Books

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

A nonfiction book by Michelle McNamara.

Michelle McNamara

For more than 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated 10 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.

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. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic — one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer. (From HarperCollins)

From the book

After processing the house, the police said to Drew Witthuhn, "It's yours." The yellow tape came down; the front door closed. The impassive precision of badges at work had helped divert attention from the stain. There was no avoiding it now. His brother and sister-in-law's bedroom was just inside the front door, directly across from the kitchen. Standing at the sink, Drew needed only to turn his head to the left to see the dark spray mottling the wall above David and Manuela's bed.

Drew prided himself on not being squeamish. At the Police Academy they were being trained to handle stress and never blanch. Emotional steeliness was a graduation requirement. But until the evening on Friday, February 6, 1981, when his fiancée's sister appeared tableside at the Rathskeller Pub in Huntington Beach and said breathlessly, "Drew, call your mom," he didn't think he'd be required to use those skills — the ability to keep his mouth shut and eyes forward when everyone else went bug-eyed and screamed — so soon or so close to home.


From I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara ©2018. Published by HarperCollins.

More about this book

Crime writer Michelle McNamara's diligent work investigating the so-called Golden State Killer helped lead to an arrest on Tuesday, says her colleague Bill Jensen. 6:30

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