Michelle McNamara's Quest for Justice

April 25, 2018 | M. Elwood

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"You'll be silent forever and I'll be gone in the dark."
          --   The Golden State Killer to one of his victims

I'll be gone in the darkThe Golden State Killer is a serial rapist who was active in California between 1976-1986. During this time, he was responsible for at least 50 sexual assaults and hundreds of burglaries. DNA evidence conclusively links him to eight murders between 1979-1986. He is suspected of several additional murders.

Michelle McNamara was a true crime writer determined to uncover the identity of the killer. McNamara was the creator of the website True Crime Diary and worked as a consultant on Dateline NBC. Her interest in crime was piqued by the unsolved murder of a neighbour when she was a child. She was working on a book about the Golden State Killer, a name she'd coined, when she died suddenly in 2016. She left behind a mountain of research and a heartbroken husband, actor Patton Oswalt, who was determined that the book be finished. The final product, completed by Oswalt and her colleagues, Billy Jensen and Paul Haynes, was published in February 2018.

On April 25, 2018 Sacramento police announced a possible break in the case. Joseph James D'Angelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, was arrested and charged with two murders. He is believed to be the Golden State Killer. 

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara