Michelle McNamara’s “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” audiobook

Listening to a posthumous memoir of a true crime narrative is inherently creepy, but Michelle’s writing chills to the marrow. An electric, invigorating chill which permeates every syllable of this compelling story. Sub-zero depression paralysis would set in if it were not for Michelle’s very relatable everyday anecdotes about her life as a relentless true crime writer.

Her self-sacrificing pursuit of this evil creature is so moving because it is balanced with the warm reminiscence of her as a wife and mother. I felt the rush of her impending discoveries and the devastating let-downs of her dead ends. Understanding her life gives a modicum of the soul-crushing black hole her tragic death left in the lives of her loved ones and a tremendous sense of the terror she must have instilled in the Golden State Killer.

Without diminishing the horrors he inflicted on the lives of those he tortured, Michelle could be considered one of his victims, offering up her health and sleepless nights to hear the “click” of handcuffs on his wrists, ending in the terrible accident of her death. The killer’s guilt must not be assuaged by this, for her legacy is this book, which is sure to inspire future generations of young true crime enthusiasts and writers who will carry on this relentlessly personal style of getting such psychos locked up.

Patton’s afterward solidified this feeling with such bittersweet revelations about Michelle’s other legacy… Their daughter Alice, just like her mother, is far too wise for her years. I feel safer with kids like Alice in this world. They’re going to figure it all out.

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