Three Rivers Regional Library System discussion

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
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What We're Reading > August 2020 - I'll Be Gone in the Dark

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 78 comments Mod
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, 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.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

Check out on RBdigital:

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Jenny OH (jennyoh) | 5 comments I can't wait to start discussing this! So glad to have this book discussion group now that we're all social distancing :D

message 3: by Chelley (new)

Chelley Marie | 23 comments I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. Picked it up this morning at the local library:)

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 78 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "I can't wait to start discussing this! So glad to have this book discussion group now that we're all social distancing :D"
I can't wait, either! I am really looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 78 comments Mod
Chelley wrote: "I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. Picked it up this morning at the local library:)"

Wonderful! Can't wait to hear what you think!

message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 78 comments Mod
What does everyone think of the book so far?

message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 78 comments Mod
I have a few discussion questions for us to think about. What do you think?

If you have any questions or comments of your own, please feel free to share!

1. Michelle writes about an incident in her own neighborhood in Los Angeles, when her neighbor’s house was robbed. "We make well-intentioned promises of protection we can’t always keep. I’ll look out for you." Do you think we, as a society, have lost a sense of neighborliness? What factors do you attribute to this loss? How have changes in technology, economics, architecture—house and planned community designs—impacted you, your neighborhood, and society? Is there a remedy to bring us closer together?

2. In following Michelle’s search to unmask the GSK, what did you learn about her and the kind of person she is? How does getting to know her shape the story and your understanding of the case as it unfolds? Meeting Michelle in these pages, does she fit with your "profile"of a true crime obsessive? How would you characterize Michelle if you were introducing her to a friend?

3. Novelist Gillian Flynn wrote the introduction to the book. How are crime novelists and true crime writers alike, and how do they differ? Do you read crime novels? If so, what draws you to them? How does the experience of reading a crime novel compare to reading a true crime account? What emotions do each elicit?

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