, potentially, more resources.

“It kept interest and tips coming in,” Jones said, but “other than that, there was no information extracted from that book that directly led to the apprehension.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...


Kristina I read that Washington Post article. Either that one, or an interview I saw on tv, quoted Det. Holes. He said pretty much the same thing, that McNamara was an excellent researcher and was in close contact with current and retired investigators, but her work didn't actually "capture" the (suspected) killer. However, when you read the book, it is fascinating to see how closely her theories resembled how the police caught the man using DNA sites. I think she missed her calling and should have been an investigator.

I'm not sure why you keep putting her research into quotation marks, implying she did no research at all. I think she did enormous amounts of research, very good research. It's certainly possible other true crime bloggers also did a lot of research but aren't getting attention she received. Probably because she was a professional writer/interviewer and her book was published not long before the man was caught. Also, she died young and her husband is a celebrity (well, not Tom Cruise level, but he is a well known comedian and actor).

The publisher, certainly, wanted the book hyped with lots of PR to drive up sales. Her husband (Patton Oswalt) I think just was still grieving and loved her very much and he wanted the book published as a memorial to her. Oswalt's not much of an attention hound. He usually keeps to himself.

The biggest faults of the book lie with the editors and publisher. They rushed an unfinished book to print instead of having another writer finish it. I still regret spending the money on it and hope when the trial is concluded (I have heard NOTHING about the case since the man was caught), a talented crime writer is able to publish an excellent book about it.


message 6: by Mizuki (last edited Sep 09, 2018 10:36PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mizuki Kristina wrote: " I think she missed her calling and should have been an investigator. "

It does seem to be the case, although it is a bit alarming to see her screaming and crying and hiding in dark hotel room etc for the ONS's case. But if she did choose to become an investigator or join the police force, at least there will be more friends and coworkers to support her mentally instead of just some netfriends online.

The publisher, certainly, wanted the book hyped with lots of PR to drive up sales. Her husband (Patton Oswalt) I think just was still grieving and loved her very much and he wanted the book published as a memorial to her.

I had just done a quick read on the afterword written by Patton Oswalt and I found it highly ironic that in this afterword Oswalt never said one word to thank the interviewees and investigators and anyone else who had helped his wife to write this book, but meanwhile he accused the police for not giving his wife (and other people) any credit.

PS: I will read this afterword again later to make sure I didn't miss him giving thanks to other people.

The biggest faults of the book lie with the editors and publisher. They rushed an unfinished book to print instead of having another writer finish it.

Beside her editor, I think there is another person who is supposed to be an famed investigative journalist. it's stated in the book. I also found it rather strange that this book doesn't have a Reference to mark and list out where the source material came from. Were they really in such a big hurry?

Some of McNamara's writing is in fact very nice and spot-on, but honestly the parts inserted by her editors do look awfully disjoint and choppy.

I'm not sure why you keep putting her research into quotation marks, implying she did no research at all. I think she did enormous amounts of research, very good research.

I'm still in the middle of the book and I'm still not making up my mind about her 'research'...and can you blame me for putting her research skill and judgement into question after I read the part about McNamara going gaga over a piece of 'evident' which she believed to be belonged to the ONS, an item she found on eBay?


Steelwhisper Great review!


Mizuki Steelwhisper wrote: "Great review!"

Oh, thanks Steelwhisper.


Kristina Mizuki wrote: "Kristina wrote: " I think she missed her calling and should have been an investigator. "

It does seem to be the case, although it is a bit alarming to see her screaming and crying and hiding in da..."


I think McNamara possibly had other personal emotional issues we the readers don't know anything about. She died from taking an (accidental) overdose of anti-anxiety and etc. types of pills (from what I remember). It's possible she had a lot going on and the obsession with death and violent murder affected her more.

I don't know if Patton ever recognized/thanked other bloggers. I remember from reading the book that SHE did. He was very much caught up in making his (dead) wife the hero of the story. I don't agree with him about that, but I understand the impulse to do so.

It's my understanding that most of her theories, information, etc. came directly from the police evidence--their reports. Resources are referenced in the text, but it's not very clear. The editors should have done a better job making this clear (and perhaps thanking the various police depts and blogging sites).

That's funny because I think the cuff links are an amazing example of her research. She followed up on those cuff links to such a degree that she traced them to their past owner and that's how she discovered they had no connection to the murders. That's also when I thought, damn, this woman is nuts.


message 10: by Mizuki (last edited Sep 16, 2018 08:45AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mizuki Kristina wrote: "I think McNamara possibly had other personal emotional issues we the readers don't know anything about. She died from taking an (accidental) overdose of anti-anxiety and etc..."

If she were mentally in such a bad shape, she really should have stopped all these true crime things. Someone had once said:"thinking too much about death would only cause madness."

Ps: not only this, I can only so boldly comment that in her writing, the tone she used makes it look like she was so very sure even when she might not be the one to bring ONS down, she would at least be the one who discovers useful evidence to track him down. I also found this attitude unsettling........it is one thing to do some kind of research on ONS and write articles about him, but it is another thing to believe so much that she is going to find him.

I don't know if Patton ever recognized/thanked other bloggers.

I checked, he DIDN'T thank anyone.

I remember from reading the book that SHE did

I only saw her merely stating other investigators or cops for coming up with theories about the killer, but I don't believe I'd seen her thanking those people for their advice/knowledge/theories. Perhaps her 'Special Thanks to...' would have arrived when she finished the book, but she never got to that part.

He was very much caught up in making his (dead) wife the hero of the story.

She very well should get credit for keeping this case alive in the mind of the general public, but as for her husband going out of his way to claim his wife had helped the arrest of the killer? Even going so far to suggest in an news article that perhaps someone who knows the killer had read his wife's book then ratted the killer out after reading the book? That sounds almost bad taste.

It's my understanding that most of her theories, information, etc. came directly from the police evidence--their reports. Resources are referenced in the text, but it's not very clear. The editors should have done a better job making this clear

*nod nods* I understand that the key breakthrough for the case had been made by the cops and other expects, e.g. the fact that ONS and EAR are the same person was decoded by DNA evidence at around 2000s, the same goes for the familial DNA thingy.

still, I'm not demanding McNamara to come up with entirely new idea and angle which no one has never thought of before. It isn't fair to demand this from her.

What I really don't like about McNamara's writing is her details are always vague, for example, she mentioned a woman was 'attacked', but I never know exactly what had happened to the victim when it is merely stated that she was attacked. What does it actually mean when McNamara said a victim was 'attacked'? Raped? Beat? Killed? Did the victim fight back? Did she escape? I am not asking for painful and gruesome details, but I have never seen a true crime book which is so poorly written in this aspect---when it fails to let me know the basic details of the crime.

. That's also when I thought, damn, this woman is nuts.

That's more or less what I think, and this time the 'she's nut' is in a total negative way for me. To me, the cuff links incident looks like a case of poor judgement and wishful thinking instead of 'Oh, this woman is so through with her research'.


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