For background, the Golden State Killer (GSK) is a man who was called many different things- such as the Original Night Stalker or East Area Rapist. McNamara, in the 2010s, was operating a True Crime blog. She wanted to solve these decades old cases. McNamara worked painstakingly on this case, discovering links and evidence. Once there was an established link between all these cases, it was McNamara herself that said he should have a catchy name, so it sticks in people’s heads and encompasses all the crimes he’s committed in California. Thus the moniker, The Golden State Killer.
The Golden State Killer has been in the media this week, because the Police have finally caught him, after reopening the case in 2016. Sadly, Michelle McNamara passed away in April 2016. This book was a labour of, well not love, but obsession. She was very aware that she was obsessed with this case. She’d interview survivors, witnesses. She chased leads, hoping to find the one piece of evidence police missed, touring the neighbourhoods the GSK had visited and violated. Her writing is so enthralling, almost narrative like, it was easy for me to have many sleepless nights, imagining any noise in my yard at night might be someone sneaking across the grass.
I was almost finished the book when I heard the news. I was elated, finally this monster of a man who terrorized people in the 1970s was finally caught, after at least 12 murdered people and 47 rapes.
The most haunting part of the book comes at the end, where she writes directly to GSK, telling him there would be police one day knocking on his door:
“Open the door. Step into the light. Show us your face.”