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Gripping examination of the unsolved crimes of the Golden State Killer who terrorized California in the 1970's and 1980's.

HBO
1 Season, 6 Episodes
June 28, 2020
6.9/10
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Paul Haynes, Lauren Orlando, Amy Ryan
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I'll Be Gone in the Dark Full Episode Guide

  • As 72-year-old former police officer Joe DeAngelo's arrest unfolds in real time, chilling facts materialize that illuminate Michelle's prescience in her book's epilogue, "Letter to an Old Man."

  • As Michelle's loved ones cope with her sudden death, her work to unmask the Golden State Killer lives on. Inspired by McNamara's interest in genealogy and online DNA testing services, Paul Holes, Chief of Forensics in Contra Costa County, reconstructs the killer's family tree with the help of genetic genealogist Barbara-Rae Venter. After inheriting Michelle's 37 boxes of case files, researcher Paul Haynes and true crime writer Billy Jensen work alongside Michelle's husband, Patton Oswalt, to finish her book, which becomes an instant bestseller. Meanwhile, the release of Michelle's autopsy report rocks her inner circle. Michelle's writing - in which she wrestles with depression and her own mother's sudden death - sheds light on her pain but leaves many questions unanswered.

  • Michelle and her editors agree to push her book deadline after being granted access to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's East Area Rapist / Original Night Stalker (EAR/ONS) room. Poring over 37 boxes of files now occupying her daughter's playroom, Michelle and her researcher Paul Haynes explore the case of the "Visalia Ransacker," the perpetrator of a string of burglaries in the early '70s bearing striking similarities to EAR. Overwhelmed by the amount of material and the graphic nature of the crimes she is investigating, Michelle struggles to balance the demands of her self-described addiction to her work with her family life. Painful personal memories, combined with her pressure to solve the case and finish the book leads to a string of sleepless nights and harrowing nightmares, as she becomes increasingly reliant upon prescription drugs to manage her mounting anxieties.

  • Michelle McNamara reflects on the 1984 murder of her childhood neighbor Kathy Lombardo, which she credits with planting the seed for her lifelong fascination with unsolved crimes. Local detectives who worked the East Area Rapist (EAR) case in the '70s - and citizen detectives who picked up where they left off - discuss a proliferation of serial rape cases in Northern California at the time, discussing an era when victims were often too ashamed to speak out and sexual crime was minimized in the press and the courtroom. Following a rush of media coverage in 1977, EAR's boldness escalates, as he shifts his focus from single women and teenagers, to include couples as well. Today, several survivors describe these attacks and their aftermath in chilling detail.

  • Writer Michelle McNamara finds a new obsession in a California cold case she dubs the "Golden State Killer."

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