Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Review and Self Care

Image result for i'll be gone in the dark
 I'm doing something a little different today. I've talked a lot about self care, and how I try to practice it regularly. My self care recently has been taking time to listen to podcasts and audio books. I've always been intrigued by true crime stories, so naturally My Favorite Murder has become my favorite podcast. In the series they often bring up the late Michelle McNamara, who was an incredible true crime blogger, as well as author to the book "I'll Be Gone in the Dark." She was married to Patton Oswalt, who is a comedian and actor. Her career was dedicated to many things but the most groundbreaking work she did was on the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, original night stalking, and the Vasilia Ransacker.  This book is something everyone needs to read.
 She spent years trying to catch faceless monster. She read thousands of documents, and crime reports. She scanned files to be digitized, so law enforcement agencies all over had access to them. She spoke with cops, investigators, criminologists, and witnesses. She even used the super sleuths of the Internet to help her. She took every theory, detail, or link into consideration. She engaged with the armchair detective community, and listened.
 She brought attention to a decades old cold case that was unknown around the globe. She elaborates on the details from her wildly successful 2013 article "In the Footsteps of a Killer," which you can read HERE.
 Unfortunately, before Michelle could finish this book she died. Billy Jensen and Paul Haynes were hired to finish this terrifying masterpiece, and they did an incredible job. Shortly after the book released they caught him. The police arrested Joesph James DeAngelo on April 24, 2018 by linking his DNA to the crimes committed decades ago. Reading this book knowing he has been caught is the most satisfying rush of emotions. Throughout the whole entire book you feel Michelle's passion, and yearning to catch this guy.
 The book ends with a letter that Michelle writes to the killer that she never got to see get arrested. This quote was so powerful, and a perfect ending to the book.
“One day soon, you’ll hear a car pull up to your curb, an engine cut out. You’ll hear footsteps coming up your front walk. Like they did for Edward Wayne Edwards, twenty-nine years after he killed Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew, in Sullivan, Wisconsin. Like they did for Kenneth Lee Hicks, thirty years after he killed Lori Billingsley, in Aloha, Oregon.

The doorbell rings.

No side gates are left open. You’re long past leaping over a fence. Take one of your hyper, gulping breaths. Clench your teeth. Inch timidly toward the insistent bell.

This is how it ends for you.

“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.” 

If you have a book club, or just a general interest in anything true crime this book is a most. I'm equal parts horrified, sad, and relieved. 

Michelle was a treasure that we lost way too soon. Her story has inspired me to keep writing, and pursuing my career as a writer. 

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