Author Michelle McNamara’s efforts to find the elusive Golden State Killer will soon come to HBO in the form of a six-part docuseries.
HBO announced Sunday that “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” — based on McNamara’s best-selling 2018 book of the same name — will premiere on June 28. The platform announced in 2018 that the true crime novel would be turned into a television documentary series directed by Liz Garbus.
McNamara’s true crime novel details her obsession with tracking down the Golden State Killer, also known by the moniker of the East Area Rapist. The killer is believed to be responsible for at least 50 rapes and 13 murders in six California jurisdictions during the '70s and '80s. He targeted couples in their homes, often restraining the men while he raped their partners. In some cases, the assailant put dishes on the backs of the men while he raped the women, telling them that if any dishes broke, he’d kill them both.
"Michelle McNamara lived a quiet life as a writer, mother and wife, preferring to stay on the periphery of the Hollywood world of her comedian husband Patton Oswalt," a press release provided to Oxygen.com stated. "But every night, as her family slept, she indulged her obsession with unsolved cases. Delving into the world of online chat rooms and crime blogs, she became immersed in the graphic details of the Golden State Killer case, along the way connecting with like-minded sleuths, trading facts, photos and leads."
“The tragedy of this case to me is that it’s not better known,” McNamara says in a clip used in a trailer for the new docuseries. In another included interview, she states, “What drives me is to put a face to an unknown killer.”
Thanks to her bestselling book, the Golden State Killer’s crime spree is now common knowledge — and now the alleged killer himself has been found.
Joseph DeAngelo, now 74, was arrested in April 2018 after genetic analysis pointed to him as the main suspect. The former police officer is supposed to face a preliminary hearing this month but it has been delayed due to the coronavirus.
Sadly, McNamara passed away before her book was published so she never got to see DeAngelo’s arrest. She has been applauded for drawing renewed attention to the case that ultimately resulted in charges for DeAngelo. Her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, credited her for cracking the case, tweeting, “I think you got him, Michelle.”
"I'll Be Gone in the Dark" will feature both original recordings of McNamara and excerpts from her book will be read by actor Amy Ryan. Archival footage and police files will be merged with exclusive new interviews with detectives and survivors. It will also feature interviews with DeAngelo's family members, according to HBO.
"Echoing McNamara’s writing, the series gives voice to the victims, and their experiences speak to the far-reaching, human cost of the decades-old case," a press release obtained by Oxygen.com stated.
The trailer quotes an open letter that McNamara wrote to the then-unknown suspect: “‘You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,’ you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.”
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