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.” McNamara 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.
This is a very creepy, fascinating, incredible story!
While reading this book I kept reminding myself that this is real! These things really happened! I read my fair share of mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and so on, but this is my first true crime. This book gave me an uneasy feeling unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am so grateful that the Golden State Killer has been captured, otherwise I may not be able to sleep at night.
To add to my uneasy feeling, this story takes place in my home state. In fact, many of the locations listed I have either lived in or visited over the years. To be clear I was not in the state of California during the years of his crime spree and in fact had never even heard of him until he was captured. Nonetheless, it was odd to read about the cities he terrorized, freeways he traveled, residential complexes he targeted, and many other landmarks that I am so familiar with.
It saddens me that so many people were either killed or have to live with the terror he caused them. There were many many missed opportunities to stop his reign of terror, but unfortunately he slipped away in the night. To me he didn’t seem particularly careful and it is quite amazing he eluded authorities for so long.
I cannot help but to be in awe of the amount of time, research, interviews, and so on that Michelle conducted. She clearly had a passion for solving the unsolvable and wanted nothing more than to bring this suspect to justice. It is such a shame that she didn’t get to see the fruits of her labor.
This is my first true crime story! I have been bitten by the true crime bug so I can guarantee you it will not be my last!
My Rating: 5/5
Genre: True Crime
Publication Date: 2/27/2018
Pages: 328 (Hardback)
*Book 8/20 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.
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