Marialyce'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 amazing
bookshelves: books-of-2019, library

Ten years, yes, ten years on the loose terrorizing both Northern and Southern California with wanton attacks at night. Entering bedrooms this eventual killer, raped and mentally tortured women and the men who were there in bed with them. He seemed to roam about being able to elude the police and FBI. Californians were terrorized.

In this book, we follow one woman, Michelle McNamara, and a killer rapist, as she through detailed and exhaustive searches becomes obsessed with tracking down this man who wrought such havoc upon others.

“He's the fake shark in Jaws, barely seen so doubly feared.”

It's a shocking look at the lives that were either lost or ever so harmed by this man who seemed to so freely walk away from his crimes. It's also a look at the people who tried, it seemed in vain, it seemed to catch this man. The victims are portrayed as helpless being tied up and never seeing their attacker as he wore a hood covering all but his eyes. “He loses his power when we know his face.”

There was Michelle McNamara, a true crime writer, who dedicated herself to his apprehension. She researched, spent countless hours tracking, questioning, making contact with those who "knew" the rapist/murderer all in an attempt to see this man brought to justice, while giving a sense of peace to his victims and their families.

This man became known as the East Area Rapist and also as The Night Stalker. He burglarized homes, taking odd things that would later be left at other scenes of the crime and it is believed he raped 45-50 women and murdered 10-12 people. He was the stuff of nightmares, the macabre, the grisly, and the gruesome dream so many had nightly.

It's a true crime telling at its best. This author brought her all into this story, infusing her words with poignancy and revealing the human side of the victims, law enforcement, and her own persona. She was a woman on a mission and as we and Michelle track this killer, we also learn of the advancements in areas of science and criminal tracking. This story was fascinating in its detail, shocking in its telling, and a tribute to a woman who just would not let her mission go.

Unfortunately, Michelle passed away before she could see that this horrendous man finally apprehended. It took DNA to bring this monster to justice.

"On April 25, 2018, authorities charged Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer they accuse of being the Golden State Killer. Mr. DeAngelo, 72, faces eight counts of murder and is suspected of many more crimes. He was found using DNA-matching information gathered from genealogy websites when DNA from a relative registered on the site helped them narrow down the list of suspects using that person’s family history. They were then able to obtain a discarded DNA sample from his home (via his trash can) and match it to DNA evidence from the investigation. As of his arrest, DeAngelo is believed to have killed at least 12 people and raped more than 50 women in the 1970’s and 1980’s. (Altered Dimensions)
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Reading Progress

March 7, 2019 – Started Reading
March 7, 2019 – Shelved
March 9, 2019 – Shelved as: books-of-2019
March 9, 2019 – Shelved as: library
March 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Great review! This one is on my list


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Wonderful review, Marialyce! One day I’ll finally read this!


message 3: by Dana (new)

Dana I need to get to this one. I’ve seen mostly 5 stars for it. Great review, Marialyce!


Diane S ☔ Awesome review, Marialyce.


JanB Marialyce, I’m delighted this was a 5 star read for you too! Excellent review. I hope Michelle somehow knows that this monster is finally caught and behind bars.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Fantastic review Marialyce!


message 7: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly  B Glad you had a five star read!


message 8: by KAS (new)

KAS Fabulous review, Marialyce ;) I definitely need to suggest this one to my hubby. He loves true crime novels. Glad to see five stars!!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Awesome review, Marialyce! So glad it was a five star for you.


Julie Great review, Marialyce! 😊


message 11: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Terrific review !


message 12: by Melissa (new)

Melissa This is such a disturbing case and SO sad Michelle passed away before seeing the scumbag caught. I've only watched a special about it, but I'm hoping to read this soon myself. Fantastic review, as always, Marialyce.


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