I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: moscow mules and red wine. Im on vacatuin, dont judge me
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.
“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”
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.
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.
Drunk Overview: The golden state killer was an unsolved mystery (until shortly after the book was first released) and this book chronicles the crimes, how they progressed, and how the search for a killer affected those people
Drunk Thoughts: man, this book is sobfucking dark
- Obviously, the crimes are… not great. There were something around 50 rapes and 10 or so murders over the course of YEARS
- But I also knew enough of the story to know the Michelle didn’t make it to the publishing of this book.
- Theres something to be said about the relief of knowing youre reaching the end of a long list of crimes, while also dreading the mext page knowing that bad things are going to happen to the perspn running the search/writing about it.
- That sense of foreboding made the book that much hardernto read. Which is saying something because, again, this book is dark.
- Im not going to get into the fact that the asshole got caught (other than to sya his excuse of “not knowing how much pain he caused” is bullshit)
- But this book does a great job of giving the victims or survivors a story that isnt just a footnote (though obviously a book of this length cant cover everything)
- I also wonder how misogyny plays into this guy not getting captured
- He started as a peeping tom, considered harmless, then moved to rape and finally murder.
- If a peeping tom had been taken seriously…. but we won’t know.
- I was also dismayed by some of the details about the investigators of this case. There seemed to be a dismissal of people who didn’t follow a traditional model, which would clearly make future women more hesitant to come forward.
- Honestly, my favorite parts of this book were the discussions of DNA testing improving and the criminologists working on the evidence collected years prior.
- Its clear that those peopel, who looked at the evidence and ised back channels to share information were the true heroes
- It always feels weird to review a nonfiction book because its so easy to learn about the ending. But there’s so much to be said aviut the writing in this book.
- I mentioned before the careful way that the victims were described. But its not just that.
- This book does a great job of laying out the timeline and geography. Which in turn highlights patterns and then explains their importance
- I am not really into true crime. I dont tend to go for the grisley horror aspect, but this is a case that captured my interest.
- This book doesnt glorify the pain or make the criminal seem like he was brilliant or a mastermind (as I said, not a master of the genre so this is not me saying other books do that compared to my expectations that these things could occur)
What it Pairs With: a shot of rotgut whiskey. It’ll wake you up, you may or may not enjoy it but you’ll feel the great down to your toes
One thought on “DRUNK REVIEW: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara”
I did this one on audio and liked it too! Paul Holes’ book tied into this case too, I think I read his first then came here because of it!
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